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What you need to know to eat Gluten Free
Starting Gluten Free PDF Print E-mail

If you're newly diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, the thought of eliminating gluten from your diet can be overwhelming; in part, because gluten is so common in many different foods

What is a gluten-free diet?

A gluten-free diet is 100% elimination of the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye.  Other grains also have gluten.  The Mayo Clinic lists them as farina, graham flour, semolina, durham, bulgur, kamut, kasha, matzo meal, spelt (a form of wheat), and triticale. 

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Reading Labels PDF Print E-mail

When you first begin the gluten-free diet, reading labels can be very challenging. Oftentimes people develop a completely new understanding for what surprising ingredients are in our foods. The longer you're gluten-free, the fewer surprises there are.  You should know the ingredients in your food and what might contain gluten.  That means understanding ingredients a little bit more.  Don't worry, getting good at reading labels comes with time.

It would be very easy for us if companies just used the term gluten as an ingredient, but unfortunately they don't. So we have to do what we can to know what ingredients are gluten-free and which aren't.  Celiac.com has a great list of safe and unsafe ingredients for celiacs that would be helpful to bring with you grocery shopping.  Using these lists as a reference could help keep you from unknowingly purchasing something with gluten.

US Food Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004

Reading labels became a bit simpler when the US Food and Drug Administration's Food Labeling and Consumer Protection Act became a law in 2004.  It requires companies to declare all major allergens (milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans) on their ingredient labels.

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Creating a Gluten-Free Kitchen PDF Print E-mail

When you start a gluten-free lifestyle, your kitchen will need an overhaul.  We're not talking about a $10,000 renovation, but rather a few minor changes to ensure the safety of your gluten-free food and gluten-free cooking.

The University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center offered a few tips for creating a safe cooking environment.

Creating a "safe" gluten-free cooking environment

In order to become completely gluten-free, it is important to "de-gluten" your kitchen.

1) If you plan to have both gluten containing and gluten-free food in your household, it is important to determine which foods are "SAFE" for the family members who have celiac disease. Use a laundry marker and label "GF" (gluten-free) on all safe foods and condiments.

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Gluten-Free Shopping Locations PDF Print E-mail

Shopping for gluten-free food can be a challenge at times.  Depending on where you live, your selection of gluten-free products could range from exceptional down to limited. It is important for gluten-free shoppers to tell store management about products they would like to see in their store.  If managers don't know there's a demand for gluten-free, they probably won't purchase them.

It's also important for customers to shop around and survey which store best serves your gluten-free needs.  And ultimately, if you can't find what you're looking for at a nearby store, then you might have to go on the internet and get your products mailed directly to you.  There are several mail-order companies that service many gluten-free companies so you can buy what you want.

We have put together two lists of locations in which you can find gluten-free foods:

List of Gluten-Free Friendly Stores serving Minnesota

List of Mail-Order Companies

 
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