Friday, November 11, 2011

Gluten Free Diagnosis and Diet Change: Part One: The Helpful Shopping List

For those recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, removing all gluten from one’s daily diet without any notice is daunting. Perhaps even more daunting than the instant diet change is the first grocery shopping trip after the diagnosis. Suddenly, all of the food that was so easily thrown into the cart last week must now be carefully scrutinized for any trace of gluten; and to your horror, gluten is in all of it!
This is how I felt standing in the store with my husband, both of us looking from one end to the other, wondering if plain meat, vegetables, and nuts were all we would be bringing home that night. But of course that didn’t happen; within two months we were both shopping like gluten free pros.
This is the list to get you by as you learn and research more about gluten and how to avoid it:

The Gluten Free Newby’s Shopping Plan List
Important Notes!!!!
--Just because the product ingredients don’t list the word “gluten” does not mean it is gluten free. Gluten is a sneaky little protein composite, and comes in many other ingredients under many other names (see the next post in this series to learn what they are).
--Organic does not mean gluten free. There are organic gluten free products, but organic and gluten free are not synonyms.

·         Soda: Stay away from the dark sodas this time—a coloring used in some of them comes from a gluten source. 7-Up, Sprite, Ginger Ale, or Mountain Dew are safe.
·         Juice: Grape, apple, pomegranate, and cranberry juice are safe. Kool-Aid is also safe.
·         Alcohol: No beer (sorry, but gluten is in wheat, and wheat is in beer).
·         Coffee: Decaf or flavored coffees are not gluten free unless specifically listed.
·         Tea: Lipton teas are safe, among many others, but this is a good start.

Grab some corntortillas, and then run! Don’t walk slowly down the aisle smelling all the baked goods you can’t have. If your store carries gluten free bread, it will be in the freezer aisle.

Canned Goods:
Canned veggies, fruit, and tuna are safe. Canned soup is your new enemy, so for this first trip select from one of these Progresso gluten free soups: Southwestern Style Chicken Chowder, Chicken Rice with Vegetables, Chicken Cheese Enchilada Flavor, Manhattan Clam Chowder, New England Clam Chowder, Potato Broccoli & Cheese Chowder,  and 99% Fat Free New England Clam Chowder.

Rice Chex and Corn Chex cereal are gluten free, and even say so on the front of the box (some of the generic Chex cereal also say gluten free on the front). Oatmeal in itself contains no gluten, but is usually contaminated by wheat in the factory process, so look for Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal, which is processed in a special gluten free factory.

Heinz Ketchup, Vinegars, Hot & Spicy Ketchup Kick'rs, are safe. French’s Mustard, Hellmann's Mayonnaise, Best Foods Mayonnaise, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, Miracle Whip, Grey Poupon, and Vlasic pickles. Until you can better read labels for gluten, stick to these brands that are safe.

Milk (Silk or Soy Dream soy milk if you prefer/need), eggs, and Yoplait yogurt. Cheese: some of them, generally string cheese for whatever reason, may have gluten products in them. A block of plain, cheddar cheese will be just fine. The regular Land O Lakes butter is safe to begin with, as well as original Country Crock butter.

Boar’s Head meats, cheeses and condiments are all gluten free. Hillshire Farms deli select-roast beef, pastrami, baked ham, honey ham. Spam lunch meats-all types. Oscar Mayer D.F. Smoked Turkey Breast, Oscar Mayer D.F. Honey Smoked Turkey Breast, Oscar Mayer D.F.Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Oscar Mayer Chicken Breast Barbecue Seasoned, Oscar Mayer Rotisserie Style Chicken Breast, Oscar Mayer Premium Turkey Breast Smoked 98% Fat Free, Oscar Mayer Homestyle White Chicken Oven Roasted.

Frozen Foods:
Frozen foods are not gluten free friendly. However, there are some options for you if they are available. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones have the following frozen meals that are gluten free: Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans, Broccoli & Cheddar Potatoes, and Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata. Ore Ida potatoes are safe. Amy’s Kitchen has organic frozen meals, and few of them are gluten free—but be sure to look for the words “gluten free” on the front of the package. Amy’s has a gluten free frozen cheese pizza available. Certain ice creams are safe, but again, certain  

Beef, ground turkey, Butterball Turkey, Pork.

Pasta is limited to the following brands that are marked gluten free: Tinkyada, Glutino, DeBoles, Gluten Free Pantry, and Bionaturae, just to name a few. Pair these new pastas with safe pasta sauce such as Classico—all sauces, Prego—Traditional Sauce, Three Cheese Sauce, and Mushroom. Rice is safe.

If it’s plain, you can have it. Avoid the package mixes or sauces until you learn how to read labels for gluten.

Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds; Roasted Salted; Honey Roasted.
Popcorn, plain or buttered (save flavors/seasoning for label reading)
Mission tortilla chips, other tortilla chips, Health Valley: rice bran graham crackers.

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