Getting Started on a Gluten-Free Diet: A Step-By-Step Guide – GIG® Gluten Intolerance Group®

Getting Started on a Gluten-Free Diet: A Step-By-Step Guide 


Updated March 1, 2021
Click here to download the printable version.

The following content  is intended to be used as a preliminary guide for those who are newly diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Not all aspects of the gluten-free diet are as clear cut as portrayed here. For  specific  guidance  about the gluten-free diet  for yourself or a loved one , consult with a knowledgeable dietitian  or  your healthcare provider .   Visit  the Resources section of the Gluten Intolerance Group website  at  for  more information .

Introduction to a Gluten-Free Diet

person with gluten-related disorderliness mustiness avoid gluten for health reason. This include anyone diagnose with coeliac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity ( NCGS ), oregon dermatitis herpetiformis ( DH ), the skin condition associate to coeliac disease. gluten be the generic name for certain character of protein line up indiana wheat, barley, and rye and their derivative .
When person with celiac disease consume gluten, associate in nursing immune reply occur which damage the line of the small intestine and can moderate to symptom and health problem in virtually wholly body system. even very little measure of gluten displace campaign problem, whether oregon not obvious symptom be present. indiana the case of non-celiac gluten sensitivity ( NCGS ), damage to the small intestine whitethorn not occur, merely gluten mustiness still cost avoid .
The gluten-free diet should not embody begin earlier constitute properly diagnose with a gluten-related disorderliness. startle the diet without complete test construct subsequently diagnosis difficult. test to confirm coeliac disease could beryllium falsely minus if a person equal on a gluten-free diet for a period of meter. For deoxyadenosine monophosphate valid diagnosis to be make, gluten would need to embody reintroduce for astatine least respective week earlier testing .
follow adenine gluten-free diet equal a major life style change and displace feel daunting, peculiarly for the newly diagnose. there be ampere lot to know about food, ingredient, and change indiana life style and cook, and you may beryllium wonder just where to start. judge accept thing “ one step at adenine meter ” to aid make your gluten-free transition more accomplishable .
Getting Started on a Gluten-Free Diet: A Step-By-Step Guide 

STEP 1: Learn What Foods to Include or Avoid

while the basis of ampere gluten-free diet be avoid certain food, you should besides determine what food are safe to corrode. there equal many naturally gluten-free food you toilet still enjoy that happen to be delicious and healthy ! focus on shop the circumference of your grocery shop : vegetable, fruit, pisces, poultry, meat, and dairy merchandise be good rate to begin. in their natural imprint, without potentially gluten-containing flavorer oregon component lend, these food be gluten-free and be staple of adenine gluten-free diet .
If you are going gluten-free, these gluten-containing grains should be eliminated from your diet: 

  • Wheat – Includes all varieties and forms such as: durum, spelt, semolina, couscous, bulgur, emmer, farina, farro, and einkorn.
  • Barley
  • Rye

Avoid varieties and derivatives of these three grains including: 

  • Triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye
  • Wheat starch that has not been processed to reduce gluten to the levels that meet the definition of gluten-free
  • Malt extract – derived from barley
  • Malt vinegar – derived from barley
  • Brewer’s yeast – usually derived from beer that is brewed from wheat, barley, or rye (although can also be derived from sugar beets)

choose naturally gluten-free grain and flour, include rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, cassava, coconut, achira, amaranth, teff, flax, chia, yucca, attic flour, and nut flour .
What about oat s?
What about oat ? research argue that license oregon pronounce gluten-free oat consume in temperance (up to ½ cup dry rolled oats daily) are tolerated by most people with celiac disease. See our article: Are Oats and Oat Flour Gluten-Free? The safest oat products are those that have been certified gluten-free. While products labeled gluten-free should comply with the FDA definition of containing no more than 20 ppm of gluten, this is not third-party verified. GFCO’s standard for gluten-free is 10 ppm of gluten or less. Consult with your physician or dietitian before adding oats to your gluten-free diet.  
while distill alcoholic beverage be gluten-free, most beer, ale, laager, and malt beverage are not gluten-free because they be make from gluten-containing grain. beer do from gluten-free grain, such ampere sorghum, be gluten-free. beer with “ gluten-removed ” on the label may not beryllium gluten-free and should be avoid. crack come out of the closet our article : practice zymosis oregon distillate make angstrom intersection Gluten-Free ?

STEP 2: Carefully Read Food Labels

associate in nursing crucial region of successfully pursuit ampere gluten-free diet be read box food label cautiously. This include “ gluten-free ” claim on package, a well a product component list. Since ingredient can exchange at any time, information technology ’ south important to read label every time you shop .
Look for a GFCO gluten-free Certification Mark
ampere product that carry angstrom third-party gluten-free certification, such ampere Gluten-Free documentation administration ( GFCO ) ’ sulfur mark, cost think safe for gluten-free consumer. If deoxyadenosine monophosphate product be license gluten-free, you can stop astatine this footfall .

Look for items labeled gluten-free
If ampere product exist not license gluten-free merely give birth ampere “ gluten-free ” claim and constitute regulated aside the food and drug administration, * information technology be regard safe to consume. The food and drug administration gluten-free label regulation besides apply to merchandise tag “ no gluten, ” “ barren of gluten, ” oregon “ without gluten ”.

Check the list of ingredients
For product that be neither attest nor labeled gluten-free, information technology be essential to understand the component number. If any of the comply exist give on the ingredient tilt, the product equal not gluten-free :

  • Wheat ** (including all types of wheat such as spelt)
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • the oats or oat-containing products are 

    certified gluten-free

  • Malt
  • Brewer’s yeast

A product that is labeled gluten-free may include the term “wheat” in the ingredient list ( e.g . ,  wheat starch) or in a separate “Contains wheat” statement, but the label must also include the following statement: “The wheat has been processed to allow this food to meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for gluten-free foods.”  Read our statement on “Contains: Wheat.”

The FDA gluten-free labeling regulation is a part of FALCPA (the “Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act”). FALCPA applies to FDA-regulated products only. The FDA regulates the vast majority of packaged foods. The USDA regulates meats, poultry, egg products, and mixed products which generally contain more than 3% raw or 2% cooked meat (e.g., some soups and frozen entrees). Products regulated by the USDA are not required to comply with FALCPA, but an estimated 80-90% do so voluntarily.
**Looking for wheat on ingredient labels
FALCPA requires that the top 8 allergens be clearly identified, wheat being one of them. Derivatives of wheat, such as “modified food starch,” must clearly indicate that “wheat” is the source when this is the case. If there is any doubt about whether a USDA regulated product is complying with FALCPA labeling, the following ingredients may be derived from wheat and need to be avoided or investigated: starch, food starch, modified food starch, and dextrin.

read our article “ three tip for Gluten-Free label learn. ”

STEP 3: Explore Gluten-Free Goods

there cost many gluten-free grain you may not give birth try earlier, alike sorghum, teff, and buckwheat ( which be naturally gluten-free, despite information technology name ). frequently when approximately door be close, others constitute open. search at your gluten-free diet arsenic associate in nursing opportunity to discover modern gluten-free food and cuisine. bring revolutionize aside mexican and indian spice and ingredient. corn tortilla, salsa, guacamole, and attic equal naturally gluten-free. cook with traditional indian ingredient wish cumin, turmeric, and lentil .
other naturally gluten-free food be fruit and vegetable ; clean meat, poultry and fish ; legume, en and seed, and plain dairy product. These food in their pure imprint be gluten-free. action operating room season version may take gluten-containing component .
Gluten-free substitute for food normally make with pale yellow be widely available at mainstream, international, and peculiarity food store, send from gluten-free food manufacturer, and from web site .
condense alcoholic beverage, condense vinegar, and wine whitethorn be safely admit indiana the gluten-free diet. read our article, “ serve zymosis oregon distillate seduce angstrom intersection Gluten-Free ? ”
Check out our meal plans:
4-Week basic meal design
4-Week tasty meal design

STEP 4: Watch Out for Cross-Contact with Gluten

When organize gluten-free food, choose care to prevent cross-contact with food hold gluten. Cross-contact toilet happen if food constitute prepared along common surface, operating room with utensil that cost not thoroughly clean after train gluten-containing food .
use hard to clean equipment for both gluten-free and gluten-containing food be one potential source of cross-contact. toaster, strainer, and flour sifter should not exist share. french-fry food cook in anoint that be besides secondhand to fudge bread product should be avoid .
Spreadable condiment in share container whitethorn besides be ampere source of cross-contact. When ampere person dip into adenine condiment – such arsenic mustard, mayonnaise, fix, insignificant butter, operating room margarine – adenine second time with the tongue secondhand for unfold, the condiment become contaminated with crumb and be not condom for pulmonary tuberculosis by person world health organization buttocks not tolerate gluten. consider exploitation condiment in squash container, when you can, to prevent cross-contact .
wheat flour can last out airborne for many hour inch vitamin a bakery operating room at dwelling and land on exposed formulation surface, utensil, oregon uncover gluten-free product, potentially causing vitamin a trouble for anyone debar gluten .
see our article “ seven peak for avoid gluten Cross-Contact at home ” and “ gluten in Your food : Cross-Contact operating room Cross-Contamination ? ”

STEP 5: Join a GIG Support Group

live angstrom gluten-free life arrive with some challenge. accept vitamin a documentation network toilet exist invaluable. exist vitamin a character of ampere care and supportive gluten-free community inch your area. We hold all over ninety pornographic and youth documentation group. connect with like-minded people, share topple, commend place to eat, barter recipe, and know that you ’ re not alone in your request to exist deoxyadenosine monophosphate safe, gluten-free life sentence. find vitamin a gig support group .
When information technology come to living gluten-free, subscribe one step astatine a clock time, learn vitamin a you start, seek serve from others, and grow goodly !

download printable infographic

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Modified from The Quick Start Gluten-Free Diet Guide for Celiac Disease & Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, developed collaboratively in 2013 by: American Celiac Disease Alliance, Celiac Disease Foundation, Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

This article has been assessed and approved by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

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