Going Gluten Free, Dairy Free & More

Transitioning to a gluten free and/or a dairy free lifestyle is not exactly easy and takes some effort.  Here is some useful information for you as you journey into your new lifestyle.

Gluten Free

Grains allowed in gluten free lifestyle:

Rice, Corn (Maize), Soy, Potato, Tapioca, Beans, Garfava, Sorghum, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, Arrowroot, Amaranth, Teff, Montina, Flax and Nut Flours.

Grains not allowed in any form in gluten free lifestyle:

Wheat (Einkorn, Durum, Faro, Graham, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt), Rye, Barley and Triticale.

Foods/products that may contain gluten:

Beers, Ales, Lager, Breading & Coating Mixes, Brown Rice Syrup, Communion Wafers, Croutons, Dressings, Drugs & Over-the-Counter Medications, Energy Bars, Flour & Cereal Products, Herbal Supplements, Imitation Bacon, Imitation Seafood, Marinades, Nutritional Supplements, Pastas, Processed Luncheon Meats, Sauces & Gravies, Self-basting Poultry, Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids, Soup Bases, Stuffings, Dressings, Thickeners (Roux), Vitamins & Mineral Supplements

How about alcohol?

Distilled alcoholic beverages and vinegars are gluten free. Distilled products do not contain any harmful gluten peptides. Research indicates that the gluten-peptide is too large to carry over in the distillation process. This process leaves the resultant liquid gluten free. Wine and hard liquor beverages are gluten free. Beers, ales, lagers and malt vinegars are NOT gluten free. Gluten-free beers are now available in the United States.

Always read the label!

The key to understanding the gluten-free diet is to become a good label reader. Don’t eat foods with labels that list questionable ingredients unless you can verify they do not contain or are not derived from prohibited grains. Labels must be read every time foods are purchased. Manufacturers can change ingredients at any time. As of 2006, wheat used in products is identified on the label.

Be a food detective!

Call First. You can verify ingredients by calling or writing a food manufacturer and specifying the ingredient and the lot number of the food in question. State your needs clearly – be patient, persistent and polite.

If In Doubt, Go Without

Don’t eat a food if you are unable to verify the ingredients or if the ingredient list is unavailable. Regardless of the amount eaten, if you have celiac disease, damage to the small intestine occurs every time gluten is consumed, whether symptoms are present or not.

Add One New Food At A Time

When adding a food item to your diet, introduce only one new food at a time. Listen to your body for adverse reactions before trying a second new food item.

Wheat Free Is Not Gluten Free

Products labeled wheat free are not necessarily gluten free. They may still contain spelt, rye or barley-based ingredients that are not gluten free. Spelt is a form of wheat.

Some good resources for you during your gluten free journey:

  1. Jules Gluten Free – she has a wonderful GF flour that you can buy online or at natural food stores and her blog has recipes and useful information.
  2. Living Without Magazine – wonderful online resource for all things about food alergies and sensitivities. Also check out their magazine.
  3. List of gluten free foods – helpful list for anyone trying to find out if certain foods contain gluten.
  4. Gluten Free Works – great articles, recipes and so much more!
  5. Understanding gluten free and food allergy labeling

Dairy Free

Here is a quick overview of what it means to be casein free/dairy free and how to get started.

* Source: Living Without Magazine

Foods that contain casein

  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Half & Half
  • Yogurt
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheese (most, except some soy brands)
  • Butter
  • Sherbet
  • White or Milk Chocolate
  • Ice Cream
  • Ice Milk
  • Creamed Soups and Vegetables
  • Soup Bases
  • Puddings
  • Custard
  • Whey

Bovines and you

All bovine milk and milk products contain casein. Avoid foods derived from goat and sheep milk, as well as cow dairy products.

Foods that may contain casein

  • Margarine
  • Tuna Fish
  • Dairy-Free Cheese (most brands)
  • Cosmetics, Medicines
  • Lactic Acid
  • Artificial Flavorings
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • Hot Dogs
  • Lunch Meats
  • Sausage
  • Ghee

“Dairy free” may contain casein!

Many non-dairy foods contain casein proteins. Avoid foods that contain any ingredient with casein or caseinate.

Casein-free alternatives

  • Rice, Soy or Potato-Based Milks
  • Pareve Creams and Creamers
  • Mocha Mix
  • Tofutti Brand Better Than Cream Cheese®
  • Tofutti Brand Sour Supreme®
  • Sorbet
  • Italian Ices
  • Soy Ice Cream (not all flavors)
  • Ghee (if guaranteed casein free)
  • Soymage Cheese
  • Tofutti Brand Non-Dairy Desserts (not all flavors)
  • Coconut Butter
  • Imagine Brand Soups
  • Coconut Milk

Kosher is good

Kosher pareve foods are casein free. Foods certified as kosher non-dairy or pareve are free of dairy proteins.

Be a food detective.

Always read labels.

If in doubt, go without.

Call food companies if ingredients are suspect.