By: Kelli Pitrone, Registered Dietitian & Vivante Health Nutrition Team Manager
Going gluten free can be quite the challenge, especially when you’re just getting started. Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease and gluten-free eating is a non-negotiable life change you must make. Or maybe your digestive symptoms indicate you’re dealing with NCGS. Either way, on the surface it seems simple: just avoid eating grains that contain gluten, like wheat, barley, rye, and triticale, right? The problem is that a lot of mainstream products contain sources of gluten that aren’t so obvious. Follow the tips below to help make gluten-free eating a breeze.
Read the Labels
Take time to read all the labels and the ingredient list for packaged foods. In bold letters at the bottom will be a statement that identifies common allergens. This will help you identify if the item contains gluten. Also be mindful that just because something says “wheat free” it does not necessarily mean it’s gluten free! Other gluten-containing ingredients you may see are:
● Barley (flakes, flour, pearl)
● Breading, bread stuffing
● Brewer’s yeast
● Durum (type of wheat)
● Farro/faro (also known as spelt or dinkel)
● Graham flour
● Hydrolyzed wheat protein
● Kamut (type of wheat)
● Malt, malt extract, malt syrup,
● Malt vinegar
● Malted milk
● Matzo, matzo meal
● Modified wheat starch
● Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, whole oats (unless they are from pure, uncontaminated oats)
● Rye bread and flour
● Seitan (a meat-like food derived from wheat gluten used in many vegetarian dishes)
● Spelt (type of wheat also known as farro, faro, or dinkel)
● Wheat bran
● Wheat flour
● Wheat germ
● Wheat starch
If you know you’re going out, take a second to scope out the restaurant’s website and read over their menu ahead of time. Know your gluten-free options and get an idea of what you’re going to order. If ordering something different from the rest of the table tends to make you uncomfortable, practice what you’re going to say to build your confidence.
It never hurts to call ahead and inform the restaurant that you’re going to be dining with them and will be ordering gluten free. It will not only help them prepare, but will also give you a feel for how seriously they take their gluten-free meal preparation.
Bring a Dish
Going to a cookout or get-together? Ensure you’ll have something to eat by bringing a gluten-free dish to share.
Volunteer to Host
Take advantage of nice weather or a special event by hosting a get-together yourself. You’ll be in charge of a few of the dishes, ensuring there will be gluten-free options for everyone to enjoy. Let your guests know which items are gluten free, and they’ll see how easy it can be to have a gluten-free party.
With practice and a little preparation, eating a gluten-free diet can be easy and and enjoyable. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. At Vivante Health, we’re here for our members 24/7.
About Vivante Health
Vivante Health is an innovative digital healthcare company reinventing the way chronic conditions are managed. Our mission is to fill the unmet needs of people living with chronic conditions that are invisible, neglected, or stigmatized, starting with digestive disease. Our health management ecosystem, GIThrive, empowers people—through brilliant technology and advanced science—to spend less time worrying about their digestive condition and more time living life.