Gluten free foods
When you are first diagnosed it can be a little scary… you think to yourself, I can’t eat anything! This is not the case there are a plethora of naturally gluten free foods, it may just take some getting used too.
You may find it a challenge if you have toast for breakfast, sandwich at lunch and pasta for dinner. However this is easily fixed by switching to gluten free muesli for breakfast, salad sandwich without the bread (you can replace it with rice, quinoa, etc) and a tasty stir fry for dinner.
Making a meal gluten free by simply removing the gluten, may make it gluten free but that does not make it necessarily healthy. Remember that a gluten free diet is consumed due to a condition and it is not necessarily a healthier diet.
What grains contain gluten
- Wheat germ
- Rice –all types
Just because you don’t eat gluten doesn’t mean you can’t eat muesli for breakfast…there are a few mueslis on the market that contain a nutritious selection of gluten free grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth and brown rice.
Soy sauce contains gluten but there is a gluten free option that tastes exactly the same, it goes by the name of Tamari.
Just because your gluten free doesn’t mean you can’t bake. There are several flours you can use instead of wheat flour: amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, chickpea, corn flour, quinoa, millet, rice, tapioca, almond, coconut, chestnut and potato.
Hidden gluten in foods – What to look out for
Did you know that some stocks, gravies and juices contain gluten…
It is best to exercise caution with processed foods as they may contain gluten. Some common ones are: canned soups, processed and canned meats, sausages, salad dressings, seasonings, ice cream, chocolate bars, instant coffee, tomato sauce and mustard.
They may not be made from wheat, rye or barley grains but they may contain gluten derived additives. Some possible gluten containing additives include: starch, malt, maltodextrin, emulsifiers, MSG, modified food starch, dextrins (used as a food additive in the form of flavouring, stabilizing or thickening agent).
Always read the food and product labels before buying or consuming any product. Manufacturers are required to provide information about the ingredients used to make their food products.
Gluten containing fillers can also be found in some medications and in many vitamin products, tablets, vitamin preparations and even cosmetic products such as lipstick, lip gloss, chapstick and toothpaste.
How much gluten can be in a ‘gluten free’ product?
For everyday foods to use the claim ‘gluten free’ the level of gluten in the food must be 20 parts per million or less. The reason that it is not 100% gluten free is due to the technical difficulty of achieving zero gluten in foods. If the limit was set to zero this would significantly reduce the range of products available for coeliacs to choose from, increase the costs of already expensive foods, and could lead to coeliacs making incorrect choices.
You may have noticed that oats were not listed; this is because in next weeks post we will take a look at the controversy surrounding gluten in oats.