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The Basics of a Gluten-Free Lifestyle
Lets start with the basic . Going gluten-free is a total change of lifestyle and can be explained with 3 different conditions – you are Celiac diagnosed, you are gluten sensitive or you just like the new fashion and want to try it. No matter what is the reason behind it, there are strict rules that need to be applied to your gluten-free diet and here is some basic information that can help you.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a special kind of protein. It can be found in wheat, grains, rye. The main purpose is to keep food elasticity intact during the production phase. Sounds good so far, right? The problem is that not everyone can digest gluten properly and it could be harmful. Less than 10% of world’s population is not tolerant to gluten and they can be diagnosed with Celiac.
What is a Gluten Free Diet
A gluten-free diet can be tried from different number of people and it is a must for some as well. If you are diagnosed with Celiac or if you are gluten sensitive, you would have to change your dieting completely. But what is a gluten-free diet? is it as strange and scary as most people would like to think? We will take a look for more gluten information.
Best gluten-free foods
If you are sensitive to gluten or you just want to try to live without it, there are plenty of options how you can be healthier and still enjoy a delicious meal. There are a number of gluten-free (naturally!) foods in our markets – fruits, vegetables, fish, meal, eggs. Gluten is a protein in our body but if your body is unable to process it efficiently – you must focus on those foods. Soups and sauces are probably the biggest enemy of the gluten-free diet as they contain the special protein in hidden forms – many companies are using gluten as a thickener. So make your own soup with fresh vegetables , then you will be safe !
You can have such a wide variety of delicious and healthy meals using just gluten free products as you can see in other post .
There is a common conception that cereals are to be avoided as well and usually that is true. Most of them contain gluten but if you are looking long enough you will spot the “gluten-free” labels on some of them.
Can I eat grains?
While you should be avoiding wheat, rye, there are still ways you can have certain grains in your diet. Some of them can be easily found in the local supermarket and for some you would need to look in specialized healthy stores. Naturally gluten-free grains are – rice, soy, corn, chia, quinoa, beans, gluten-free oats. Tip – avoid purchasing those grains in bulk as they might have been in contact with gluten-containing foods.
What can I drink?
Water , Water, Water, ! Juices, sodas, sports drink – all good for the gluten-free diet. Wine, cider, liqueurs can be included in your lifestyle as well. On the other side, beer, lagers have to be avoided as most of them are containing gluten.
The downside of a gluten-free diet comes with beer. Most beers sold in our supermarkets are containing the protein called gluten and if you are a die hard fan, you would need to be looking for the “gluten-free” label.
Probably the best advice you can get if you are on a gluten-free dieting is label reading and then education. You must be reading each label when purchasing your food – at least in the beginning when you get used to it. There is nothing scary in this endeavor and it can lead to many benefits but you must be careful. Base your diet on naturally gluten-free foods and you will be as happy as you were.
Who Should Really Have a Gluten-Free Diet ?
Gluten-free diets are the modern way people are turning from the regular lifestyle. But it is not just a fashion thing that you can brag with your friends inside the local mall. Many people are diagnosed with a condition called “Celiac” and the doctors have informed them that they will have to stay away from gluten-containing foods for the rest of their lives. Sounds scary at first and it could be if you let it run your life but the internet is full of information and more people are writing good books about this topic.
What are the Celiac symptoms?
Being diagnosed with a disease is always a game changer. This one is no different. Anemia, diarrhea, bone pain, severe skin rash – some of the symptoms connected to celiac and if you have any of them, make sure to see your doctor. Sometimes you might have the disease without any of those symptoms as well. Regular appointments with the good doctors are needed. Gluten-free diets are a must only when you are diagnosed with Celiac or you are sensitive to foods containing gluten. Everything else is a choice. If you think you might be sensitive, keep eating foods and ask for a blood test. This way you will be certain that the blood test is accurate – if you have not eaten gluten-containing foods, the test will be normal.
Celiac and gluten sensitivity
The main reason why would someone change their eating habits is health. Getting diagnosed with celiac could be a life changing event. It is usually surrounded by symptoms like diarrhea, severe rashes but there are many cases when no symptoms were experienced and yet the disease was there. If you are gluten sensitive a change in the meal plan is necessary as well. The gluten-free diet would have to be for life but if you follow it strictly you would still fully enjoy the rest of your healthy life.
Having to change your diet from regular to gluten-free could be a hassle in the beginning but with all the information online, it could start a life altering chain of events. Again, the most important tip that you will get is to read the labels of the foods carefully. Familiarize yourself with the needed gluten information and how to avoid foods containing gluten.
What is forbidden?
If you are certain about your condition and are definitely going gluten-free, most grains should be avoided. That does not mean that you cannot enjoy some of them (quinoa, chia, corn – all naturally gluten-free). What you should avoid when it comes down to grains is wheat, rye, barley. A lot of the delicious everyday foods are naturally gluten-free – you can safely eat eggs, cheese, milk, beans and most importantly fruits and vegetables. If you are not used to some of the gluten-free foods, initially you will experience like your body is missing substantial ingredients but as anything else in life – it is about habits and it takes time to adjust and get used to it.
Are you gluten sensitive? how did you discover that? was it diagnosed by a doctor?Let me know below.