Canyon Ranch Blog

Your Guide to Gluten-Free Eating

When you’re just getting started with a gluten-free diet, simply picking something out for lunch can seem as hard as solving a Rubik’s Cube. Yes, there are foods that you’ll need to be mindful of steering clear of, but the landscape of options you can have is richer than you may have ever imagined. Taking the gluten out of your diet doesn’t have to mean removing the joy, too.

This guide can help you when making your choices. Broaden your culinary horizons…and bon appetit!

Note: It’s important to remember that starting a gluten-free diet is only something that you should do under the advisement and guidance of a health care professional. Removing grains from your diet can negatively affect certain health conditions and create nutrient deficiencies that you’ll need to make up for in other ways. A nutritionist can help you devise an eating plan that fits your needs best.

For more information, please read: Going Gluten-Free.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Because of the prevalence of gluten in many processed foods (and because doing so is far more nutritious), we encourage you to choose a diet consisting mainly of whole foods. Whole foods are those that are unprocessed and are as close to their natural state as possible. Examples include:

Beans Plain milk or soymilk
Fresh fish, poultry
and meat
Real cheese
Fruit Unseasoned nuts
(see below for allowed types)

Grains You CAN Enjoy!

Amaranth Quinoa
Corn Sorghum
Millet Teff
Montina Wild rice

Here are just a few examples of the ways we like to prepare some of these grains at Canyon Ranch:

Other Approved Ingredients:

Apple cider vinegar Polenta
Arrowroot Potato flour
(blue corn flower)
Potato starch
Balsamic vinegar Red wine vinegar
Bean flours Rice bran
Corn bran or meal Rice flour
Corn starch Rice wine
Flax Soy flour
Lentil flour Tapioca
Nut meal or flour

It’s helpful to check food labels to ensure that the options you are choosing, particularly grains and flours, haven’t been processed alongside gluten-containing foods.
Gluten-containing Grains to Avoid:

Barley Kamut
Bran Malt
Bulgar Matzoh
Couscous Rye
Durum Semolina
Einkorn Spelt
Emmer Triticale
Enriched flour Wheat
Farina Wheat berries
Farro Wheat germ
Graham White flour
Graham flour
Gluten-containing Ingredients to Avoid:
Cereal binding Modified food starch (unidentified source)
Fillers, binders,
excipients, extenders
“Seasoning” (unidentified source)
(unidentified source)
(unidentified source)
Hydrolyzed plant protein (unidentified source) Texturized vegetable protein (unidentified source)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (unidentified source) Wheat starch

Though properly distilled alcohols and vinegars should not contain any harmful gluten peptides, to be safe, avoid distilled spirits made from grains unless they are guaranteed by the manufacturer. This includes:

  • Ales
  • Beer
  • Gin
  • Whiskey
  • Vodka (grain distilled)
  • Malt vinegar
  • White vinegar

Hidden Sources of Gluten:

In addition to the obvious sources of gluten (bread, cookies, crackers, cereal and pasta), remember that it may also be found in the following. Stick with choosing products from known gluten-free manufacturers.

Baking powder Low-fat sour cream
Bouillon Medications, supplements
Brown rice syrup Mustard
Candy Prepared meats
Canned salmon/tuna Salad dressings
Communion wafers Sauces
Dry roasted nuts Seasonings
Egg substitutes Snack foods
Flavored coffees and teas Soy beverages
Hot dogs Soy sauce

A Note About Dining Out

Do not hesitate to ask your server or the chef about food preparation and ingredients. If they are unable to answer questions regarding a specific dish, choose something “safe,” like grilled salmon (without marinade or sauce), fresh steamed vegetables and plain rice or a baked potato. In general, you can avoid gluten in restaurants by ordering whole, unprocessed foods.

More: Stocking a Gluten-Free Pantry
            The Truth About Carbs


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