When you’re considering starting a wheat and dairy free diet you can feel overwhelmed at first. Knowing where hidden sources of wheat and dairy are lurking will help you be certain that you’re eliminating these foods from your diet completely.
If you’re starting a wheat free diet because you have an intolerance for gluten I want to make sure you understand that gluten isn’t just in wheat. There are other grains that contain this protein. They are rye, barley, kamut, spelt and oats because of contamination with these grains in processing. On a gluten free diet you need to avoid all of these grains not just wheat.
Start by looking through all of the foods you already have in your kitchen to see which foods contain ingredients you can’t have. You may want to put the items you can’t eat all together in one off-limits cabinet if you’re doing this diet for a limited amount of time. If you’re planning on staying wheat and diary free you may want to throw those foods away or give them to someone.
Many packaged foods have gluten or diary containing ingredients in them. Here are some ingredients you should be on the lookout for when trying to eliminate gluten from your diet.
- isolated vegetable protein
- hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
- vegetable protein
- hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- modified food starch
- food starch
You also have to be on the lookout for hidden sources of dairy in your foods. Here are some diary containing ingredients.
When you’re shopping read labels thoroughly to check for red flag ingredients. Eat as little processed foods as possible. When you cook your own foods from scratch you have more control over the ingredients and are less likely to have dairy and gluten sneak into your food.
Plan meals ahead of time. When you’re on a specific diet you’ll need to put a little more thought into eating then you did before. Planning your meals before hand can make sticking to your diet a lot easier. You can cook meals in advance and keep them in the freezer for heating up later.
Keep wheat and dairy free snacks on hand. When hunger strikes you need to be sure you have something delicious that you can eat that fits into your new diet. There are many gluten and dairy free cookies and breads available in health food stores or online. I suggest snacking on nuts and dried fruit.
Cooking your own foods and checking food labels thoroughly will help you get the best tasting food that fits into you new wheat and dairy free diet.