Gluten is a protein commonly found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.
INSIDE THIS ARTICLE:
WHY GO GLUTEN FREE ?
The main purpose of cutting gluten out of your diet and going Gluten Free is for medical reasons relating to a condition called celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease causing a reaction to foods containing gluten. Over time, the reaction to eating gluten can cause inflammation in the intestine’s lining leading to a number of other medical complications. Only about 1% of the world’s population has been diagnosed with celiac disease, however, many more suffer from the many common effects gluten can have on the body.
Many more individuals fall into the category of “gluten-sensitive”, meaning that gluten causes signs and symptoms related to celiac, however, there is no damage to their small intestine’s lining. Those gluten-sensitive often experience cramping, bloating, diarrhea, headaches, lethargy, and even mood swings when consuming an intolerable amount of gluten.
THE GLUTEN-FREE DIET
Following a gluten-free diet really comes down to carefully selecting foods that have not been made with wheat, barley or rye.
Naturally Gluten Free Foods
- Most Low-fat Dairy Products
- Lean, unprocessed meats: fish & poultry
- Unprocessed beans, nuts, seeds
WHAT TO AVOID
Since gluten is a protein in a few specific ingredients, you have to look out mostly for the ingredients rather than the food as a whole. Although there are some foods that are naturally gluten-free (as listed above), there are plenty more that may or may not contain gluten depending on how the food is processed and what the label indicates.
Read the label
Reading the food label is super important as even some foods that are naturally gluten-free, may have been processed and contaminated during production. For example, oats are generally a gluten-free food, however, in some cases, they can be cross-contaminated with gluten-rich ingredients.
Here is a list of gluten-rich ingredients to search for on the label:
- Triticale (a mix between rye and wheat)
As a general rule of thumb when deciphering a gluten-free food, processed foods need extra attention as these foods are likely to be cross-contaminated or directly processed using wheat, barley, or rye. It is most often better for general health to choose unprocessed foods either way!
It has been known that those who cut gluten out of their diet tend to lose weight easier. Gluten cuts out a number of processed foods and focuses on whole, unprocessed foods such as lean meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Since gluten has also been known to cause digestive problems in those with intolerance or sensitivities, this can also help ease digestive stress caused by gluten. Digestive Enzymes is a great supplement to introduce into your daily diet as a way to aid digestion and enhance the absorption of nutrients. Oftentimes, digestion complications can hinder the body from soaking up all the essential nutrients it needs.
Going gluten-free has also been proven in some cases to improve energy levels and mood significantly.
GLUTEN FREE RECIPES
Recipe Source: All Recipes
Recipe Source: Taste of Home
Recipe Source: Delish