Do you feel bloated and allergic when you eat bread or other gluten products? Chances are you’re suffering from some form of Celiac Disease, a chronic digestive disorder found in individuals who experience a toxic immune response when they consume gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
Following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating at first, especially living in the Middle Kingdom. But with time, patience and creativity, you'll find there are many foods that you already eat that are gluten-free and you will find substitutes for gluten-containing foods that you will come to love.
At Fields, we understand that switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes time to get used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet's restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. Check-out our Gluten Free section and you will be pleasantly surprised to discover how many gluten-free products, such as granola bars, non-dairy milk and pasta, are available. We have also included below some handy-dandy tips to help you live a happy gluten-free life in China.
Many healthy and delicious foods are naturally gluten-free:
Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
Fruits and vegetables
Most dairy products
It's important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet:
Avoid all food and drinks containing:
Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
Avoiding wheat can be challenging because wheat products go by different names. Here are other wheat products to avoid:
Avoid unless labeled 'gluten-free'
In general, avoid the following foods unless they're labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:
Cakes and pies
Cookies and crackers
Imitation meat or seafood
Processed luncheon meats
Sauces, including soy sauce
Seasoned rice mixes
Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
Soups and soup bases
Vegetables in sauce
Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. For this reason, doctors and dietitians generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free. Sprout Lifestyle is actually holding a “Gluten-Free Workshop” on September 14th. The talk will be conducted by Sanna Luoto from Gluten-Free Shanghai, she will guide you through the step on how to recognize and avoid the products containing gluten and learn the best substitutions for them. For more details, please click here.
Being allergic to gluten doesn't mean you have to miss out on life's simple pleasures - with these recipes you can have your cake and eat it, too!