Back to basics

If you have just been diagnosed with coeliac disease, cooking gluten free meals can be daunting. However, once you know the basics, it becomes easier to know what you can and can’t eat.

  • Avoiding gluten means not eating anything that contains wheat, rye and barley or oats (unless they're marked as gluten free oats). Some need to avoid gluten free oats too.
  • The main foods that contain these grains are bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, pastry, cakes, biscuits and pizza.
  • Coeliac UK offers lots of advice and support to help you on your gluten free diet. Find out more about the services we can offer to help you

What foods should I be avoiding? 

Gluten can be found in many products, but the main foods that contain these grains are bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, pastry, cakes, biscuits, pizza and crackers. But the list doesn't stop there, so also look out for it in foods such as soups, sauces, stock cubes, ready meals and processed foods like sausages. If you don't know how to read labels, find out how as it is important to check labels of products such as stock cubes and seasonings, prebought sauces and processed vegetable products (eg frozen chips) to ensure they don’t contain gluten. 

So what can I eat?

You can eat any of the many naturally gluten free foods such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. There are plenty of naturally gluten free foods to base meals on, such as potatoes, rice and lentils. In addition to this there are also specially made gluten free foods such as gluten free bread, pasta and pizza bases. You can safely have lots of drinks including fruit juice, fizzy drinks, wine and spirits. 

We have created a simple list to understand what you can and can't have and what you might need to check, download our Gluten free Checklist.

In the kitchen

In the kitchen, keep your gluten free ingredients separate from other ingredients during storage and preparation to avoid cross contamination. There are many ways that you can reduce and avoid cross contamination, find out how

What can we do for you?

We can help you with your new approach to cooking, if you join Coeliac UK you will receive access to our Food and Drink Information which lists over 100,000 foods you can eat. If you become a member, you will also receive the most recent Live Well, Gluten Free magazine with recipes and cooking advice. There are more ways we can help, find out more here. And there's plenty more food inspiration on offer too:

If you have any questions about what cooking ingredients to use, call our Helpline on 0333 332 2033 or find another way to contact us.

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