Gluten free? Try these smart swaps.

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2022

If you’re living gluten-free due to celiac disease or a wheat allergy, you need to make food choices that avoid gluten while balancing the nutrition you need and the flavor and variety you want. It’s easier than ever thanks to better product labeling and a wider range of gluten-free options on store shelves.  

Start with the basics. These fresh food groups are the foundation of a healthy diet and they’re naturally gluten-free:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Nuts, beans, and legumes
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood

For the rest of the products you buy at the grocery store, reading nutrition labels carefully is a must if you need to avoid gluten. Remembering these swaps will help too.

Swap this: wheat pasta for that: chickpea or veggie pasta

Pasta is a staple in many homes, but traditional pasta made from semolina wheat it’s a “no go” for anyone avoiding gluten. In recent years, great swaps for wheat pasta have shown up on store shelves including pasta made from chickpeas and lentils. Pastas made from legumes get bonus points because they have more protein, fiber, and minerals than wheat pasta.

Swap this: wheat flour for that: potato, rice, or bean flour

You’ll find wheat flour in many processed baked goods, and it’s called for in most standard recipes. Look for gluten-free options at the grocery store. If you want to bake your own breads and treats, it just takes a bit of know-how and a few adjustments to substitute alternate flours – like potato, rice, buckwheat, or bean flour -- for wheat flour.

Swap this: wheat-based cereals for that: oats

Most people who need to avoid gluten can eat a moderate amount of pure oats. If you do eat oats, be sure to double-check that they are labeled “gluten-free” so they’re not contaminated with gluten during processing.

Swap this: bottled salad dressing for that: homemade salad dressing

Many bottled salad dressings contain malt vinegar, soy sauce, or malt flavoring, ingredients that contain gluten or are made from wheat. The good news? Gluten-free salad dressing is easy to make. You’ll find great recipes online for gluten-free vinaigrettes and creamy dressings, too.

Swap this: chips and processed snack crackers for that: lots of things!

Snack time can be full of pitfalls because many popular snacks – packaged cookies, snack crackers, and even some seasoned potato chips – contain gluten. Popcorn is a tasty, safe bet. Also try hummus and veggies, cheese sticks, or nuts and dried fruit.

Mom’s Meals takes the guesswork out of mealtime for people who need to avoid gluten. Choose from a full menu of gluten-free, refrigerated, meal choices that are delivered right to your door. Here’s more.

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