Getting started on the gluten-free diet can be easy. Here are some simple steps to guide you:
Concentrate on the familiar foods you can eat. These include:
Plain does not have to mean bland. Plain spices and herbs are gluten free so use them to add flavor to your food.
Learn which grains to avoid. These contain gluten and are not safe:
Learn which grains are gluten-free and how to include them in your meals. These grains are versatile and nutritious.
Learn about gluten-free flours.
All the gluten-free grains are ground into flour. Gluten-free flour is also made from potatoes, tapioca, nuts and beans. You can buy them in health foods stores and increasingly in supermarkets and on the Internet. There are numerous gluten-free cookbooks and you will find gluten-free recipes in cookbooks you already use. Some of your old recipes may already be gluten-free or easily adapted to be gluten free.
There are also easy-to-use gluten-free baking mixes for breads, cookies, cakes, muffins and other baked goods. Specialty companies even offer ready-made baked gluten-free products including bread, cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels, tortillas, pizzas and many more.
Don't count out pasta! A variety of gluten-free pastas are now available including those made from rice, corn, quinoa and buckwheat. (Buckwheat noodles are also called Soba noodles. Read the label to make sure they are 100 percent buckwheat and do not include any wheat.)
Celiac disease is a serious, lifelong, gastrointestinal disorder that can cause a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms such us diarrhea, abdominal distension, weight loss, malnutrition and skin disorders due to permanent intolerance to gluten, a complex mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.