If you’re new to this whole ‘eating gluten free’ thing it can be quite overwhelming knowing where to start. Maybe you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease or maybe you just know eating gluten makes you bloated, sick and sluggish. Whatever the reason, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that eating a predominantly gluten free diet can help with myriad health conditions. Now we know many of our ailments start with bad gut health, cleaning up our diet from processed grains is a great place to start.
The first step is to get rid of all the gluten-containing products in your kitchen and stock it with alternatives. Stick to unprocessed, fresh, whole foods to naturally stay gluten-free. Our best advice is to remain vigilant – always check the ingredients on packets and keep in mind where and how things have been made.
We have compiled what we think will be a helpful list for newbies and we hope we have managed to get you off to a good start. A simple GO/STOP reference list of what you need to avoid and what you can welcome into your diet with open arms.
You may feel somewhat restricted compared to what you ate before, but we look at it as opening your mind to eating really good, whole foods more often.
The following grains and other starch-containing foods are naturally gluten-free:
Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)
Then you have all the following food groups which are naturally gluten free:
fruits and vegetables
oils and vinegars
For baking, use substitute flours. These can include:
Use xanthan gum or guar gum as a substitute for gluten when baking. Search the internet and do some reading about substitutions for gluten when baking as many times you can’t simply substitute like for like with flours, etc.
Now – for what you CAN’T have:
fu (common in Asian foods)
It’s not just wheat you need to avoid. Other offenders are:
oats (oats themselves don’t contain gluten, but are often processed in facilities that produce gluten-containing grains and may be contaminated)
triticale and Mir (a cross between wheat and rye)
Gluten may also show up as an ingredient in:
some salad dressings
veggie burgers (if not specified gluten-free)
seasonings and spice mixes
It may seem daunting to go gluten-free at first. But for many, the advantages far outweigh the inconvenience.
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