Avoiding processed foods?


I am still having some problems on the GF diet as described by my dietician/Coeliac UK, so I'm looking to eliminate other problematic foods. Alot of people on this forum advocate avoiding processed foods which sounds like a good idea. However, I'm beginning to realise that there are many products that I use that could be considered processed.

So, I'm interested in hearing from people who avoid processed foods. I'm wondering if there are any exceptions? For example, do you eat stock cubes, or GF worchester sauce, GF breads/crackers, GF sausages, ketchup, chutneys?

Any tips for specific items to avoid or include would be gratefully received.

21 Replies

  • I don't eat any processed foods at all. Gluten free sausages are no good for me, I react to them. I can only have kallo reduced salt stock cubes. Warburtons bread is ok.

  • I also do not eat any processed food at all apart from the very occasional plate of GF pasta. I try and eat and cook from natural GF foods and I make my own chutneys, stock and the occasional batch of GF savoury scones and pancakes to use instead of bread.

  • Hi Mia,

    How often do you have GF pasta? I probably have it once a week - do you think that's too often?

    Any GF scone baking tips? I haven't attempted any since pre-GF days.

  • I have GF pasta probably once or twice a month although I eat whole rice noodles about once a week.

  • The art of staying safe while providing a varied diet is first find your sensitivity level, secondly learn where you might find gluten that could be the problem.

    Resources are Commission Diective 2007/68/EC Annex IIIa, exempted ingredients. Also European Food Safety Authority putting gluten in the search box.

    All Coeliacs are different with varied levels of sensitivity and what they react to, so it really is once diagnosed a personal thing.

  • Heinz organic tomato ketchup is good, also kallo just boillion cubes if you can find them. Gluthen free sausages made by butcher are ok, as long as sulphite free. Other than that, nothing. Make from scratch!

  • Bacon out. Sulphites out. Stay observant.

    I have been working with a NAET practitioner for the last 4 months and slowly but surely seem to be getting back onto an even keel. Part of the regime has been to forgo tea and coffee as part of a cleansing process - well it is lent - and you wonder if this actually is what you should do every year to cleanse the body of toxins of every variety.


  • Hi, er why is bacon out?

  • Something in the curing process. Sulphites? Certainly came up yesterday on the news regarding processed foods.

  • Bacon tends to be cured with nitrates. There is some debate over whether this is harmful or not. I eat bacon and am not likely to give it up any time soon. The saturated fat is not a problem, as far as I'm concerned, it's good for me.

  • Bacon does not contain gluten. Might contain sulphites or nitrates but that is nothing to do with gluten sensitivity.

    Some hams and process pork products may contain dextrose or maltodextrin which can cause problems with some gluten sensitive individuals, but these have to be labelled.

  • I also had the same problem I have to avoid all starches in food and there is a lot in gt breads I only use genuis breads and S M and one called Yes you can all others with long use by dates have proccesed in them and additives you should avoid . hope this helps as soon as I have these I get hecups also blooting

  • I didn't consider that the long-life ones would have more additives, but I guess that's pretty obvious. I have been getting par-baked ones on prescription, but maybe I should think again!

  • The whole thing is a minefield. It seems to be a case of experimenting on yourself. It can be useful if you are still having problems to keep a food diary/time line and see if you can spot any particular problems. You can search this site for older posts by using the top right hand search box.

  • I try to make everything from scratch too. I'm getting really good at baking/cooking again! :-)

    I guess the point is that we're all different and what one person may tolerate, another may not. Life is one big adventure!

  • Knorr stock cubes are all gluten free. Heinz salad cream, ketchup, mayonnaise and english mustard are gluten free. Aldi's ordinary ketchup is gluten free.

    Worcester sauce is not gluten free and there are currently no GF alternatives (there was one but the company stopped making it and although I was told Hendersons sauce from Yorkshire was GF I think it contains trace amounts as it made me ill).

    GF sausages - Black Farmer range are good and gluten free.

  • I have been using knorr stock cubes, but I think I've read that some coeliacs can't tolerate them (might contain maltodextrin - I'm not sure...) I don't know what's causing my problems so I'm trying to avoid products which might have traces of gluten in them (even if they are below the legal 20ppm limit).

    Bionia Worcester sauce is labelled GF, if you're interested. I found some in a health food shop, but you can probably get it online as well.

  • Thanks everyone for your advice! I am pondering what to do. I'm going to discuss an elimination diet with my dietician (as I want to rule out allergies to other foods too), and then I guess I'll try adding the things I miss most and see if I can tolerate them.

    I'm trying to see this as a positive opportunity to hone my GF baking/cooking skills!

  • We are all different so you may want to test with yourself to find out what suits you or not. A good way to start is with a low fodmap diet (google it and you will find information about it). It is very restrictive in the beginning so you can by reintroducing different foods in programmed stages understand what suits you and not later on. I have been on a gluten free diet for 3 years, and never felt a 100%. In the last few months I had a relapse. It was like if i was eating gluten again, which was not the case at all. Many coeliacs are also sensitive to other things, so that is why you need to test with yourself. We are all different.

    Gluten free foods are not necessarily healthy food, so read the labels! Also keep in mind that somehow there is a connection between coeliac disease and bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines, so you want to prevent that from happening to you. I think i had it and it is not funny! Good luck!

  • Thanks lauradg, I'll look into the low fodmap diet. I hope you're starting to feel better? It must be disappointing to have a relapse after 3 years!

  • I have to agree with lauradg her. Lots of processed GF foods including GF pasta and bread are much higher in fats and calories than their non GF equivalents. So by eating natural foods with no gluten you can also control other additives and fats and sugar.

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