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Cheat Sheet

Living Gluten-Free For Dummies (UK Edition)

Whether you’re making the transition to a gluten-free diet, or just wanting some inspiration in the kitchen, this Cheat Sheet has the answers. It’s packed with tips and detailed advice on shopping for, and living with, a gluten-free diet.

Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

These are just a few of the nutritious foods you can eat when you’re enjoying a gluten-free lifestyle. The list assumes these foods are fresh, because some added ingredients in processed food may contain gluten.

  • Beans and pulses (including soy products such as tofu)

  • Dairy products (milk, yoghurt and cheese)

  • Eggs

  • Fats (including butter, margarine and oil)

  • Fish and shellfish

  • Fruit

  • Meat and poultry

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Vegetables

Gluten-Free Grains and Starches You Can Eat

There are lots of tasty grains and starchy vegetables you can eat while staying on a gluten-free diet. Here are some of the top choices.

  • Amaranth

  • Arrowroot

  • Buckwheat (groats/kasha)

  • Carob

  • Corn or maize (polenta, corn or maize starch)

  • Millet

  • Potatoes

  • Quinoa

  • Rice (any kind)

  • Sago

  • Sorghum

  • Soya beans

  • Sweet potato

  • Tapioca (manioc/cassava)

  • Yam

The Main Foods to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten is a protein found in some cereals. Listed here are those you need to avoid. Anything derived from these cereals (such as, flours, bread and other baked goods, pasta and so on), or products using them in manufacture (such as, sauces and most beers, lagers and stouts) will contain gluten.

  • Wheat (durum, semolina, spelt, bulgur, wheat flour, wheat starch and modified wheat starch, couscous, wheat rusk, wheat bran, wheat germ)

  • Rye

  • Barley

  • Triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye)

Note: Codex wheat starch, as used in many gluten-free products, contains a low level of gluten which is safe for most coeliacs.

Ingredients to Question on a Gluten-free Diet

Gluten can be found in some of the ingredients added to processed foods. Make sure you have a complete and accurate list of gluten-containing ingredients. With some ingredients you may to find out more about their source or consult an up to date Gluten-free Food and Drink Directory (such as that produced by Coeliac UK) before deciding whether a product containing it is gluten-free.

  • Oats and oat bran (may be contaminated during harvesting , storage or processing. May not be tolerated by some coeliacs. Always consult your healthcare team before introducing oats into your diet).

  • Malt and malt extract (usually made from barley and contains gluten; fine if derived from corn or rice).

  • Soy sauce (usually contains wheat).

  • Starch fillers (occasionally the starch filler in medications is derived from wheat).

Ingredients Which Are Usually Gluten-Free

It’s normally okay for coeliacs to eat the ingredients in this list, but it’s still worth reading food labels carefully. If in doubt, don’t eat it!

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Corn malt

  • Dextrose

  • Glucose syrup

  • Maltodextrin

  • Maize starch

  • Modified food starch

  • Monosodium glutamate

  • Rice malt

  • Textured vegetable protein

  • Xanthan gum

Gluten-Free Indulgences

If you’re in the mood for some decadent snacks, you can choose from plenty of gluten-free indulgences. You still have to check the labels, but many varieties of these foods are gluten-free:

  • Tortilla chips

  • Crisps

  • Ice cream and sorbet

  • Chocolate

  • Sweets (not liquorice)

  • Chewing gum

  • Fizzy drinks and squashes (not barley water)

Healthy Gluten-Free Snacks

You still need to read the labels, but here are some nutritious snacks which are usually gluten-free for when you get peckish. Now who said gluten-free diets had to be boring?

  • Fruit (fresh or dried)

  • Raw vegetables (try crudités with dips such as hummus)

  • Nuts

  • Cheese portions (try triangles or strings)

  • Rice cakes

  • Yoghurt

  • Cold meats

  • Popcorn

  • Fruit juice and smoothies

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