Gluten free made easy

Need to reduce or avoid gluten in your diet? Here are some tips to make your gluten-free living easier.

Foods to avoid: All forms of wheat, including spelt, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), kamut, bulgur (cracked wheat), couscous, semolina, durum flour, matzo meal, graham flour and wheat germ. Other than wheat and its many derivatives, rye, barley and oats also contain gluten, so avoid them. You’ll need to stay vigilant – many of these ingredients are included in processed food, so check the list of ingredients to be sure.

Foods to include: there are still lots of foods you can enjoy:

  • all fruit and vegetables;
  • all beans, lentils and soy products;
  • all nuts, seeds and dried fruit/veg;
  • dairy items;
  • meat, fish and poultry;
  • eggs and tofu

The rest is a matter of trading the grains you can’t eat for the grains you can. So no wheat breads, cereals, crackers, and pastas. Instead opt for rice (all types), wild rice, corn meal (polenta), quinoa, millet, buckwheat, potato and sweet potato.

You will find a number of rice-based items in the Asian food aisles and many gluten-free products in the health food store. There is rice pasta, gluten-free muesli and many types of gluten free flakes, for instance, for making porridge.

Try to minimise food items made of flour/dough. Gluten-sensitive people are better off eating whole grains, as grains and not ground into flour.

Some basic tips:

  • for breakfast have a fruit & nut smoothie or an omelette and salad
  • replace bread with a rice meal, a salad or a stir fry
  • carry with you a suitable snack (e.g. nuts, seeds, yoghurt, fruit) at all times
  • stock the house in abundance with fresh produce, like fruit and vegetables
  • prepare in advance: plan your meals, invest time in shopping and cooking.
  • keep separate cutting boards for gluten-free foods to avoid contamination.
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