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Facts about Gluten-Free Eating

What Is Gluten?1st

Gluten is a protein naturally found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye and some oats. Foods that are made with these grains also contain gluten – that includes foods like bagels, breads, cakes, cereals, cookies, crackers, pasta, pizza, and more.

Who Should Avoid Gluten?

About three million Americans suffer from a serious medical condition called celiac disease. For someone with this disease, eating gluten-containing foods causes damage to the lining of the small intestine (where foods go after they have been eaten and digested). This damage makes it very difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from foods. Over time this damage can lead to malnourishment and possibly other complications. While there is no cure for celiac disease, the good news is that eating gluten free is the best way to prevent further damage to the small intestine. Gluten may also be avoided by those who are sensitive to it or make a personal choice to avoid it. If you think you have celiac disease, be sure to get tested before starting a gluten free diet.

Health Gluten-Free Eating

Many foods are generally free of gluten, unless it was added in processing. People who follow a gluten-free diet can enjoy a variety of foods, including:

• Plain beef, pork and lamb
• Rice, Wild Rice
• Plain fish and shellfish
• Quinoa
• Plain chicken and turkey
• Lentils
• Plain fruits
• Corn
• Plain vegetables
• Potatoes
• Plain beans
• Soy
• Eggs
• Nuts and seeds
• Milk
• Flaxfoods

 

Knowing What To Look For: Reading LabelsSide

The best way to know if a product is gluten free is to read the ingredients label. To determine if a product contains gluten, there are four key grains to look for:

• Wheat
• Barley
• Rye
• Oats

In addition to these grains, look for these two ingredients:

• Malt
• Brewer’s Yeast

Looking for these grains and ingredients will help you identify products that contain gluten. You need to check labels often. Ingredients can change over time, so checking the ingredients label every time is the most accurate way to identify what is in a food or beverage product. After you have read the label and determined that the product does not contain these obvious sources of gluten, you may always contact the manufacturer to confirm.

Frequently Overlooked Foods That May Contain Gluten

• Broth
• Imitation seafood
• Soy sauce
• Candy
• Marinades
• Thickeners
• Coating mixes
• Processed meats
• Vegetarian meat
• Croutons
• Sauces and gravies substitutes
• Imitation bacon
• Seasoning

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Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen

When you have celiac disease, eliminating wheat, oats, barley and rye from your diet is a must. These grains, and derivatives of them, are used in the preparation of many products so this task may seem difficult. Actually, there are many ways to avoid these grains and substitute safe alternatives. Of course, serving your favorite naturally gluten free gluten foods such as meat and poultry (without breading), fish, fresh fruits, and vegetables is a great starting point, but you can also adapt many combination foods to exclude gluten. Here are some tips and recipes to help make the transition to a gluten-free diet easier.

Start Simply

A first and simple step is to look for dishes that need very little customization, perhaps just the substitution of one gluten-free ingredient. For example, make macaroni and cheese or baked ziti with rice, corn, or lentil pasta, or prepare enchiladas with corn tortillas instead of the wheat flour variety. Also, familiarize yourself with cuisines that frequently cook with no gluten at all such as Indian, Asian, Mexican, South American or Middle Eastern. Remember, too, that many dishes are naturally gluten-free such as stir-fry, risotto, shepherd’s pie, chili and omelets.

Adapt Recipes

Many recipes can be adapted to the gluten-free diet. Here are some substitution suggestions:

  • For gravy: Use arrowroot starch as a thickener.
  • For stuffing: Make your favorite recipe with gluten-free cornbread or gluten-free white bread (homemade or store-bought) or experiment with rice stuffing.
  • For flouring or breading meat and fish: Season with a gluten-free coating to taste. Try cornmeal, potato flakes or mixtures of gluten-free flours. Whirl some dry bread or corn tortilla chips in a food processor until fine. Or, some people enjoy crumbled gluten-free waffles or crisped rice — these are not usually sweetened and, when seasoned, create a tasty, crunchy coating.
  • For pudding and pie filling: Try gluten-free starches such as cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca or arrowroot.
  • Find a prepared gluten-free baking mix to keep handy in your refrigerator. These tried and true mixtures of gluten-free flours, starches, and leavening agents can usually be substituted with wheat flour on a one-for-one basis.
  • Use rice flour for a roux or white sauce — you will find that bean and soy flours have too strong a taste.

Don’t let a gluten-free diet restrict you; use it instead as an opportunity to experiment with new ingredients and flavors. Look for alternative ingredients in your local ShopRite store or use the “Ask the Dietitian” feature at shoprite.com to submit a question or favorite recipe. You can also find a listing of our gluten free products on the health and wellness section of ShopRite.com

For more recipes:

The Gluten-Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman

Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Gluten-Free Children by Danna Korn

Incredible, Edible Gluten-Free Food for Kids: 150 Family-Tested Recipes by Sheri Sanderson

 


A Ghoulishly Gluten-Free Halloween!

Halloween can be a difficult holiday to navigate for a gluten-free child. Here are some tips for easy, gluten-free trick-or-treating.

1. Organize a gluten-free party for kids

At a party, you can control the treats and goodies, making sure they are gluten-free. Offer a few healthy snacks for a pre or post trick-or-treat get together. Here are some gluten-free, kid-friendly favorites:

  1. Granny Smith apple slices with low-fat caramel dip
  2. Hot chocolate made with low-fat milk
  3. Gluten-free Chex Mix® or trail mix
  4. Vanilla pudding mixed with a few dollops of pumpkin puree and a pinch of cinnamon

2. Plan ahead for trick-or-treating

Most kids like to snack along the way as they trick-or-treat. Send them off with a small bag of their favorite gluten-free candies to prevent them from reaching into their treat bag. Be sure to tell them that all candy collected throughout the night should be kept safely in their bag until a parent can check it at home.

3. Trade it up

Purchase some gluten-free candy prior to Halloween night. Once trick-or-treating is done, let kids trade the collected candy for gluten-free.

4. Read all labels

It is important to read all labels before allowing your kids to dig into their candy bag since many of the “mini versions” of Halloween candy are made with different ingredients than the larger versions. Here’s a list of some of the most popular gluten-free candies:

3 Musketeers fun size Milk Duds
Baby Ruth fun size Mike and Ike
Almond Joy fun size bars Nestle Milk Chocolate fun size bars
Butterfinger fun size Reese’s Pieces
Charms Blow Pops Raisinets
Dum Dum Lollipops Skittles fun size
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate snack size bars Tootsie Pops
Jolly Rancher Swedish Fish treat size
LiveSavers Gummies Snickers fun size and minis

 

For additional treat ideas, check out www.celiaccentral.org for their gluten-free snack and candy list. Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!


Grab and Go– Gluten-Free!

Grab and Go– Gluten-Free!

Whether you’re heading to class, work, or the library, when you’re on a gluten-free (GF) diet you need GF foods ready to Grab ’n Go! Keep these snacks handy to throw into your backpack, briefcase, or purse and head for the door! Always check ingredients on labels. Call manufacturers. When in doubt, leave it out.

GF Breakfast/Granola Bars:

  • Enjoy Life Breakfast bars (contain sorghum)
  • Bakery on Main GF granola bars
  • LARA bar organic bars — all varieties

Candy Bars:

  • Hershey’s chocolate bars
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter cups
  • Snickers

GF Cereal:

  • EnviroKidz — GF varieties
  • General Mills Rice, Corn, Honey Nut Chex

GF Cookies:

  • Enjoy Life varieties (contain sorghum)
  • Kinnikinnick varieties
  • French Meadow Bakery, GF Brownies, Chocolate Chip cookies (single servings)

GF Crackers:

  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins
  • Glutino crackers
  • Mr. Krispers

Eggs: hard boiled in the shell — naturally sealed!

Fruit: apple, banana, oranges, applesauce, fruit cups

Nuts, GF Dried Fruit, GF Cereal in a Bag:

  • Eden Foods – packaged fruit, nuts, seeds

Peanut/Sunflower Butter Packets:

  • Jif, Peter Pan, Skippy peanut butter
  • Sunflower butter

Popcorn: plain or check micro-wave ingredients

GF Pretzels: ENER’G, Glutino

Veggie Bags: cut up carrots, cauliflower, celery, grape tomatoes. Add a packet of GF salad dressing for dip.

Compiled by Beckee Moreland, Make It Gluten Free, LLC

Reviewed by Jean Guest, PhD, RD, LMNT Jamie Kabourek, MS, RD, UNL Food Allergy Research & Resource Program Barbara Kliment, Executive Director, NE Grain Sorghum Board Alice Henneman, MS, RD, and Jenny Rees, MS, UNL Extension Educators

For more tips, information and healthy recipes, visit the health and wellness section of ShopRite.com


Gluten Free ShopRite Products

For those with celiac disease a gluten free diet is essential. Any foods thatcontain gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley – must be avoided. The good news is that eating gluten free is easy at ShopRite with the wide variety of ShopRite products. From grains to ready to eat soups there are plenty of choices throughout the aisles to help you maintain your gluten free diet. Always remember to read labels and when in doubt ask your ShopRite Dietitian or call us at 1-800-ShopRite.

Click to view our list of  Gluten Free ShopRite Items

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Sneakiest Sources of Glutenceli

 Going gluten-free can be a daunting task. Learning to read the labels for all of the different forms gluten can take, calling companies when you aren’t sure, rearranging your pantry, and knowing what to ask at restaurants takes a lot of getting used to. Unfortunately, there’s one more thing to consider when removing gluten from your diet: all of those non-food products that may contain gluten.

It’s true! Gluten is often used in makeup, medications, and even some children’s toys. It’s important to know what to look for, and who to ask, to find safe, gluten-free alternatives to these often overlooked sources of gluten.

Gluten

  1. Makeup: all types of makeup have the potential to contain gluten, but anything applied directly to your lips (lipstick, liner, gloss, balm) has a good chance of being inadvertently ingested.  Read ingredient lists carefully, as you would a food label, and contact the company about the specific products you use.
  2. Beauty and Skin Care Products: Similar to makeup, products such as shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and soaps may contain gluten. Although the risk of ingesting these products is lower than that of a lipstick or balm, follow the same precautions as you would a makeup: read ingredients carefully and check with the company to be sure.
  3. Communion Wafers: these religious crackers are traditionally made from wheat. Although some approved low-gluten wafers exist, different churches have taken various stances on the issue. If you have Celiac disease, it is important to speak with your pastor or priest about alternatives to the traditional wafer.
  4. Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications: Medications, as well as supplements, vitamins, and minerals, may use gluten as a binder. Ask your pharmacist if any of the medications you take are made with gluten. If needed, discuss possible alternatives with your doctor.
  5. Play-Doh: if you have a child who needs to avoid gluten, reconsider giving them Play-Doh as a toy, since this product is made with wheat. Although physical contact with wheat will not trigger a reaction, children often place toys or fingers in their mouths while playing, and this can lead to them ingesting traces of gluten. You can find gluten-free alternatives along with easy DIY recipes online.

Keep in mind that a gluten-free diet is specifically meant to treat Celiac disease, a condition in which the body becomes intolerant to the gluten found in wheat, barley, rye, and cross-contaminated oats. There is no current evidence to support removing gluten from your diet for any other reasons. If you have questions about Celiac disease or whether a gluten-free diet may be right for you, feel free to speak to your local ShopRite in-store dietitian, along with your primary care doctor.

 


Gluten Free Doesn’t Mean Grain Free

People following a gluten-free diet may be surprised – and delighted – to learn that most grains are gluten-free. Only three common grains (wheat, barley and rye) must be avoided on a gluten-free diet, leaving lots of great choices, including:

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Wild rice

Oats – when certified gluten free – can also be a good choice; they’re naturally gluten free but can become cross-contaminated during growing or processing.

All of these gluten-free grains are healthier when they’re enjoyed in their whole form. Whole grains include all three of a grain kernel’s edible parts – the bran, the germ, and the endosperm – in their original proportions. All too often, grains are refined, which means their bran and germ (the healthiest parts!) are removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Whole grains have two to three times more of most minerals and vitamins than refined grains, and more fiber too.

They also have more flavor. If you’re accustomed to refined grains, at first you may be caught off guard by the fuller, nuttier taste of whole grains. Soon, you’ll find that you’ve become fond of whole grains and the “white” grains you used to eat seem bland in comparison.

To get your taste buds in shape gradually, start with grains that have a more neutral flavor, such as sorghum and brown rice. Corn is a good choice, too; it has a distinct but familiar flavor (look for whole cornmeal; degerminated has had the healthy germ removed). As the flavor of whole grains begins to grow on you, experiment with more grains: try some wild rice mixed in with brown rice, or toss some cooked quinoa with chopped vegetables and your favorite salad dressing for a great warm-weather meal. Less common grains – amaranth, millet, buckwheat and teff – await you down the line.

When you’re looking to bake with gluten-free grains, look for mixes that feature whole grain ingredients prominently. Some gluten-free baking mixes and flour substitutes rely almost exclusively on ingredients like potato starch and white rice flour, leaving these mixes short on important nutrients and fiber. Better mixes include high levels of a variety of tasty whole grains – because people on a gluten-free diet deserve the best!

Even those who don’t need to follow a gluten-free diet will benefit from eating a wider range of whole grains. Broccoli is a great vegetable – but eating a wide variety of vegetables gives you a wider variety of nutrients (and tastes). It’s the same with whole grains: whether you’re eating gluten free or not, treat yourself to the wonderful tastes of a wide array of naturally gluten-free grains, for good taste and good health.

Resource: Oldways Nutrition Exchange and Pamela’s Products


Cooking without Gluten

Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen

When you have celiac disease, eliminating wheat, barley and rye from your diet is a must. This may seem difficult to do since these grains and derivatives of them are used in the preparation of many products. But, with a little knowledge and some labeling reading, you can avoid these grains and find delicious and safe alternatives.

A great first step is to stock your kitchen with naturally gluten-free foods such as meat, poultry and fish (without breading), fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, potatoes, rice and quinoa.  Nuts and most dairy products are also naturally gluten free. Remember: When purchasing gluten-free foods, it’s best to carefully read labels to ensure the foods are truly gluten free.

Here are some tips for focusing on naturally gluten-free foods and adapting recipes with gluten-free alternatives.

Start Simple The best first and simple step is to look for dishes that need very little customization, perhaps just the substitution of one gluten-free ingredient. For example, take a dish like macaroni and cheese. Since the macaroni contains gluten, you can replace a wheat-based pasta with a gluten-free alternative like rice, corn or lentil pasta. You can also do this for dishes like baked ziti or lasagna.  Try preparing enchiladas with corn tortillas instead of the wheat flour variety. Or look for recipes that are already naturally gluten free like your favorite fish; grilled, broiled or baked, served with brown rice or a baked potato.  Roast a chicken breast and pair with sautéed spinach and quinoa or prepare a three bean chili with lean ground beef.  Be sure to always read all ingredients in a recipe to ensure it is truly gluten free or identify any ingredients that will need a swap.

Adapt Recipes

Many recipes can be adapted to be gluten free. Here are some substitution suggestions:

  • For gravy: Use arrowroot starch as a thickener.
  • For stuffing: Make your favorite recipe with gluten-free cornbread or gluten-free white bread (homemade or store bought) or experiment with rice stuffing.
  • For flouring or breading meat and fish: Season with a gluten-free coating to taste. Try cornmeal, cornflakes, potato flakes or mixtures of gluten-free flours. Whirl some dry gluten-free bread or corn tortilla chips in a food processor until fine. Or, some people enjoy crumbled gluten-free waffles or crisped rice — these are not usually sweetened and, when seasoned, create a tasty, crunchy coating.
  • For pudding and pie filling: Try gluten-free starches such as cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca or arrowroot.
  • Find a prepared gluten-free baking mix to keep handy in your refrigerator. These tried and true mixtures of gluten-free flours, starches and leavening agents can usually be substituted with wheat flour on a one-for-one basis.
  • Use rice flour for a roux or white sauce — you will find that bean and soy flours have too strong a taste. 

Don’t let a gluten-free diet restrict you; use it as an opportunity to experiment with new ingredients and flavors. For more information and delicious recipe ideas, visit ShopRite.com/wellness


Gluten Free with Diabetes

Going Gluten Free with Diabetes

If you have diabetes, then you probably already know that eating a healthy diet is an important part of a good diabetes management plan.  But, if you have celiac disease as well, you know this can add a whole new layer of planning.  Celiac disease occurs in about 1 percent of the total population, but people with diabetes are at a higher risk.  About 10 percent of people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease.1  

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the protein gluten (found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats) causes a person’s immune system to attack and damage the small intestine. Celiac disease has no cure and the only treatment is  to remove gluten from your diet. Here we’ll show you how to work “going gluten free” into a healthy diabetes meal plan.

Steps to Going Gluten Free

1. Get to know what foods contain gluten so you can avoid them. 

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats.  This means that you’ll need gluten-free alternatives for foods like bread, pasta, cereal, bagels, crackers and baked goods. Safe grains or grains that are naturally gluten free include rice, quinoa, corn, potato starch and tapioca.  Check out your local ShopRite for gluten-free choices in these categories.

Gluten can also be “hidden” in some processed foods.  That’s why it is so important to always read labels carefully to be sure that products are gluten free.  Read the ingredient statements and check for a “gluten free” claim on the package.  If you’re still in doubt, call the manufacturer. 

2. Continue to count your carbohydrates. 

Gluten free does not equal carbohydrate free.  Many gluten-free products contain an alternative carbohydrate such as rice or potato which still counts as a carbohydrate on a diabetes meal plan.  When planning your meals, check label for the total grams of carbohydrates.  Remember that 15 grams of carbohydrate is about 1 serving. 

3.  Know your Numbers.

Monitoring your blood sugar levels is essential to a good diabetes management plan.  And since you’ll most likely be consuming new carbohydrate-based foods, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely. Then you can see how your body is reacting to these foods and you can adjust your portion sizes accordingly.  Remember, carbohydrates are food in “non-grain” based foods as well as fruit and fruit juice, starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, beans, and peas, milk and yogurt. 

4. Increase your fiber intake without gluten.

Getting more fiber in your diet may seem difficult when you’re on a gluten-free diet since many gluten-free products are made with refined white grains– but with a little planning, it can actually be quite simple.  Try increasing the fiber in your diet by filling up on non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, and mushrooms.  Add beans to your meals, enjoy fruit in moderation, and try adding flax meal to yogurt and gluten-free cereal for extra crunch plus fiber.  And lastly, look for whole-grain, gluten-free products like brown rice and quinoa.


Gluten Free BBQ Season

 Gluten Free BBQ

BBQs are a hallmark of summer and grilling is a great way to cook quick and healthy meals. For people with Celiac disease or gluten intolerances, keep the tips below in mind to enjoy BBQs the gluten free (GF) way!

 

Prevent cross contamination: Gluten from previously cooked items can contaminate a grill so be sure to use a clean section of the grill to cook the gluten-free foods.  If that’s not an option, try wrapping the GF foods in aluminum foil to prevent them from touching the grates.

 

Be aware of common BBQ items that contain gluten such as buns, rolls and gluten-containing marinades or sauces.  Be sure to keep these separate from GF foods.

 

Bring your own GF bun. Many grilled favorites like hamburgers, chicken breast, fish and steak may be naturally GF (always check the packaging to be sure), but you might want to eat it on a GF bun or roll. A simple solution is to bring your own roll! If you want the roll toasted on the grill, remember to prevent cross contamination, it needs to be cooked on a clean section of the grill.

 

Make a GF side dish to share. Not only can this be a way to show your friends and family how tasty GF food can be, but it also guarantees that there will be something you can eat! Try preparing side dishes that use GF ingredients like quinoa, wild rice and beans.  They are not only delicious, they also contain protein and fiber, which can help fill you up.

 

Only use squeeze condiments. Mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and other condiments are only safe if they are both GF and uncontaminated. Cross-contamination can happen from crumbs falling into open jars or from someone’s utensil if they double-dip in the jar after smearing the condiment on their gluten-containing food.

 

When in doubt, leave it out. Taking chances if you have Celiac or other gluten intolerances is not a good idea. Always ask about ingredients and preparation methods. Cross-contamination can happen very easily, even with the best of intentions. Because of that, if you’re suspicious about cross-contamination or the accidental use of a gluten-containing ingredient, just pass on the dish!

 

Carefully monitor GF kids. Because food tends to be readily available at BBQs, make sure that children requiring a GF diet stick to the foods that are okay for them to eat. For young children, just keep gluten-containing food out of reach. For older kids, take the time to explain which foods are GF and which ones need to be avoided.