Adjusting to a low gluten diet plan means changing your life. Going out to eat, for instance, will always be a problem, particularly when it comes to cross contamination issues. Even french fries at fast food restaurants aren’t safe because many places cook them in the same oil as they cook everything else in, which can lead to you being very sick.
That means that you’re going to have to start taking charge of your own nutrition and health by fundamentally changing how you look at food. Your eating habits will need to change, starting with learning how to cook low-gluten foods.
Expand Culinary Experiences
The best part about finding recipes that are naturally gluten free is that you will be significantly expanding your culinary experiences. Certain types of food are more likely to be made without ingredients with gluten, including Thai food, southern Indian dishes and real Mexican meals.
Shake up your meal habits – literally – by experimenting with gluten free breading for chicken, fish or even veggies. An even mix of masa and corn meal combined with black pepper and seasoning salt will make a very tasty breading. Use an egg wash on your meat or veggies to help the breading stick and then fry in a little olive oil. Different seasonings can evoke a variety of world dining experiences – use fish sauce, sesame oil or ginger for an Asian flavor or cilantro, fennel and lemon for a Mediterranean taste. These flavors and cooking methods can be expanded into stir fry. Make your own or discover gluten free sauces and marinades like those made by San-J.
Gluten Free Medication And Other Gluten Hiding Places
Medicines are getting better about using corn starch instead of gelatinized wheat starch but some generic prescription medications still use wheat starch. Make sure to let your doctor and your pharmacist know if you have celiac disease or some other sensitivity to gluten and specifically ask about the type of medication you’re buying. If the doctor or pharmacist can’t address your concerns and tell you if your medication is safe, it might be worth looking into a second opinion.
Gluten hides in strange places. Soy sauce, barbecue sauce, breakfast cereals (particularly anything sweetened with barley malt, including Rice Crispies, although Rice Chex and Corn Chex are now gluten-free), bindings in processed foods, and various flavorings can all have hidden gluten.
Even when vigorously reading labels, it’s possible to become sick due to cross contamination issues and hidden gluten. However, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (2009) requires packaged food labels to list the presence of certain allergens, including wheat. However, products with rye, barley and malt contain gluten but aren’t always as clear. According to Vanessa Burgess, the author of The Gluten Free Pantry (AuthorHouse, 2007), gluten can be found in modified food starch that doesn’t have a more specific source, MSG, candy, rice syrup, caramel coloring, dextrin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and even in the glue you lick to close an envelope.
Substitute For Grains
Rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and amaranth are not wheat grains but are often used as if they are in the culinary world. You’ll find them in your gluten free bread mixes and can use them as a substitute for pasta in other dishes.
There are substances in many of those grains that get referred to as gluten but they are not similar to the gliadin in wheat, so despite the name confusion, they are not a problem for people who have celiac disease. However, people with a gluten intolerance who also have problems with other grains may have Crohn’s disease as well. Check with your doctor if your sensitivity extends further than wheat products.
Low Glycemic Sandwiches
Corn tortillas may be the most versatile food that a gluten free diet can take advantage of. Tortillas can be used to make
- Sandwiches: Heat in a cast-iron pan, spread just a little bit of olive oil on the top side, flip it when the tortilla starts to bubble, and sprinkle shredded cheese after the flip. When the cheese melts, it’s done. Add meat, fixings, condiments and fold.
- Holders for hot dogs: Add in peppers, onions, relish and other desired condiments.
- Mini pizzas: Add some olive oil to the bottom of the tortilla as you cook it in the cast-iron pan so it will crisp instead of burn.
- Crepes: Coat the tortilla with cinnamon and butter and fry gently since butter smokes far lower than olive oil. Add desired pie filling.
If this article was helpful, you may be interested in Gluten Free Foods and Products for a Healthy Lifestyle which identifies the best gluten-free prepackaged foods or Cooking Techniques for a Gluten Free Diet which helps you if you’re just starting to cook for yourself.