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A gluten-free meal can be prepared just like any other meal once you know which foods contain gluten. People with Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance should be eating gluten-free. Whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and meats are often a safe choice. Eggs and cheese are usually gluten-free as well. If you like to incorporate bread in your meals, then you will have to bake or buy gluten-free breads.
In order to make a gluten-free meal, you will begin by choosing the meat or vegetable that will be your main dish. Most fresh meats or vegetables do not contain gluten, but you do have to be careful how you cook them. It is wise to grill or bake meat, but if you do like to bread the meat, you must use gluten-free bread crumbs or corn meal. When you buy the breading, be sure that it is certified gluten-free.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be a solid choice for a gluten-free side dish. Some packaged side dishes are safe, but again, you must check the food labels to be sure the product is gluten-free. Canned vegetables are often safe, but some may be packaged in a sauce that contains gluten.
There may be available gluten-free breads and pastas already made and packaged at your local grocery store. They are usually labeled as certified gluten-free. You may want to make your own bread to add to your gluten-free meal. Gluten-free breads are made from rice flour, tapioca flour, and other non-wheat starches.
Rice is a good side item that can replace bread or pasta. Most rice is gluten-free, and there are several ways to make it into a tasty side dish. Rice is usually inexpensive and can be a great carbohydrate for any gluten-free meal.
When you are preparing your gluten-free meal, be sure that all sauces, dressings, and marinades are free of gluten. Gluten is not only in wheat products, but also in barley, rye, and oats. If you're not sure that a food product is gluten-free, it is best not to use it.
Many drinks that you would serve at a meal are already gluten-free. Water, most juices, and tea are safe options. Some drinks should not be paired with a gluten-free meal. Gluten is in most beers and some other alcoholic drinks. It is best to check the label for any pre-mixed drinks.
Desserts often contain gluten. Cookies, cakes, and pies are all made with wheat flour unless it is a certified gluten-free dessert. Fresh fruit can be a tasty dessert option for a gluten-free meal.
An important note on corn since that seems to be the ingredient of choice in gluten-free lifestyle. New research is emerging, and there is tons of anecdotal evidence as well, that perhaps people who have issues with gluten may have issues with corn. First, some studies indicate that corn gluten may be similarly structured to gliadin (wheat gluten) and a person that is already sensitive to gliadin may not be able to tolerate corn gluten.
Another factor to consider is that corn is highly GMO and pesticide-laden so at the very least, be sure you are buying non-GMO organic corn.
Third, especially given the burst in the gluten-free market, there are now myriad processed gluten-free products. These are largely corn or rice based. I would encourage anyone to consider that replacing one kind of processed product (traditional breads, candies, chips, packaged foods, etc.) with another (gluten-free versions) is not healthful. Eating whole foods is healthful.
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