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Digestive Health and Wellness

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Diet Survival Checklist


Brianna Evers

Community Relations, Celiac Disease Foundation

Read the ingredient label

Avoid all products with wheat, rye, barley, malt, or triticale in the ingredient label. The FDA only allows a product to be labeled “gluten-free” if it contains less than 20ppm of gluten, but you should still check the ingredients to be sure.

Be cautious of hidden sources of gluten

Educate yourself on other ingredients that contain gluten, as it can be hiding in products you might not expect, like soy sauce, dressings, play-dough, and marinades.

Confirm the gluten-free status with the product manufacturer

If a product is not labeled “gluten-free,” is not naturally gluten-free, but does not contain obvious sources of gluten, contact the manufacturer to inquire about the risk of cross-contact with gluten.

Understand “shared facility” warnings

If a product is labeled “gluten-free” and states that it is made in the same facility as products containing wheat, it is still safe for people with celiac disease to consume. The gluten-free label represents that the procedures put in place to prevent cross-contact with gluten meet FDA standards.

When in doubt, go without

If the product label is unclear, or if you are concerned about whether it is safe for you, it is best to find an alternative.

See a dietitian

To ensure you’re following a nutritious, gluten-free diet, it is important to meet with a dietitian who can help create the best meal plan for your specific needs.

Eating out

Look for restaurants that serve naturally gluten-free items, have a gluten-free menu, or serve items that can easily be made without gluten, like a hamburger without the bun. Inform the staff of your celiac disease to ensure proper precautions are taken in the kitchen.

Sharing a kitchen

In order for food to be safe for someone with celiac disease, it must not come into contact with gluten. Food can unintentionally come into contact with gluten through shared utensils or a shared cooking/storage environment. While most cooking items and surfaces may be washed to remove gluten, using a separate colander and toaster is recommended.

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Brianna Evers, Community Relations, Celiac Disease Foundation, [email protected]

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