Top 7 Tips For Following A Gluten-Free Diet
In recent years many of us have come to realize that gluten doesn’t sit well in our stomachs. Whether you become bloated or get locked in the bathroom, this realization is both a blessing and a curse.
Gluten is in our favorite foods. Anna Brooks from Cooks Dream took a look at gluten content in chinese food… She found that most of the meals cannot be eaten by those with celiac disease, although there are alternatives you can try.
With this in mind, we want to show you the tips that we have found useful in our search for gluten-free food.
Tip 1 – Read The Label
Whenever you buy something, you will need to start looking at the label on the food packaging. Look for anything that mentions oats, Kamut, spelt, barley, rye, wheat, or any type of grain.
Sometimes these ingredients are bolded as they are common ingredients to be intolerant to, however, do not rely on this labeling strategy.
Soon you will know the brands which have gluten-free recipes, but don’t become complacent. If the packaging changes or they announce a new recipe, check the label again to ensure you are safe to eat it.
Tip 2 – Avoid Pre-Made Sauces
Almost all pre-made sauces or meals will contain gluten. If someone makes a meal for you, tell them to avoid it too. Companies pack their sauces with sugar and flour to make the meals thicker and sweeter, but this will not be healthy for you.
Tip 3 – Study Gluten-Free Substitutes
Many Whole Foods stores will have gluten-free alternatives to common foods such as pasta and bread. Just because the classic versions of these ingredients are now on your “no-go” list, that doesn’t mean you can no longer have your favorite meals.
Instead, search for brands that make substitutes for your gluten ingredients. If none exists, learn what the next best thing is. Rice, for example, is automatically gluten-free. You can use it as your carby main in place for a spaghetti or pasta dish.
Tip 4 – Aim for Naturally Gluten Free Recipes
Although using substitutes in your meals can help you eat your favorite dishes, they won’t have the same texture or taste as the original.
Gluten-free people often prefer to avoid substituting their food, and instead pick up naturally gluten-free ingredients.
Vegetables, dairy products, fruit, and meat are all naturally gluten-free. Processed meats such as sausages and bacon don’t fit into this category, but anything that hasn’t been altered will be fine to eat.
The main issue you will have is finding naturally gluten-free carbohydrates. We tend to reach for bread and pasta to fill this nutritional gap, but you cannot touch these as a celiac.
Instead pick up beans, potatoes, squashes, and yams. These are carby ingredients that do not contain gluten, making them a healthy option to reach your nutritional needs.
Tip 5 – Pick Restaurants With Gluten-Free Menus
Many big chains or high-class restaurants will offer their customers gluten-free menus. This will make it easier for you to safely peruse the menu, and clear to the chef that you need separate food for your table.
The online menus should indicate their gluten-free options.
Tip 6 – Beware Of Cross Contamination
Cross-contamination is when a bit of gluten lands on your food because the knife or board you used wasn’t cleaned properly. Ideally, you should have separate plates, chopping boards, and utensils to avoid this situation.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands the importance of non-contaminated surfaces, so if you house share, make sure you clean your plates before every meal.
Tip 7 – Be Aware Of Alcohol
Some alcohol is naturally gluten-free. These are wines, spirits, ports, liqueurs, and ciders. However, some of the most popular alcoholic beverages need gluten to be created. These are ales, stouts, lagers, and beers.
In good news, many big brands have made their drinks either low in gluten or completely gluten-free. This means that you could still enjoy your favorite pint.
However, in bad news, as the world of experimental spirits and cocktails continues, you cannot be sure that every wine or liqueur you pick up will be gluten-free.
Again, you need to look at the label to make sure.
These 7 tips will help you set up a new routine to help you shop, searching for recipes, and finding appropriate restaurants.
It might take a while to get into these new habits, but once you have them established, our advice will feel like second nature to you.