Published On: Mon, May 11th, 2015

5 Tips For Going Gluten-Free

You might already be diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, or suffering from a gluten intolerance, and this week is a chance to share your favourite gluten-free recipes and advice. There may be a few among you who are just beginnina gluten-free diet, maybe because you’ve just been diagnosed with – or you believe you might have – Coeliac Disease.

It is very important that if you believe you might be suffering from Coeliac Disease or a non-coeliac gluten sensitivity that you visit a doctor/ GP for advice. It is not recommended that you stop eating gluten before you have been to see a health professional for your symptoms, as for the test for Coeliac Disease to be accurate you must keep eating gluten like normal.

If you have been properly diagnosed by a health professional as needing to follow a gluten-free diet, we have a few tips on how to get started. Thankfully, there are lots of great products out there and there is increasing awareness of gluten intolerances, so it is much easier to get great gluten-free products than it was even a few years ago.

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1. TRY THE ALTERNATIVE

You can start by trying gluten-free alternatives to the foods you usually enjoy. There’s gluten-free pasta and bread as well as crackers, pastries and savoury snacks, including supermarket own brands. You can get gluten-free alternatives to flour and make all your favourite breads, gluten-free baking mixes and gluten-free pizza recipes.

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2. KEEP IT NATURAL

It’s important to remember that there are lots of foods which are not only delicious but also naturally gluten-free. Start with fresh vegetables and meat (if you’re vegetarian/vegan try tofu and potatoes with veggies instead), wholegrain plain white rice and gluten-free grains like quinoa and polenta.

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3. CALL AHEAD WHEN EATING OUT

One recurrent concern among Coeliacs and gluten-intolerant sufferers is trying to find somewhere suitable to eat out. Our tip is to make sure you call ahead, and confirm if they have meals which are gluten-free (and free from any contaminants), rather than get there and be disappointed. With resources like Can I Eat There?, eating out when you’re living a gluten-free lifestyle is much easier.

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4. LEARN YOUR LABELS

Look for key words to avoid when picking up prepackaged items in the shops, these include: wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt. These words are often put in bold.

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5. EXPERIMENT WITH RECIPES

It will probably take you a while to adjust to your new gluten-free lifestyle, and that’s okay. Experiment making lots of different recipes, using fresh vegetables, naturally gluten-free grains, and using all the different gluten-free alternatives you can find. You’re bound to find your gluten-free food favourites in no time.

We’ve got plenty of ideas to get you started, with gluten-free recipes online and in both Gluten-Free Heaven and Free-From Heaven.

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Head over to our guide to gluten-free diet for more information including the symptoms of Coeliac Disease.

What are your top tips for starting a gluten-free diet? Leave your comments below…

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