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Going Gluten-Free: Tips for Getting Started

Going gluten-free is a step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Getting started on a lifestyle that excludes all traces of gluten can be quite intimidating, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have too many sources of gluten-free foods just yet. 

The gluten-free journey might be challenging but it certainly will be worth it if you consider just how much better you will feel and even look. If you are just starting on your gluten-free journey then perhaps these tips will help you ease into the process a little bit smoother.

  1. Understand why you are going gluten-free

There are lots of people that go gluten-free just to try it. But only those with medical conditions avoid gluten strictly because it makes them feel horrible. Those with celiac disease need to be especially cautious with foods. Understanding the main reason you choose to follow a gluten-free lifestyle can help you stay determined and focused.  

  1. Find out exactly which grains include gluten

Gluten is a protein found in wheat. As such all wheat products or varieties of wheat flour such as spelt, farina, faro, rye, barley, triticale, malt, brewer’s yeast, wheat starch and more do contain the protein.   These are the most common flours used in baked foods as well as numerous other food sources such as soups, sauces, breakfast grains and so much more. Your first challenge on your journey to going gluten-free is to find out what these flours are and to learn to identify them on ingredient lists in foods in the store. 

  1. Find out which flours are gluten-free

Now that you know which flours contain gluten, it is time to learn to look for alternatives that don’t have any traces of gluten. Here is a quick look at gluten alternative flours that are safer for you to eat:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • gluten-free oats
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Beans
  • Cassava
  • Coconut
  • Potato
  • Tigernut
  1. Learn to identify hidden traces of gluten

Lots of non-baked foods also contain wheat flours and there often isn’t a label on the product to identify these products. It is important to find out what foods are likely to contain gluten so you can avoid them. Here are a few examples of foods that you normally wouldn’t expect would contain gluten:

  • Beer
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Medications
  • Herbal supplements
  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Spices
  1. Avoid cross-contamination

Cross contamination happens when gluten-free foods are prepared in a gluten rich kitchen. Work surfaces and cutlery used in other baked foods are used for preparing gluten-free foods and as a result, these foods become contaminated. Those with extreme gluten sensitivities choose to live in a kitchen that is entirely free from all traces of gluten just so they can avoid cross contamination. When you buy gluten-free products you should seek out pure gluten-free sources such as Gluten Free 4 U that eliminates all traces of gluten from their kitchen. This way you can be sure that gluten will never be mixed in with your foods. 

  1. Focus on naturally gluten-free foods

Lots of naturally gluten-free products are extremely healthy to your body. A good way to increase your health and avoid gluten is by learning to eat naturally gluten-free foods such as meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy and other products that are sure to exclude gluten.

  1. Don’t attempt at your gluten-free diet alone

It is impossible to say no to juicy burgers and pizza when everyone in the family is sitting down to a take away meal and you need to consume salad. Just don’t put yourself in such a tempting situation. There are lots of alternatives on the market that taste just as good but are a lot safer.

The gluten-free journey isn’t going to be easy at first but as you learn more about alternative foods and products you will soon find that it isn’t nearly as hard to live a gluten-free lifestyle as you might expect.

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