September 25, 2008
Help for Those New to the Gluten-Free Diet
First, try to focus on what you can eat, rather than focusing on what you can’t eat. You can eat everything that does not contain wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats.
Fresh, unprocessed foods such as:
Fruits and vegetables (I won’t make a list, but that’s a lot of food!)
As for processed foods, learn to read labels. Wheat has to be declared in the list of ingredients or in an allergy line below the ingredients. That means that almost everything that contains gluten will say so on the label. Rye is pretty obvious in things such as rye bread. Barley most often comes up in malt flavoring, such as in cereals.
There are many gluten-free choices in the following categories, just check the label for the brand your store carries.
Canned fruits and vegetables
Frozen fruits and vegetables
Tomato sauces such as spaghetti sauce
Other pasta sauces
Canned beans and refried beans
Canned meats such as tuna and salmon
Chips (potato and corn based)
Juice and other drinks
Other processed meat
A couple of specific gluten-free items that are useful to know about are:
Dinty Moore Beef Stew
There are some great gluten-free pasta choices. Tinkyada and Pastariso are brands I particularly like. I can find Tinkyada in the health food isle of my local Giant grocery store. They also carry Enviro Kids cereals. Health food stores are a great resource and carry a selection of gluten-free pastas and cereals.
If you’re new to this, you’re probably wondering about oats. Pure oats are safe for most celiacs. According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, 5-6% of celiacs do not tolerate pure oats. Pure oats are those grown in such a way to avoid contamination with wheat. You can find oats labeled gluten-free at health food stores and on the Internet. Cream Hill Estates is a brand I have used. Oats found at a regular grocery store are likely to be heavily contaminated with wheat. That would also be true of processed foods containing oats, even if the other ingredients are gluten-free, unless pure oats have been used.
Are you new to the gluten-free diet? Leave a comment or send and email and let me know how it’s going for you.
Just wanted to thank you for this comprehensive site. I still don't know for sure what is up with my son (32 months old) and gluten but we noticed he was having issues with his nose and that it was always far worse when he was eating.
So just a couple of days ago I got some basic supplies in (bread, pasta and flour) and have kept him off the gluten since Sunday night. He is sleeping better, his nose no longer bothers him and he's less grumpy too!
I'm trying to get back to the doctor before Christmas so we can find out for sure one way or another but I really appreciated your explanation about the deal with oats (hence this comment.)
I was a bit stuck for what to give him for breakfast yesterday so having been told that oats would be fine, I made him some porridge. I couldn't understand why this troubled him but it did. And thanks to what you wrote, I can now see why ;)
Thank you again,
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