For more expert advice and information please see Gigi Stewart, M.A. at glutenfreegigi.com
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, barley, and by-products such as malt. (Some people are not sensitive to oats) It may be hidden in many food products that contain grains such as baked goods, desserts, salad dressings, cereals, and other prepared foods.
Gluten intake is restricted for people who are sensitive and unable to digest these grains and by-products; eating them will create stomach problems. In addition, sensitivity to gluten decreases absorption of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients.
Try to consume mostly wholesome foods so you do not mistakenly eat a food with hidden gluten in it.
Foods to Consume:
• Protein (lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese) without sauces or gravies
• All vegetables except those creamed with flour
• Fresh fruits; canned, dried or fruit juices
• Milk: whole, skim, 1%, 2% or buttermilk
• Bread made from arrowroot, rice, corn, soybean, potato and gluten-free wheat flour. Be careful that corn bread doesn’t contain any wheat or white flour. Cornmeal, rice, and grits may be used.
• All beverages, unless they contain wheat flour
• Sherbet, ice cream (without gluten stabilizers), homemade rice pudding or tapioca pudding, ices
• Salt, pepper, herbs, cornstarch, vinegar, nuts, coconut, dry mustard, gravies made with cornstarch, potato, rice flour or tapioca
• Soups are fine except when thickened with wheat flour. Use cornstarch or potato flour instead.
• Sugar, molasses, jelly or jam, honey, corn syrup
Foods to Avoid:
• Chocolate milk (with cereal additives), malted milk
• All bread and bread products, including bread crumbs, crackers, rolls, bagels, pancakes, waffles, pretzels, matzo (unless the item specifically states that it is gluten-free)
• Cereals with wheat, rye, barley, kasha, oatmeal, buckwheat, pasta, rice, foods fried with breadcrumbs, or breaded foods
• Thickened or prepared fruits
• Salad dressing; some mayonnaise (get the real mayonnaise to be safe!)
• Malted milk products like Ovaltine, instant coffees, carbonated beverages with malt, ale, beer, gin, whiskey, vodka
• Ice cream cones, sandwiches, pie
• Gravy extracts, mustard, soy sauce, vegetable protein, flour or cereal protein, malt
As you can see, the “foods to avoid” list is very extensive. Be careful, and always read the ingredient list. The longer the ingredient list is, the more you will have to be aware of. Try to consume mostly unprocessed, wholesome foods.