How to Roast Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
April 2, 2017 – 4:40 pm | Comments Off on How to Roast Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

I’ll be the first to confess that elaborate mushrooms scare me a bit. The otherworldliness of enokis, the meatiness of King Trumpet stalks, the sponge-like texture of Lion’s Manes.
But I’ve been served Hen of the …

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Home » GFF (Gluten-free friendly), Healthy supermarket picks, No lactose? No problem.

Hard-to-Find, digestively-friendly versions of staple foods

Submitted by on January 21, 2014 – 1:34 pmOne Comment

productsWorking in a gastroenterology practice, I specialize in helping people with sensitive digestive systems navigate around a variety of food intolerances.  Once we isolate the offending ingredient or compound–whether gluten, lactose, fructose, inulin or artificial sweeteners–the next question is inevitably: “Can you recommend a safe [cereal/bar/vitamin/yogurt] for me to eat?”

We all come to rely on a handful of specific staples in our diets to keep our days running on autopilot: the breakfast standby, the go-to mid-morning snack, the convenient bar to toss in our bag when heading out for a busy day.  It’s hardly a surprise, then, that these are the foods I get asked most frequently about when food intolerance up-ends one’s dietary business as usual.  Here are some of the products that I generally recommend:

Most digestively-friendly bar: Go Macro Peanut butter Macrobar.  Most energy or granola bars host one or more digestively-challenging ingredients, from the protein source (soy, milk or whey protein concentrates, which can be gassy for many people) to the added fiber (fructo-oligosaccharides or inulin/chicory root fiber) to the sweetener (calorie-free sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol or sucralose, or fructose-rich natural sweeteners like honey or agave.)  Rare is the bar that has none of the above.  So far, the Peanut Butter Macrobar is the only one I’ve come across that passes the test.  If you’re sensitive to higher fat foods, try eating it half a bar at a time.

Most digestively friendly cereal: Erewhon Quinoa & Chia cereal.  Someone was reading my mind when they formulated this product: a gluten-free cereal that’s a good source of tummy-friendly fiber from quinoa and chia AND super low in sugar?  They should send this as a free gift to every new person diagnosed with Celiac disease or IBS.

Most digestively-friendly gummy vitamin: Vitamin Friends Gummy Vitamins These are a new find I’m super excited about– a digestively friendly gummy vitamin that contains IRON!  I found these when looking for an iron supplement for my three year old son, whose fruitarian tendencies earned him a case of anemia.  All of the chewable kids products were such a turn-off– loaded with artificial food dyes, nasty preservatives and numerous laxative-type sweeteners (sorbitol, mannitol…).  And none of the gummy multivitamins had iron.  The Vitamin Friends brand stood out on several dimensions: its sweetened with easy-to-absorb cane sugar and glucose (rather than high-fructose sugars or artificial sugars), preserved naturally with citric acid, colored naturally with carrot extracts and thickened with a digestively beneficial soluble fiber called pectin.  The iron product contains an impressive 15mg per gummy, which limits the need to dose multiple sugary bears.  Sold!

Most digestively-friendly yogurt: Green Valley Organics Lactose Free.  Generally, there are three potentially difficult to digest ingredients in any given yogurt: lactose, fructose or inulin.  Lactose is naturally present in the milk, fructose is used as a sweetener, and inulin is often used to provide “mouthfeel” when fat is removed, as in a fat-free or lowfat product.  In certain  sensitive people, any one of these ingredients can cause gas or diarrhea.  GVO is the only nationally-distributed brand I’ve encountered that meets my criteria for true digestive friendliness, and it makes a great snack paired with a (low fructose) fruit like bananas or blueberries– or sprinkled with a dash of powdered peanut butter!


FTC disclosure: I am a paid consulting dietitian for Green Valley Organics Lactose Free.




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One Comment »

  • Sue Neighbor says:

    It would be REALLY helpful if you could publish and/or list gluten free foods which are not really gluten free when tested. otherwise, we can’t adhere to only the good stuff unless we completely abstain from all prepared foods. Having been, probably, a celiac from nearly birth(a failure to thrive,non-breast fed baby with stomach problems all of my 75 years, surviving childhood with aa totally nonfat diet as my very careful mother could provide), diagnosed with – in order spastic colon and then IBS, finally relieved at 42 by an advice nurse at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland CA when I actually had to give up most prepared foods because celiac was not a “sexy” condition that the food industry picked up on, I still have IBS that I cannot predict nor prevent, as well as GERD (for over 15 years) for which I take Nexium. I have tested negative for gluten antibodies because I have eaten little or no gluten for 30 years. The older I get, the worse it seems. And I di use a lot of prepared foods now, as I have not the energy I had when I was younger. So what about some of my favorites? Amy’s frozen entres, Uti’s breads, Pamala’s baked goodies and mixes, Betty Crocker mixes, Against the grain breads? Some of these use “gums” but don’t seem to be connected with IBS flares. The FODMAP diet restricts everything I like that is supposed to be helpful for IBS people and is really healthy (legumes, cabbage family foods, onions). I drink neither caffeine nor alcohol. I usually can eat this kind of stuff unless I am suffering an outbreak. So, as you can see, an actually list would be very helpful.