Living your best gluten free life
The diagnosis comes back positive. You are a Celiac, are gluten intolerant or are gluten sensitive. Now what?
Gluten free lifestyle support
Living a gluten free life has become much easier in the recent past. Awareness in the medical, food and food supplement industries affords the gluten intolerant many more resources for continuing education and accessibility to the foods that heal and nourish us. Search ‘gluten free’ on line and hundreds of sites are listed. Lists of safe foods, seasonings, additives, alcoholic drinks and other ingredients common our food supply are now available on line.
National non-profits provide the latest research, outreach, education and training to the food industry for the benefit of the consumer. Local support groups for the consumers are available in most major cities and many smaller communities. Web based blogs and recipe sites are endless. Gluten is destined to become a household word!
Retail food choices are exploding
Food products are no longer relegated to just the organic or specialty food manufacturers. General Mills now offers gluten free cereals at your chain grocery store and Con Agra is launching a line of ancient grain gluten free flours. Other manufacturers are now offering ready made gluten free products from snacks to frozen ethnic entrees to desserts sold at general food stores. Even Costco!
Online, the choices seem endless through sites such as The Gluten Free Mall and Amazon. Best to check blogs for reviews on taste and quality before buying.
Labels are not a guarantee
Read the labels and look for the allergy disclaimers. Not all foods labeled as gluten free pass the 20 PPM or below threshold, a goal advocated by the national gluten free non-profits. The FDA has yet to publish their position on the definition of gluten free causing regulatory oversight to lag. If the food product is not manufactured in a dedicated gluten free facility, cross contamination can occur and disclaimers must be made on the label.
The industry is rapidly adopting the stringent certification programs offered by the non-profits. The certification allows manufacturers to label their products ‘certified gluten free’ and use a recognized certification logo. Random testing is part of the ongoing activities required to maintain the certification. This is your best bet in the near term to avoid any gluten.
Although dining out still requires caution, many restaurants are now educating their chefs and wait staff on how to prepare and plate foods for the gluten free diner.
Eat simple. With concise discussion, your server will understand that grilled or sautéed entrees can be prepared separately but be sure to request that no coatings be added. Poaching and steaming are almost always safe. Be specific about what spices and seasonings are used. Not all are gluten free. Ask that all sauces be held out or put on the side until you are certain that no gluten products have been added.
Search for restaurants in your city that are gluten free friendly. Yelp is a great source for locating eateries by city and by specialties.
Getting on with gluten free
Once gluten is in your rear view mirror and your taste buds adjust a little, you won’t miss wheat and your good health will be all the reward you need!
Also, see articles on gluten free foods, resources and products
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