Celiac disease is a disorder that causes problems in your intestines when you eat gluten, which is in wheat, rye, barley and some oats (from contamination). Gluten is like a poison to people with celiac disease, because it damages their intestines.

This is a simple resource to the Gluten-Free (GF) diet. Not all aspects of the diet are as clear-cut as portrayed by this Guide. This is intended to be used as a safe and temporary survival tool until the newly diagnosed celiac can gather additional information. This Guide was developed by nutrition experts and published by the Celiac Disease Foundation and the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Celiac Disease is a chronic digestive disorder found in individuals who are genetically susceptible. Damage to the small intestine is caused by an immunological toxic reaction to the ingestion of gluten. This does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods may affect those with Celiac Disease and result in health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even in the absence of symptoms.

Gluten is the generic name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains of wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats and derivatives from these.

Rice, Corn, Soy, Potato, Tapioca, Beans, Sorghum, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, Arrowroot, Amaranth, Tef, Flaxseed and Nut flours.

BreadingImitation SeafoodSoup & Soup bases
Coating MixesMarinadesThickeners
Communion WafersPastasBatter for frying
CroutonsProcessed MeatsSoy Sauce
Imitation BaconRouxSelf-basting Poultry

The key to understanding the GF diet is to become a good ingredient label reader.  Foods with labels that list the following ingredients are questionable and should not be consumed unless you can verify they do not contain or are derived from prohibited grains:

  • Brown Rice Syrup (frequently made from barley)
  • Dextrin (usually corn but may be derived from wheat)
  • Flour or cereal products
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) or textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Malt or malt flavoring (usually made from barley); MALT vinegar
  • Modified food starch or modified starch from unspecified or forbidden source
  • Flavorings in meat products
  • Soy Sauce or soy sauce solids (many soy sauces contain wheat)
  • Vegetable gum
  • Sushi rice, sake all ingredients need to be known

Wheat (Durum, Semolina, Kamut, Spelt), Rye, Barley, Triticale and Oats .


Call First - Verify ingredients by calling the manufacturer and specifying the ingredients and the lot number of the food in question.  State your needs clearly; be patient, persistent and polite.

If In Doubt, Go Without
If unable to verify ingredients or the ingredient list is unavailable –DO NOT EAT IT!

Add One New Food at a Time
When adding a new food item to your diet, particularly one that has questionable ingredients, introduce only one new food at a time.  Listen to your body for adverse reactions before starting a second food item.

Wheat Free Is Not Gluten Free
Wheat-free products may still contain rye, oats, barley or ingredients that are not GF.

The GF diet is a lifelong commitment and should not be started before being properly diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Starting the diet without complete testing is not recommended and makes diagnosis difficult.


  • The hamburger from the bun
  • The croutons from the salad
  • The gravy off the meat
  • The topping off the pizza
  • The filling from the pie crust
  • The frosting off the cake


Store GF flours in separate airtight containers. Flours to store in a cupboard include white rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch, sweet rice flour (for gravies and thickening), and Bette Hagman’s gourmet mix. Brown rice flour, rice polish, soy flour and rice bran should always be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Store containers with rice pasta in the cupboard. Some people store ALL their flours in the freezer, particularly if they don’t use them frequently.

If there is more than one baker in your kitchen, maintain a separate flour sifter for GF flours.

GF baked products tend to dry out quickly. Store them tightly wrapped in the refrigerator - or preferably - in the freezer.

Use xanthan gum to improve GF baked goods. Baked products that include xanthan gum hold together better. There are not as crumbly - and do not have the grainy texture usually associated with GF baked goods.

Follow these rules when using xanthan gum:
Mix it in well with the flours being used in the recipes...preferably sifted with the flour.
Beat it in with all ingredients very thoroughly... 2 to 3 minutes with an electric mixer on high.

Xanthan gum and/or clear gel are available by mail order from gluten-free companies or from most health food stores.

Additional information is available at many websites dealing with gluten free living. For your information, we have a list of articles that can be downloaded and printed on your printer. Below is a list with a short description:


Gluten Free Food Alergy Fest

GIG of LI was represented at the GFFA Fest July 29th and 30th.

People loved us!

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