Are you thinking of a starting a gluten free diet? Do you want some tips on gluten free shopping?
Gluten free foods have become a mainstream option with health food stores and supermarkets now offering a wide range of gluten free alternatives. However it’s a good idea to know the difference between healthy, and not so healthy gluten free foods.
Gluten Free Foods Are Not Always Healthy
Not all gluten free foods are good for your thyroid health. In fact, some gluten free foods are cleverly disguised as health foods. Consequently, they are low in nutrients, and high in unhealthy ingredients.
To discover the truth, check the ingredients listed near the nutritional panel. I recommend you don’t buy food that contains soy, vegetable oils, MSG, or artificial flavors, and preservatives .
Corn (maize) and soy ingredients are often used as cost effective substitutes for wheat. Corn and soy can also initiate symptoms of a food intolerance. Soy in particular should be avoided when you have an under active thyroid. This includes soy oil which is often labelled as ‘vegetable oil’. If you are not sure check to see if the label states the product contains soy.
In this article I list healthy gluten free food alternatives for common foods.
Your Gluten Free Shopping List
Did you know a strict gluten free diet could help heal your thyroid? To help you get started this gluten free shopping list offers alternatives to some of the most common grain based products.
- Breads: rice, buckwheat + ‘wheat free’ varieties.
- Breakfast cereals: organic corn flakes, rice bubbles, Amaranth, puffed buckwheat + gluten free muesli.
- Flours: 100% buckwheat, Besan (chickpea), chestnut, coconut, Lupin, rice + potato.
- Non-gluten grains: amaranth, buckwheat, rice, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff.
- Noodles: rice + 100% buckwheat.
- Pasta: vegetable + rice varieties.
- Porridge: Quinoa, rice + Polenta porridge.
- Rice: brown, white, and wild.
- Crackers: brown rice varieties free of gluten ingredients.
+ Gluten can be hidden so it pays to be a ‘label detective’. These are some grocery items that you may not expect contain gluten. This includes soy sauce, baking powder, flavourings, and hydrolysed vegetable protein.
+ Beer usually contains gluten as it is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of germinated cereals, usually barley. If you wish to keep drinking beer it’s possible to buy gluten free beer.
+ Cross contamination of gluten free foods can occur during the manufacturing process when these foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten. For example, if the same equipment is used to make a variety of snack foods some gluten free items may become contaminated. Food labels often include a ‘may contain gluten’ statement if this is the case.
If I’m Intolerant To Gluten Could I Also Be Intolerant To Dairy?
It is common for individuals with gluten intolerance to also react to milk and dairy products. If you find you are still experiencing digestive distress after giving up gluten I suggest you eliminate all dairy foods from your diet for at least 4 weeks. This may help improve digestive function particularly if you have been experiencing bloating, flatulence and poorly formed stools.
It is possible to react to two components that are naturally found in milk. This includes casein, the protein component of dairy products, and lactose which is the sugar naturally found in milk and dairy products. There are milk products now marketed as ‘lactose free’ but it is likely they will still contain casein.