Exploring gluten-free options
Discover the answers to questions about gluten that have been driving you crazy!
At Life On a Rice Cake, we know all about the challenges of living with a condition that means you can't eat gluten (like coeliac disease, NCGS and dermatitis herpetiformis).
You'll be pleased to know we're here to help.
From what you can eat to how to go gluten-free, we've got you covered.
There's masses of info below that should answer your questions. Welcome to your gluten-free options guide!
That said, if you'd rather talk it through with a specialist then book a free discovery call with Ali. Just click the link below.
IS GLUTEN EVERYWHERE?
Understanding your gluten-free food options
Does it feel like a food minefield?
Does eating well on a gluten-free diet seem like an impossible dream?
I know what that feels like.
I remember drifting around a supermarket wondering if I could eat sweetcorn. Two hours later, I left with a bag of raw potatoes and a can of Coke.
But you don't have to go through the same problems. Here at Life on a Rice Cake there are tons of ideas to help you have variety, maximum taste and best of all, fun with food. Your dinners don't have to be dull!
So if you're fed up with eating spuds and white rice, a great place to start is with my 7 Day swap programme where you'll learn how to use some wonderful alternatives to make quick, mouthwatering meals.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are some gluten-free food options?
There are many gluten-free options available. In general, if you can grow it in your back garden or hunt it down, it's probably gluten-free. There are also gluten-free versions of bread, pasta, biscuits, pies, cakes, pizza and flour as well as plenty of veggie and vegan alternatives in the chilled and frozen sections of the supermarket.
How can I get help with going gluten-free?
There's so much we can offer you! Take a look at the online courses available (like 'Stop coeliac disease ruling your life!') or choose a 1:1 support session so you can meet your gluten-free goals.
What are some good gluten-free options for breakfast?
It all depends what you love. You could have a fry-up of eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans with hash browns instead of toast or you could have an acai bowl made with fresh fruit, yogurt and your favourite nuts & seeds. But there are plenty of gluten-free cereals and gluten-free toast to choose from. Love porridge? Try buckwheat flakes and flavour with maple syrup. Delish! Need more inspiration? Try an online course.
What food do I need to avoid?
BROWS! Gluten is in Barley, Rye, Oats, Wheat and Spelt. Some people with coeliac disease can't tolerate gluten-free oats so it's best to avoid them until you know whether you're affected. Sometimes, gluten can be removed from BROWS, which is why you might see a label with 'gluten-free wheat starch'.
Is it obvious when gluten is in food?
Sadly, it isn't obvious when food has gluten in. You'll need to be careful around stock cubes, sauces (thickeners can contain gluten), soy sauce, mustard jars, seasonings, salad dressings, sausages (both meat & veggie can contain rusk or oat fibre), orange squash (e.g. barley water), cheap colas, granola, protein bars and more.
How can I make sure a product is gluten-free?
You can check the product's label for a gluten-free certification, or check the ingredients list for any gluten-containing ingredients. In the UK and Europe allergens have to be declared by law, which includes 'cereals containing gluten'; these must be highlighted on the food packet. Sometimes companies will also use a voluntary disclaimer such as 'may contain gluten', which means you must avoid eating it.
Are there gluten-free options for baking?
Yes, there are many gluten-free flours and baking mixes available that can be used as substitutes in baking. But it's important to get a specific gluten-free recipe or your bakes can come out dry and unappealing, which seems unfair when you've put in such effort!
What are some gluten-free options for snacks?
You can try dried fruit (raisins, mango etc...), rice cakes with nut butter and protein yogurts, which you can now buy in pouches. Annoyingly, some crisps, protein bars, chocolate and biscuits can contain gluten. But there are always exceptions. In general, the plainer the snack, the more likely it'll be gluten-free. This is especially true of crisps and nuts.
How can I find out more about food that's safe for me to eat?
The online masterclass in 'From Bloated To Brilliant' with coeliac dietitian Cristian Costas goes over avoiding cross-contact, which foods you can eat, reading food labels, hidden sources of gluten, how to get a balanced diet and much more.
What does 'cross-contamination' mean?
Cross-contamination (or 'cross-contact') refers to the very real possibility that your food has had contact with gluten. This might be via a shared fryer (e.g. chips fried in oil that's also had a battered cod), a toaster, a chopping board or a set of tongs (e.g. that have handled cakes that are now being used to pick up a gluten-free brownie). It is not wise to take a risk; always avoid food if you think it's been exposed to gluten.