Are You New to a Gluten Free Diet?

The following links and information will help guide you through the gluten-free diet whether you have celiac disease, any other form of gluten intolerance, or if you are sensitive to gluten, for any other reason. If you have additional questions, please visit the links under the “New to Gluten Free” page, found on the navigation menu.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. In addition, oats are made up of as much as 10% gluten (unless you use gluten free certified oats). Read more about oats in the article, Are Oats Gluten Free? Should I Limit My Consumption or Avoid Them?

How Can a Gluten-Free Diet Help Me?

A gluten free diet has helped many individuals with other conditions such as autism, fibromyalgia, any form of inflammation, and chronic pain, to name a few. A matter of fact if you have any autoimmune disease, a gluten-free diet may help you. Take a look at a few of autoimmune disease: celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s (hypothyroid), Grave’s disease (hyperthyroid), Lupus, and even Alzheimer’s. They all have one thing in common, inflammation.

If you have celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, the two proteins in wheat that cause damage to your intestine are the gliadin and glutenin. Barley and rye have similar proteins that cause damage. It is unclear if any damage to the intestine of those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity/intolerance. The good news is that once on a gluten-free diet, the damaged intestine heal and regenerate.

Check out the following information and links to help guide you through the diet. If you also avoid dairy, you will find dairy-free substitutes on the Substitutes page. Going dairy-free usually helps those who still experience symptoms on a gluten-free diet. Many individuals with celiac disease cannot tolerate dairy.

Grains Containing Gluten

Your body is provided adequate nutrition while on a gluten-free diet as long as you choose a variety of food and grains with high nutritional values. The only grains you need to avoid are wheat, rye, and barley.

There are equivalent toxic protein fractions in barley and rye. Gluten damages the intestine of persons with celiac disease. It is unclear if it also causes damage to the intestine of persons with non-celiac gluten intolerance. When all sources of gluten from these grains are removed from the diet, the intestine can regenerate, and normal function is usually restored. Research on oats indicates small quantities (half cup dry) are safe for use in the gluten-free diet. They should be clean and uncontaminated, meeting the  FDA rule for gluten-free labeling.

Gluten Free Products and Ingredients

There are more things you can have than you cannot have. Check out the above link to learn all the different flours, starches, and other ingredients as well as a list of specific products that you can consume on a gluten-free diet.

Gluten Free Ingredients by Brand

Search for a gluten free ingredient and find a brand that Carla knew was gluten free at the time she created the database.

Cheating on a Gluten Free Diet?

Many people on a gluten free diet cheat about once per month. You may be starving at a restaurant and reach for bread. Or you have a loss in your life and get depressed while grieving. Perhaps you had a bad day at work, or whatever makes you give up on your goals. You cannot expect to experience results or relief of physical symptoms if you cheat. Read the article, “Cheating on a Gluten Free Diet.”

Gluten Sensitivity, Gluten Intolerance, Celiac Disease and Other Conditions

If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, it means that you cannot tolerate any gluten, not even a crumb. In addition, gluten causes intestinal damage. If you are diagnosed with gluten intolerance, it means that you cannot tolerate even a crumb of gluten, but that gluten does not damage your intestines. Gluten sensitivity may mean you can eat a crumb of gluten, but gluten, in general, causes some sort of reaction to your body. Some people get bloated. Others get insomnia. Some people with multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia experience more pain or flare ups. Some children with ADHD become hyperactive, and others experience different symptoms, including depression, headaches or up to 300 other symptoms.


Cross-contamination defines the process of a gluten free product that has been exposed to gluten and now contains particles of gluten. This occurs on manufacturing lines, in restaurants that have other gluten products nearby, grains that are shipped in trucks that previously contain gluten grains, to name a few.

Gluten Free Labeling

While the United States Federal Drug and Administration (FDA) finalized their gluten-free labeling rule in August 2014. However, they do not require that manufacturers test their products for gluten content. They must, however, guarantee their products to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten. Read more about labeling rules at the above link.

When to Contact a Manufacture

Are you wondering, “Is that gluten-free?” Sometimes it is necessary to contact a manufacturer. Know which ingredients may contain gluten but may not be exposed on labels.

Gluten Free Alcohol Defined

This page explains which adult beverages may be labeled gluten free. Keep in mind the rules are made to protect those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Many others have reported they did not have a problem with distilled beverages that were derived from gluten grains. Decide for yourself and follow your body’s warning signals. Just be aware that some people with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but the damage is occurring silently. This is known as Silent Celiac.

Gluten Free Substitutes

This page provides substitutes for dairy as well as dairy-free ingredients to standard baking conversions for different types of sugar or sugar-free substitutes. Also, learn which gluten free flours and starches may be used for one another as a substitute. There you will find links to many other substitutes including eggs.

Converting Cups to Ounces or Grams

Use the gluten free flour conversion chart to convert gluten free flours and starches from cups to ounces or grams and vice versa. Measuring flour or other dry ingredients by weight is the most accurate method of measuring. When you scoop flour, it may become compacted and add much more to a recipe than is needed. Likewise, you may not add enough. Chefs and culinary experts weigh dry ingredients versus using measuring cups even with gluten ingredients. When you make it the first time, weigh your ingredients and then the next time you can expect the same results. Because not everyone has a kitchen scale, I use cups in my recipes but provide a conversion chart for those who weigh their ingredients. It also serves as a conversion for those in other countries who use metric measurements.

Foods to Avoid

This page will teach you not only the varieties of flours to avoid, but a long list of ingredients to avoid. Learning to read product labels can be tricky at first, but if you use this list as a guide a number of times, you’ll remember what to avoid on a gluten-free diet.

Gluten Free Products and Ingredients List

An extensive two-page long list of frequently purchased products from flour to canned green chiles and cold cuts to brands of gluten free bread and pasta.


How do you thicken gravy?

(I will be adding more and more information soon.)

How to Maneuver this Site

Navigation Bar:

At the top of every page on desktop computers and most tablets like iPads, you will find links in the menu bar to navigate through this website. In the right side bar, you will find a search box in which you can search for a recipe or ingredient used in a recipe. On mobile phones, you’ll find the same menu links including a link to search page by clicking on the three white bars “menu”.

Gluten Free Recipe Index:

If you are seeking to avoid an allergen, whether it is one of the major allergens such as dairy or soy or even corn, visit the Gluten Free Recipes Index. There you will also discover menu categories such as dinner and desserts or more precisely such as pies, bread, and more. If you are on a low-fat, grain-free, or low-sodium diet, there are categories for those, as well. Perhaps you are vegan, raw or vegetarian? There are categories for you, as well.

View Comments

  • I want to be able to cook food for my husband and son that will taste as good as "normal" food. For too long I've stuck to cooking "safe" foods that do not require me try substituting any different ingredients. I would love to be able to give them really tasty gluten and wheat free meals and snacks that I've made myself, especially bread! Your recipes look amazing, I just need to work up the courage to actually try them!

  • We purchased the Cuisinart CBK-100 as a Christmas gift to ourselves. Works great! The only thing I hate is everyone calls for cider vinegar in nearly every recipe I've come across and my wife hates the aroma and lingering taste. Anyone know if a good substitute?!? I am not fond of it either....but just roll with it to enjoy full sized slices of bread!

    • Jim,

      Apple cider vinegar produces more bubbles in the dough. You can try using a tiny bit of baking soda; or substitute some of the water with yogurt (which acts similar to yeast).

      I hope this helps.


  • Hello!  I was wondering if you could tell me what gluten free bread machine is the best for home use.  

    Our home is 100% gluten free for Celiac, so I don't need the machine for regular cooking.


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