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A Gluten Free Food Primer

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Where can I find gluten free foods?

A Gluten Free Food Primer

Gluten free means the food or product does not contain gluten, a protein found in many grains. Many people erroneously believe this simply means “wheat free,” but gluten is found in grains other than wheat including barley, malt or malt flavoring, rye and oats, pasta and other common cereals or grains.

Many common foods contain gluten including bread, cake, cookies, pasta, beer, oat and other flour-based products. It can prove challenging to shop for gluten free food as it requires reading each and every label to eliminate not just wheat, but also many barley, malt or rye products. Many shoppers are disappointed to read down a food label only to find minute ingredients at the end of the label.

The good news is that adhering to a gluten free diet is easier to adhere to than ever, especially with the new product lines from providers such as Fantastic Foods, which carries a complete line of vegetarian wheat and gluten free food.

Here is what you need to know to remain gluten free:

  1. Know what you can and cannot eat! If you have celiac disease or multiple food sensitivities and/or intolerance to gluten-based products, it's important to understand exactly what you can and cannot eat. Obviously, most grain products are out of the question, but so are many casseroles, gravies, salad dressings and soy sauce. Beer is also a big “no-no” for many people!
  2. Remember, gluten-based products are not always obvious so read the labels when shopping.
  3. If you are eating out or dining at a restaurant; ask before eating or bring your own. Have food prepared fresh in order to avoid cross contamination and specify what ingredient cannot be used. Request the manager to inform the chef if needed.
Look for gluten free labels. This voluntary label is increasingly being adopted by food manufacturers who produce a wide range of gluten free food including gluten free beer, gluten free bread, gluten free cake, chocolate and cookies, gluten free flour, pasta and even pizza!

   

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