Whether it’s for an intolerance or simply to try out the latest diet fad, going gluten-free has become quite the money maker for brands this year. The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that the gluten-free industry looks to hit a value of $4.2 billion in 2012.
The report from Packaged Stats stated that the booming gluten-free industry has grown at a compound annual rate of 28% since 2008 and that it looks to be valued at $6.6 billion by 2017.
This growth in the popular diet choice translates to two out of every 10 adults in America going gluten free. That’s a lot of people shopping for those unique items in the grocery store. Even a few years ago these brands were obscure and hard to find on most shelves. Today, the options are plentiful. Now the only issue comes with finding the ones that taste the best and won’t break the bank.
Gluten-free foods, typically breads, crackers, and baking mixes, tend to be drier than their wheat flour counterparts and are usually more expensive. Thankfully, the boom has changed that. Many products are exceptional in taste and many are comparable in value as well.
Here are 7 of the best gluten-free brands that you should be able to find in most grocery stores.
One of the biggest challenges in going gluten-free is giving up bread. Even a few years ago, the typical gluten-free bread option was not very appetizing. Thanks to Udi’s there’s an option for those who just want a normal sandwich or toast. They sell some of the best bread in the GF market, in addition to great pizza crusts, buns, muffins, and even cookies.
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By Chrissa Hardy for HelloGiggles.com
Dana Vollmer spent her summer training for London Olympic Games, competing in London and celebrating her gold-medal-winning, record-breaking time in London. Would any of these things have happened, had she not discovered her gluten allergy in the spring of 2011? She’s not so sure. After years of daily stomach aches brought on by her food choices, Dana feels better than ever before and could not imagine returning to a life with gluten.
Gluten-free has become a trend, a buzz word that has taken up prime real estate on food labels everywhere. What does it mean exactly? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Those who are intolerant of it, allergic or sensitive to it, need to adopt a lifestyle of paying close attention to food labels. I sat down with Dana at the Gluten-Free Pizza Event, put on by The Venice Bakery in Los Angeles, CA, to discuss her new life and how going gluten-free changed everything.
Chrissa Hardy: First of all, congrats on your gold medal win! Has your life returned to normal or is it still pretty hectic?
Dana Vollmer: It’s still pretty hectic. I’m enjoying it a lot. Initially, I was planning to go back to my hometown in Texas to visit with my family and sort of relax, but I’ve just been traveling non stop and I love it. It’s been really great. It’s one thing to have the excitement of the Olympics but, now it’s so great to see the kids and how their faces light up when they get to wear the gold medal. I remember when I was 12 and I saw my first gold medal, that’s when I decided that I wanted to become an Olympian.
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By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., TheBestLife.com lead nutritionist
I’m throwing a small dinner party for a friend this weekend. On the menu: pasta. That’s a big deal, because pasta has been food non grata for more than a year. It’s not an Atkins anti-carb thing—this time, it’s the anti-gluten movement.
It seems like everyone I know is foregoing wheat and other grains containing this protein. So why are so many people going gluten-free? None of them have celiac, a serious condition in which the immune system attacks the intestines after gluten is consumed (about one percent of Americans suffer from this condition). A few might have “gluten sensitivity,” a less harmful, but still uncomfortable condition that affects about five percent of the population. (For details on these conditions, check out What Everyone Needs to Know About Gluten.)
In fact, most people who tell me they’ve cut out gluten have no obvious problem with it. Some are going along for the ride because their spouse or child is off gluten, others think it might help them lose weight—simply cutting out bread can be quite effective for some people—and still others are convinced it’s simply healthier.
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Welcome to the third installment of my “How to Eat Gluten Free” series. Today we’re looking at perhaps the most complicated and time-consuming meal of all: Dinner.
Most of us are so exhausted by the time we get home from work that we want nothing more than to plop down on the couch and have dinner magically appear before us – myself included. But that’s a reality most of us don’t know. Couple that with trying to find ideas for healthy, gluten free dishes and you have a recipe for dinner disaster.
If this describes your current scenario, fret not, as we’ve compiled a list of five simple and healthy recipes that will have you looking forward to your nightly meal instead of dreading it by the noon hour.
Curried Rice with Shrimp - This gorgeous and healthy dish from Real Simple takes your weeknight dinner from ‘blah’ to ‘ta-da’ in a flash. Let the exotic flavors of curry and basil win you over, and the shrimp and rice keep you satisfied for hours.
Lentil Soup - The weather may still be a little warm for soup just yet, but fall and winter are right around the corner. We say warm up and fill up with this healthy dish that features tomato, kale, carrots, and, of course, fresh green lentils.
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If you missed my introduction to gluten-free eating in which I shared how to eat gluten free for breakfast, consider this my second installment covering all-things gluten-free lunch.
I wanted to create a gluten-free breakfast, lunch and dinner menu because I have plenty of friends who are gluten free and I never know what to prepare them when I’m hosting. I figured the best solution was to do some research and then share what I found here so I can come back as a reference and pick a dish depending on what type of meal I’m serving.
Today we’re looking at how to eat gluten free for lunch, because if you’re like me, all I ever want for lunch is a big sandwich – something gluten-free dieters typically can’t have. But the good news is, there are so many delicious gluten-free options that are easy to throw together for lunch that there’s no reason to come up short on ideas. Here are just a few of my favorite newly-discovered gluten-free dishes.
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