Going gluten-free can feel difficult, especially at first, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you were diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, chances are you'll learn to look for the obvious sources of gluten, such as breads and cereals. But gluten also lurks in some hard-to-find places. Our expert tips help you track it down and avoid it, and help you feel good about what you can eat.
If you have celiac disease and can't tolerate gluten, check with a pharmacist about whether any medications you're taking contain the protein (which is found in wheat, rye and barley). Gluten often is found in unexpected products, such as medications and mouthwash.
Even small amounts of gluten can be troublesome for someone with celiac disease—so it's important to be careful about avoiding cross-contamination. Use separate toasters for gluten-free and regular breads. Also, don't share flour sifters between gluten-free and gluten-containing grains.
If you're told you can't eat any wheat because you have celiac disease, it's normal to go through an initial grieving period over the loss of favorite foods, like pizza and wheat-based pasta. But do try to think of the condition not as something that restricts your eating but rather something that helps you eat more healthy whole grains, like brown rice, corn and quinoa.
If you can't tolerate gluten—a protein found in wheat, rye and barley—be vigilant about reading labels. Food manufacturers can change ingredients without notice, so double check even brands you use often to be sure that they're "gluten-free." Some prepared foods that often contain gluten include (but aren't limited to) bouillon cubes and broths, cold cuts, rice mixes, condiments and soy sauce.