When there is a gluten-free logo on the package, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the food is 100% gluten-free. The same way ‘fat-free’ doesn’t actually mean the product is 100% fat-free. Mega food manufacturers use clever lawyers and loopholes in food manufacturing to produce ‘gluten-free’ products that still contain 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten.
Although 20ppm is a small amount, if one were to consume large amounts of gluten-free products daily, or every second or third day, such as: cereal and toast for breakfast, a muffin for morning tea, a sandwich for lunch, crackers for afternoon tea, pasta for dinner and a piece of gluten-free cake for dessert, they could be ingesting enough gluten to seriously impair the progress of their gluten-free diet. Even a very small amount of gluten can still have a huge impact on the body and cause systemic inflammation, among other things.
- If you want to consume gluten-free grains, opt for properly prepared organic white rice, wild rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat or quinoa. Soak your choice of grains in filtered water with a dash of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of Himalayan salt overnight. This will help to make the nutrients in the grains more available to the human body and reduce the phytates that can bind to minerals in the body.
- If you do purchase something in a package, make sure you read the ingredients list and choose the product with the shortest list of ‘real’ ingredients. Whenever possible, use vegetables in place of grains. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and minerals that are easily absorbed into our bodies. Instead of using a gluten-free tortilla, make a wrap out of either nori or rice paper sheets, or large spinach, collard green, or cabbage leaves. The individual leaves can be blanched to take on a softer texture so they are more pliable!
- Another good option is coconut flour or vegetable based wraps such as ‘Cauliflower Wraps‘.
- Choose pasta that is made from gluten-free grains such as rice, quinoa, millet, beans or even seaweed, such as kelp noodles – or simply make your own “noodles” out of spaghetti squash and/ or carrot, sweet potato or zucchini using a spiralizer.
- Make pizza crust from vegetables. Cauliflower, cheese and eggs blended together make a great dough for pizza that’s packed with nutrients. Cauliflower also can be blended up in a food processor into ‘rice’ that you can easily sauté for a few minutes to make the perfect rice substitute. Get creative in the kitchen and use different gluten and grain-free flours such as: coconut flour, almond, hazelnut or sunflower seed meals. You can also buy a banana, plantain or cassava flour. There is also buckwheat, quinoa or chickpea flour available, too. Sometimes these can be mixed with a bit of tapioca or arrowroot flour to create a better texture in certain baked goods.
- There are many gluten-free bread recipes online or in recipe books. Here are a few of our favourite recipes - Paleo Almond Bread and Zucchini & Coconut Bread. If you can’t bake your own gluten-free bread, seek out store bought bread that is made from nutrient-rich, gluten-free flours or grains. ‘Grainer – smart food, no grains’ is an Australian company that provides beautiful gluten-free paleo bread made from 100% real food.
- Instead of choosing store-bought, refined crackers, make them yourself. For snacks choose ingredients like seeds, nuts, dates, dried coconut, Inca inchi seeds, paleo jerky, homemade jelly, chia pudding, Panna Cotta, homemade chocolate, gummies, organic popcorn, a smoothie, a piece of fruit or a chunk of cheese (if tolerated).
- Last but not least… eat more fresh produce! Fruits, vegetables, salad greens, eggs, seafood and fresh quality meats are all naturally gluten-free, so don’t be afraid to try new ones every week until you find your favourites.