With the increase in concerns about gluten intolerance, more and more people are trying a gluten free diet. They research gluten intolerance and find that they should avoid foods containing wheat, barley, oats and triticale. They should also avoid processed foods containing those cereals or any derivative of them, such as wheat germ, barley flour, pumpernickel flour or oatmeal. It can be very confusing reading labels because with some ingredients, it isn’t clear what they truly are. Ingredients such as natural flavorings, soy sauce, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, gelatinized starch or modified food starch could all contain gluten, unless the label specifically says the product is gluten free. Please note that if a label says a product is wheat free, it may still not be gluten free, because the product could have been made with oats or barley.
The list of food products containing gluten is a long one, but it should be noted that there always alternatives to these foods. Foods made from wheat include: bread, cakes, cookies and muffins; pastries; pasta, pastries and tortillas; couscous, cereal and crackers, gravy, dressings and sauces. Wheat can also be in beer. Moreover, there are food products which contain gluten that you may not have considered before. This group includes food products such as: rice and pasta mixes; bread crumbs and croutons, fried foods from takeaways; chips and candy, soup mixes and stocks.
So what are the alternatives to food products containing gluten? The American Institute of Diabetes has a section about gluten free suggestions on its web site. They recommend eating a well balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, particularly pulses like peas and beans, nuts, eggs poultry, fish and lean meat. Low fat dairy products are also recommended by them as long as the additives they contain are gluten free. Cereals and grains that do not contain gluten include: buckwheat; corn; millet; quinoa; rice; sorghum; flax; soy and tapioca. There are plenty of food products to choose from that do not include gluten in them. You just have to be careful in making your selections at the supermarket. If you are unsure bout some of the food products in a supermarket, you could visit a health food shop which specializes in gluten free products. They can be more expensive though.
A search of the Internet will reveal many thousands of links to gluten free recipe web sites. Your difficulty will only be to select just a few and stick with them. Here are some suggestions from the net. Allrecipes.com is a popular choice because they have thousands of recipes and a specific section for gluten free recipes. They include readers’ reviews who have tried these recipes which are very useful in deciding what to try. Each recipe has natural looking photographs of the finished meal, a complete list of ingredients and easy to follow instructions. The UK BBC food site also has a section containing over 3,500 gluten free food recipes. It has a category list so that you can choose starters and nibbles, light meals and snacks, side dishes, desserts, and brunch. If you are looking specifically for celiac disease recipes, then Celiac.com is the site for you.