Special Diets

The word “diet” can have a negative connotation but to many it simply used to define their relationship with food.  No matter what you choose to eat (or what you don’t choose to), you’ll find a variety of options at Dawson’s Market. We work hard to stock our shelves with the best selections and are here to help when you find that you must change the way you’ve been eating due to health concerns, allergy or personal preference.

Information to guide you through several of today’s most popular diets:


What is it: Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It is also in most oats – not because of the oat itself but because of the way it is processed. It is what makes pizza dough so stretchy, bread rise and pasta hold together. The chewy structure that is gluten might be pleasing to our palette, but it is detrimental to the one in 200 people who are estimated to have celiac disease, which according to the Center for Celiac Disease Research at the University of Maryland, is one of the most common life-long disorders in western countries. A gluten free diet excludes the eating of foods containing a protein found in wheat, kamut, spelt, barley, rye, malts, triticale and sometimes oats. This means you should be mindful of eating breads, pasta and sometimes certain dairy products that are not clearly marked as “gluten free”. Another good tip to know is that gluten is typically used as a food additive, in various flavoring and sometimes as a thickening agent.

What can I eat? A gluten free diet means you can eat vegetables, fruits, most meats (be careful with sausages, bacon and lunch meats they are sometimes flavored or cased with gluten products that contain gluten), rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, sorghum, quinoa, millet, pure buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, teff, montina, nut flours, and most dairy products. Being “gluten free” does not mean that you can no longer eat your favorite bread, cookie or pasta dish. There are tons of outstanding gluten free breads, pastas and treats on our shelves at Dawson’s Market. Be sure to look for “gluten-free” labeling in each department.

References: www.simplygluten-free.com; www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/what-is-gluten; glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2009/04/gluten-free-cheat-sheet-how-to-go-g.html


What is it? A vegan diet means you will not consume animal products which includes meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, honey, and any animal-derived substance.

What can I eat?

All vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, soy based products such as miso, tempeh, and tofu will all be on your menu as a Vegan. There are tons of awesome vegan dishes that you can try on our hot bar and throughout the store. Some of the dishes and products you should try are,falafel, hummus, veggie burritos,soy ice cream, tempeh, corn chowder, pastas spinach pies and ratatouille. To substitute proteins you would enjoy meats made of soy or gluten for sausages or veggie burgers. Instead of cows milk you would enjoy hemp milk (great to add protein to your diet), almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk. In replacement of honey you might try agave nectar. Vegan cheeses like Chreese, Daiya, Sheese, Teese and Tofutti can replace both the taste and meltability of dairy cheese. Nutritional yeast is also a common cheese substitute in vegan recipes!

References: health.usnews.com/best-diet/vegan-diet; www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm#what


What is it? The fundamental principle behind raw foodism, also called rawism, is to consume plant foods in their most natural state – uncooked and unprocessed. Raw foodism (or rawism) is a diet consisting of uncooked, and unprocessed foods that have never been heated above 104 degree. Raw vegans such as Dr. Brian Clement, Dr. Gabriel Cousin, Thierry Brouwers a.k.a. “Superlight”, Douglas Graham, believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthful or even harmful to the body. Cooking is thought to denature the enzymes naturally present in food. According to raw foodists, enyzymes are the life force of a food, helping us to digest food and absorb nutrients. If we overconsume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated aging, and weight gain.

Depending on your specific degree of raw foodism, there are various food types available to eat. A typical raw foodist diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. However some raw dieters also include raw eggs, raw fish (such as sashimi) and raw meats (such as carpaccio) as well as non-pasteurized dairy products like raw milk, cheese, and yogurt. Many raw foodists are called “raw vegans” because they do not include any animal products in their diet (ie. honey, dairy, fish, etc.).

What can I eat? Typical foods included in a raw food diet are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. Finding raw foods can be tough, especially when you’re on the go, this is why we offer a raw food bar in conjunction with our salad bar. It contains only raw items such as our famous raw kale salad and raw apple & fennel salad. We can also show you a bunch of raw products in-store that work for when you are on the go!

References: altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/Raw_Food.htm; www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/raw-food-diet


What is it? The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet) it
is also sometimes called “the caveman diet.” Paleo diets are based on a simple premise—if the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either. So long to refined sugar, dairy, legumes, and grains (this is pre-agricultural revolution); hello to meat, fish, poultry, fruits, and veggies. This eating choice is based on the nutritional elements of what some consider the original human diet. It is the ancient diet of wild plants and animals that human beings consumed during the Paleolithic era (period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago). The Paleo Diet consists of 7 fundamental characteristics:

  • Higher protein intake
  • Lower carbohydrate intake and lower glycemic index
  • Higher fiber intake
  • Moderate to higher fat intake (think Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s)
  • Higher potassium and lower sodium intake
  • Net dietary alkaline load that balances dietary acid
  • Higher intake of, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & plant phytochemicals.

What can I eat? A Paleo diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruits, fungi, roots, and nuts (http://paleolithicdiet.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/original-introduction/). It excludes legumes grains, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. Anything that could not be hunted or grown would not be included in your diet. Grass fed beef is sometimes hard to find but it is something we keep in stock at Dawson’s! You can also find a nice selection of roots and fungi at Dawson’s that you wouldn’t normally find in your regular grocery store.

References: health.usnews.com/best-diet/paleo-diet; paleolithicdiet.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/original-introduction; thepaleodiet.blogspot.com


What is it? A vegetarian diet or vegetarianism is the practice of not consuming red meat, poultry and seafood. It may sometimes include by-products of animal harvest or products created with animal by-products such as gelatin, or rennet. There are a couple of varieties of the vegetarian diet such as ovo-vegetarian which includes eggs but not dairy products; lacto-vegetarian diet which includes dairy products but excludes eggs and semi-vegetarian diet which includes fish and sometimes poultry but on an infrequent basis. Be sure to check the ingredients in processed foods, cookies, cake, chocolate and marshmallows. Many of these products may contain animal by products.

What can I eat? A vegetarian diet consists of all vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, pastas, seeds, soy based products such as miso, and tofu. There are tons of vegetarian choices on our shelves, and hot bars at Dawson’s! Be sure stop by our frozen section for a nice selection of vegetarian choices from veggie burgers to select quick healthy dinner choices. We also have a beautiful selection of organic and local organic produce as well as a bulk section full of your choice of beans, grains and nuts! The key to a healthy vegetarian diet is variety. Lots of leafy greens, grains, seeds and legumes!

References: www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/vegetarian-and-vegan-diet; www.vrg.org/nutshell/nutshell.htm#what; kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/vegetarian.html