Gluten Free Made Easy
Today’s post is meant to be a quick, practical guide to help you with gluten-free eating. Gluten elimination can be helpful for a variety of health conditions. Some common things I find it helpful for are chronic pain, digestive issues, skin issues, thyroid health and allergies.
Perhaps you just want to experiment with your diet. Or maybe you were told by a health care provider to go gluten-free. Whatever the case, you can use this guide to navigate the world of gluten-free eating.
With this article I aim to reduce any anxiety you may have about gluten-free eating. It may seem daunting at first. Doesn’t everything have gluten in it? What will be left to eat? Will I have to live off expensive, special foods?
There are actually many everyday foods that are delicious and naturally gluten-free. Below, I’ve listed some of them. For more information you can look at the Canadian Celiac Association’s website . Let’s dig in.
Foods that you can use as staples:
– Gluten free bread/ pasta/ wraps
– Gluten-free oats: oats are naturally gluten-free but they can be contaminated with a significant amount of gluten. If you need to be really strict, get oats labelled “gluten-free”.
– Sweet potato
– Regular (white) potato
– Cauliflower rice
– Zucchini noodles
– You can also skip the starch sometimes and have unprocessed meat, poultry or fish with vegetables as a main meal
– Many brands of hummus are gluten-free, you can have it with veggies or gluten-free crackers
– Home made guacamole with veggies or gluten-free crackers
– Fruits or veggies
– Apple or banana slices dipped in peanut butter: nut butters are a grey area. Some are gluten-free, some are not. You’ll have to do some research before you pick one. Most are low in gluten so if you’re not strongly sensitive (i.e. a celiac patient) you may be fine. Almond butter is usually gluten-free.
– Bars labelled “gluten-free”
– Unseasoned nuts
– Plain popcorn
– Cheese (if you don’t need to be dairy free as well)
– Energy balls made with mashed dates and your favourite nuts and seeds
– Sweet potato or kale chips (homemade)
– Rice cakes: check the ingredients to make sure there aren’t any gluten-containing additives or get one labelled “gluten-free”
– Plain yogurt (you can add fruit and honey)
Treats (if you need to let loose once in a while)
– Home-made peanut butter cookies: see note about nut butters above
– Nachos and salsa: check salsa ingredients for additives containing gluten. Many nacho brands are gluten-free but always research before.
– Many common types of chips are gluten free
– Most ice cream and sherbet
– Chocolate chips
Note: don’t forget about drinks – drinks made with barley (like beer) contain gluten.
Of course, you can get adventurous and check out gluten-free websites and recipe books. They can teach you how to make gluten-free meals and treats.
If you need more help with your diet, reach out to me. As a naturopathic doctor I offer food sensitivity testing. If you’re curious about your food sensitivities, book an appointment or free 15-minute consult. We can talk about whether this test is the right fit for you.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected].