Would You Like To Be Gluten Free?
Finding gluten free foods is relatively easy if you know what you are looking for. If you have decided to try the gluten free lifestyle, in order to make your transition to being gluten free easier, I put together a basic gluten free diet food list.
General Rule of Thumb
A few simple rules to follow is that most unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, oils and fats are gluten free, and form the basis for diets, like the Paleo Diet. These foods can also be thought of as ‘single-ingredient’ foods that differ from those that contain many different ingredients combined together. Not only are they wheat and gluten free, they also carry other health benefits of being high in nutrients and easy to digest. With my personal gluten free experiences, I have learned that most grocers set up their single ingredient foods along the outer four walls of the store.
- Frozen Fresh Fruit
- Meat (no breading, pre-marinated or sauces)
- Fresh Vegetables
- Frozen Fresh Vegetables
- Beans and Lentils
- Rice (try to stay with a whole grain rice)
Gluten Free Products
Most grocery stores have gluten free sections where you can find shelves full of traditional products that are wheat and gluten free. The use of wheat flour is replaced with other flours that do not contain gluten, yet they can still retain good flavor. Believe it or not, there are several gluten free flours available that taste great ranging from chestnut flour, rice, mesquite, almond and quinoa flour. These gluten free grains are used to make a variety of products:
- Baking Mix
- Pancake Mix
- Waffle Mix
- Seasoning Mixes
- Cookie Mixes
- Cake Mixes
- Pizza Crusts
- Corn Grits
In my seven years of being gluten free, we have come across plenty of snacks that are gluten free and even my kids love and prefer these options over the traditional products:
- Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- Cheddar Cheese Curls
- Multi-Seed Crackers
- Rice Cakes
- Cereal (many Chex cereals: Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Chocolate Chex, Strawberry Chex, Honey Nut Chex and Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles)
Please note that even though these products can be tasty and are gluten free, they do contain calories and many times contain sugar. So remember, just because it says are gluten free, doesn’t mean they are calorie free. Also, some of these products may be more expensive, but in most cases I suggest they just be used to supplement a diet that is rich in single ingredient food, and to give some variety. If you stick with whole, natural foods then it is even easier to create a diet that is gluten free.
Caution-Surprise Foods that Contain Gluten
I realize that this is a gluten free diet food list, but when I started my GF lifestyle, I was really surprised to find these foods do or can contain gluten, so be cautious when purchasing:
- Soy Sauce
- Canned Soups
- Lunch Meats
- Soup Broths
- Salad Dressings
If you want to use any of these items, please read the label or look for those that are specifically labeled Gluten Free.
Have you thought about trying a gluten free diet? Would you find it difficult to stay within the outer four walls of your grocery store to find single food ingredients? If you are just trying to be gluten free for the first time, please share with us what you are finding the easiest and the most challenging part of this lifestyle.