Gluten Free Substitutions

In Canada, labelling laws are pretty strict, so as long as you check the labels on everything you buy, you should be safe.

Below are some common foods you may be used to and suggestions on what to try instead.

Anything made with wheat or rye flour

Out with the old

In with the new

bread

- gluten free bread
- skip the bread, instead try:
     - make sandwich ingredients into a salad
     - put sandwich ingredients into a lettuce or other wrap (see wraps)
    - finger foods like fresh veggies, cheese,         - nuts

breading or bread crumbs

- cornmeal
- gluten free bread crumbs
- mashed potato flakes (favourite)
- gf oatmeal
- crushed GF crackers or cereal

breakfast cereal

- I don't like to list specific brands as formulations change often.  Check the cereal aisle or the health food aisle.
- try other options for breakfast

cakes, cookies, other baked goods

- I don't like to list specific brands as formulations change often.  There are GF mixes in the baking aisle or the health food aisle.
- Search for gluten free bakers in your area, they are becoming more common.
- Ask your baker if they can accommodate gluten free.  Ensure they consider cross contamination
-make your own

crackers

- there are lots of gluten free options at the supermarket
- rice crackers are a simple favourite

granola bars

- there are lots of choices at the supermarket
- make your own

pasta

-gluten free pasta, lots of choices
     -corn pasta
     -rice pasta
     - soba noodles
- substitute egg plant, zucchini, spaghetti squash

pastry

- check with your grocer, some carry ready made gf pastry
- Search for gluten free bakers in your area, they are becoming more common.
- Ask your baker if they can accommodate gluten free.  Ensure they consider cross contamination
- make your own

pizza crust

- gf wraps or tortillas
- check with you grocer, gf pizza's a pizza crust is becoming common.
- make your own
- check with your favourite pizzeria, there is  a good chance they offer a gf crust

snacks like pretzels, trail mix, other snack mixes

- check labels and look for gluten free options
- check the health food aisle (ironically) at your supermarket

wheat flour

- gf flour blend, there are many commercially available
- make your own blend

wraps

- rice paper wraps
- gf tortillas (check the health food section)
- make your own

Anything thickened with wheat flour

Old

New

gravy

- check with your grocer, there are some gluten free commercial choices
- make your own with gf flour or corn starch

sauces

- many bottled and canned sauces contain gluten, check labels
- make your own, its easy

soups

- many commercially available soups contain gluten.  Check labels
- check with your grocer, there are some gf options
- make your own

stews

- many canned stews contain gluten, check labels
- make your own
- I don't like to mention brands as formulations change, but at writing Stag Chili had some gluten free choices.  Check labels and / or check with the company

Anything that uses flour or bread crumbs as a filler

Old

New

deli meats

- look for certified gluten free
- try other options like cooking a ham, turkey breast, chicken, roast beef or pork and eat the leftovers on sandwiches

hamburger patties

- look for gluten free, check labels
- ask the butcher to make up patties for you
- make your own

sausages

- look for gluten free, read labels
- check with the butcher, they may have some gf options

Common bottled ingredients

Ditch the old gluteny ways

Try this instead

soya sauce

- tamari
- check with your grocer there are some gluten free options
- I don't like to mention brands as formulations change, but vh has a GF soya sauce.  Check the label and be sure you see "gluten free"

teriyaki sauce

contains soya sauce, avoid or look for gluten free

Worcestershire sauce

- most contain malt vinegar which has gluten
-look for a brand that uses white vinegar
I don't like to mention brands as formulations change, but French's has a GF option available at some Walmarts.  Check the label and be sure you see "gluten free"

Salad dressing

- many are gluten free, check labels
- make your own, it's easy

Many canned goods

- this is really item by item.  Check labels
- try fresh or frozen instead

spices and seasonings

 - check labels
- I only trust McCormicks or Club House but in Canada others should be fine unless indicated on the label.
- Especially watch seasoning mixes, they often contain unexpected ingredients

Anything containing barley

Out

In

beer

- gluten free beer
- try other options like cider

some alcoholic coolers

- look for malt or caramel as these can be problematic
- check the manufacturers website

Anything that uses flour as a carrier for flavourings

Some potato chips or corn chips

- check labels, there are gluten free options
- plain is usually fine but check labels

- Some flavoured pop corn

- air pop your own
- if you like the shake on flavours just check the labels

flavoured rice cakes

- check labels
- avoid

Flavourings on snacks often contain lactose as well, so if you also have a lactose issue as is common with celiac disease watch for this.

Hidden sources of gluten

caramel colour
malt
malt vinegar
preservatives and food additives
candies


- in Canada any sources of gluten must be declared on the label
- many hard candies are processed on a floured conveyor belt, check labels
- chocolate with wafers or crunchies

Items that don't contain gluten but may be contaminated in growing, processing or packaging.  

spices
beans
oats / oatmeal*
nuts / seeds / trail mix

- this could be anything but these are considered high risk
- check lables
- look for certified gluten free

* many people with celiac disease don't tolerate oats well even if gluten free.

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