Skip to main content

Starting a Gluten-Free Diet: A Guide for Beginners

fort lauderdale catering and personal chef


It takes a little work and planning to be successful eating gluten-free.

It's one of the most buzzed-about diets today—but how do you get started eating a gluten-free diet? While less than one percent of Americans have celiac disease and follow a gluten-free diet as a medical necessity, more of us are ditching the bread for other reasons. One in five Americans say they try to eat gluten-free foods, while one in six avoid gluten altogether, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.
There are lots of rumors swirling around the gluten-free diet. "Some people believe it's a healthier way to live or an opportunity for weight loss, however there's no research to confirm that removing gluten from your diet leads to either of those things," says Rachel Begun, M.S., R.D.N., culinary nutritionist and gluten-free diet expert. In fact, eating too many gluten-free packaged foods can cause weight gain, but more on that in a minute.
Maybe eliminating gluten-containing foods just helps you feel better—something the estimated 18 million Americans who suffer from gluten sensitivity can attest to. No matter what your reasoning, starting a gluten-free diet the right way can keep you happy, healthy and satisfied.

What Does a Healthy Gluten-Free Diet Look Like?

Surprisingly, it's similar to a traditionally healthy diet—few fancy foods required. Fill up your plate with naturally wholesome gluten-free foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meat, says Begun. "This is what dietitians recommend makes up the majority of your diet whether you're gluten-free or not," she says.
And if you love your grains, you can still eat them. "So many people think that gluten-free means no grains at all, but there are so many great gluten-free options out there," says Begun. Rice, millet, quinoa and buckwheat are just a few examples. Today, you can easily find gluten-free pasta made from corn, quinoa or beans.
If you eat this way, you likely won't have to worry about nutritional deficiencies, says Begun. "The exception is if you suffer from celiac disease, since your body does not absorb all of the nutrients from food," she says. Commonly, newly diagnosed celiac sufferers are deficient in fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin D and even protein, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. In that case Begun recommends speaking with a registered dietitian, who may recommend supplements or other necessary dietary changes.

The #1 Mistake People Make When Starting a Gluten-Free Diet

If you don't plan out this new way of eating, it's easy to default to gluten-free packaged foods. "I see people go on this diet and eat three meals and snacks from these foods," says Begun. You know—the gluten-free muffins or brownies or cereals or pizza. These are often made with refined grains and heavy in sugar and often contain more calories than their traditional counterparts. The result: you may start to gain weight if this is the main change you make to your diet. So think of these as "on occasion" foods. It's just like with any diet. A candy bar is just a candy bar—gluten-free or not.

Where Gluten Hides

"Gluten is lurking in so many different foods because there are so many ways companies can use gluten," says Begun. So you're going to get used to playing food detective. While food companies are required to list allergens on the label (e.g. eggs, nuts), they are not required to do this with gluten. So while you can look for "gluten-free" on the front of the package, you should also flip it over and read the ingredients label. (It's also not enough if a food says "wheat-free.") Reading labels and checking for cross-contamination is a must for people with celiac disease.
Here's what you're looking for, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation: wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer's yeast and oats. Oats are often contaminated with gluten, so they have to specifically be certified gluten-free oats. Gluten-free flours, such as millet or amaranth, should also be bought certified gluten-free, says Begun. If the label lists an ingredient you're not familiar with, "wait to eat it until you can confirm that it's safe," she says.
You probably know that a whole-wheat bagel is not gluten-free, but you might be surprised that some of your other favorite foods aren't eitehr. Watch out for flavored nuts and chips (the seasoning often contains gluten), energy bars (with non-gluten-free oats), creamy soups (flour may be used as a thickener), candy, salad dressings, marinades and soy sauce. If you're vegetarian, you might eat a lot of fake meats (veggie bacon!), but know that these are often made with seitan, which is wheat gluten.

Eating Gluten-Free at Restaurants

So you already sleuth out labels, but how do you deal with eating gluten-free at a restaurant? "It's about learning what to ask so you can make good choices. In the beginning, it's not easy," says Begun. First, get comfortable asking lots of questions. For example, ask if the dressing is bottled or made in-house. If it's bottled, it may contain gluten; if homemade, ask what the ingredients are.
Gluten-free menus make it easier, but they're still not completely reliable. At a brunch spot, ask if the eggs are cooked on the same griddle as the pancakes—an opportunity for cross-contamination. Are fries dunked in the same oil that chicken fingers (which are floured) were? Do they cook the gluten-free pasta in the same water as the regular pasta? Your server should be happy to answer everything—especially if you're asking nicely—so don't feel bad advocating for yourself.

Plan Ahead

A gluten-free diet takes work and some planning, especially in the beginning as you're getting used to a new way of eating. Begun suggests people join a local gluten-free support group or finding online support. Nope, it's not therapy; it's about sharing valuable info that can make your life easier and better, like where to go to get the best gluten-free mac and cheese. If going gluten-free is a medical necessity (i.e. you have celiac disease), then absolutely hook up with a registered dietitian who can eating a healthy diet again, says Begun.
personal chefs and event caterering
Miami + Miami Beach + Fort Lauderdale + Palm Beach

Popular posts from this blog

16 Best Benefits Of Corn (Bhutta) For Skin, Hair And Health

Corn, also known as maize or our good old ( Bhutta/Makkai/Challi ) in Hindi, ‘ Mokka Jonnalu ‘ in Telugu, ‘ Makkacholam ‘ in Tamil, ‘ Cholam ‘ in Malayalam, ‘ Musukina Jol a’ in Kannada, ‘ Makkai ‘ in Gujarati, ‘ Makai ‘ in Marathi and Punjabi and ‘ Butta ‘ in Bengali. Corn is a large grain plant which is said to have originated in Mexico and Central America. Though viewed as a vegetable, it is actually a food grain. The leafy stalk of the plant produces ears, which contain the grains known as kernels. For every kernel on the cob, there is a strand of silk. The white and yellow kernels are most popular, but today, corn is available in red, brown, blue and purple also. The white and yellow hybrids are known as butter and sugar corn which contain both kinds of kernels. This cereal is known for its pleasant taste and its versatility. Baby corn is available in cans or jars in the supermarkets and is used in Asian cooking. This grain is generally available in summer and can be

Meaning of Memorial Day: Why do we celebrate?

BY  JULIA GLUM   Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, but it's so much more than an excuse for a three-day weekend. It's a U.S. holiday with a lot of history and lasting significance. Held annually on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War. Who exactly created it and where are unclear, but legend has it that the tradition began in 1864. That's when three women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, put flowers on the graves of loved ones who had died in the war, including a young man killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. By 1865, according to the Library of Congress, people in states such as South Carolina and Mississippi were participating in unofficial ceremonies that preceded Memorial Day. But Waterloo, New York, claims to be the birthplace of the holiday, given that it held what Nelson Rockefeller would later call the "first, formal, complete, well-planned, village-wide observance of a day entirely dedicated to honoring the wa

Cherry-Almond Crisp Recipe

Fresh tart cherries can be hard to find, which is why we add some dried ones to boost the flavor of this crisp. If you have access to fresh tart cherries, use 3 pounds/1.4kg and omit the dried fruit. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired; a small (1/4-cup/60ml) scoop will add abou t 64 calories. Ingredients: 1 cup/225g dried tart cherries 1 cup/250ml boiling water 2 pounds/900g sweet cherries, pitted 2/3 cup/128g granulated sugar 3 tablespoons/23g US all purpose flour, unsifted 1 teaspoon/5ml vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Cooking spray 3.4 ounces/96g US all purpose flour (about 3/4 cup) 3/4 cup/60g old-fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup/110g packed brown sugar 1/4 cup/28g sliced almonds 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons/72g unsalted butter, melted 1/4 teaspoon/1ml almond extract Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas 5 Combine dried cherries and boiling water in a small bowl; cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Combine dried cherries with soaking liquid, 2 pounds sweet cherrie

Tarte Tatin Recipe

There is some controversy as to how this divine dessert (tarte solognote) came about. Was it an accident (as so many kitchen   wonders are) or was it just an improved upon recipe of the region? In any case it was made popular at by 2 sisters that ran the Hotel Tatin 100 miles (60 kilometers) outside of Paris. It was Louis Vaudable, owner of Maxim’s Paris that coined the name "tarte des demoiselles Tatin" Tart of the sister’s Tatin. Normally you would use a short crust or a pate brisee. I used a simple pie crust in our recipe as we were short on butter. Serves 6-8 9 1/2 inch/ 24 centimeter pie crust Pie Crust Ingredients: 1 1/3 cup/167 grams all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon/2ml salt 1/2 cup/118ml vegetable (crisco) shortening or 115g cold butter 3-6 tablespoons/45-90ml iced water In a bowl add flour and salt. Whisk to combine. Cut the shortening into the flours until only small pea sized balls are visible. Mix 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough

Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill Recipe

This flavorful pasta salad is hearty and delicious. If you don't have chopped fresh dill, a few teaspoons of dried dill weed would work as well. It's easy to prepare and makes a good main dish or side dish for summer meals. This is a flavorful pasta salad, perfect for an everyday lunch with soup, or serve it as a side dish at your next cookout. Make this salad with cavatappi pasta, macaroni, rotini, or similar pasta shapes. What You'll Need  8 ounces/225g cavatappi, macaroni, or rotini pasta 1 can (6 to 7 ounces/170-198g) tuna, flaked and drained 3 tablespoons/45ml finely chopped red onion 2 cloves garlic, mashed and finely minced 1/4 cup/60ml finely chopped red bell pepper 3 tablespoons/60 chopped fresh dill 4 teaspoons lemon juice 3/4 to 1 cup/185-250ml mayonnaise 3 tablespoons/45ml sour cream 1/2 to 1 cup/125-250ml sliced grape tomatoes Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste How to Make It  Cook the pasta in boilin

Baked French Toast Recipe

It is always best to use day old bread.  If you can get some from your baker that is great, if not try and buy o loaf the day before. As last resort cut into rounds and place in a slow oven (300F/150C)  for 15-20 minutes or just drying out a bit. serves 8  1 cup/250ml pure maple syrup                                   1 1/2 cups/375ml milk  1 pound/450ml loaf French bread, cut into 2 inch/5cm thick slices  4 large eggs 3 large egg whites 2 teaspoons/20ml vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon/3ml ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon/1ml ground nutmeg   Preheat oven to 350F/175C/Gas 4 Spray large baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour syrup in bottom of dish.  Arrange bread slices on top of syrup.  Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.  Mix well.  Pour over bread slices, generously soaking the bread.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or bake immediately. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.  Serve with additional syrup

A Burglarized Bakery Put the Suspect's Picture on Cookies So Locals Could Help ID Him

  Thanks to the bakers' creativity and a free cookie promo, the thief has since been identified. By  Jelisa Castrodale   May 12, 2021 Canfora Bakery has a longstanding reputation in  Milwaukee , Wisconsin for being a go-to spot for freshly baked breads and sub  sandwiches , for hot ham and rolls, and for its selection of  Italian cookies  and other sweets. But now it's getting a lot of attention for a limited-edition menu item that the bakery owners probably wish they never had to make in the first place. According to  the  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , a man wearing a dark hoodie and a knit beanie pried the door locks open and helped himself to the cash drawer before making his escape. When Canfora's owners, Eric and Karen Krieg, got over the shock of being burgled, they came up with a clever way to try to ID the subject.  They scrolled through the footage from their security cameras, found the clearest image of the alleged burglar's face, and then printed it out on edi

Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

  If you're making it in a stove top pressure cooker or in a 8 quart or larger electric pressure cooker, you will likely need to increase the water.  1 to 2 tablespoons/15-30ml vegetable oil  4 pounds/2kg  boneless pork shoulder, cut into two equal pieces  2 cups/500ml barbecue sauce, divided, plus more for serving  1/2 cup/125ml water  Toasted rolls, for serving Select Saute to preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add the oil to the cooking pot. Brown pork on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Brown each half of the roast separately. Remove to a platter. Add 1 cup/250ml barbecue sauce and the  water to the cooking pot. Stir to combine. Add browned pork and any accumulated juices to the pot. Lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 75 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally (approximately 20 minutes). Carefully remove the lid. Remove the meat from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks, discard excess fat. Strain cooking liquid, res

Why You Need A Personal Chef - Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Miami Beach

Do you find yourself going to the grocery store and feeling overwhelmed by everything that is on the  shelves? With the hectic schedules that we all lead today it can feel like a chore to provide a good home-cooked meal for your family. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone working in your kitchen, providing delicious – and time-saving – family-friendly meals? Look no further: YaDa Chef is the stress-free answer to your family’s grocery shopping and cooking needs. A personal chef is not a luxury A personal chef service provides stress-free meals prepared to your specifications in your home.  Your kitchen is left spotless with a refrigerator full of delicious meals. Having your own personal chef is not a luxury reserved for the rich. A personal chef service can cost you less than eating out at a moderately priced restaurant. Using a personal chef service can free up 10 to 12 hours of your time every week. Personal chefs are responsible for handling all the menu planning, groce

Fireside Orange Brownies Recipe

Whether you are camping in the countryside, heading to the backyard bbq grill, or just want head into your kitchen, these brownies "baked" in orange shells will give you just what you want.   Serves 6-8 6 - 8 medium to large oranges 1 box of your favourite brownie mix or use our recipe found here https://food.yadachef.com/2018/01/yada-chef-brownie-recipe.html    aluminium foil to wrap the oranges. Build a campfire, or preheat your grill oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4 Cut the top of the orange about 1/8 of the way down.  Scoop the flesh out and reserve for later use.  Make the brownie mix according to the directions.  Fill the orange shells up 3/4 of the way.  You should have about 1/2 inch/1.3cm gap.  If cooking in the ashes of a campfire or the grill, put the lid back on the orange. Wrap tightly in heavy duty foil and place in the still hot ashes cut side up, until the batter is firm and a tooth pick comes out clean. If using the bbq grill or baking in the oven you can leave the to