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A Beginner's Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet

Getting on a gluten-free diet is essential for people who have celiac disease. However, others have also been ditching gluten for other reasons. 

Some find that a gluten-free diet provides an opportunity for weight loss, although there isn't much research to prove this notion. Meanwhile, there are also people who simply feel healthier and generally better when gluten is taken out from their diet. This is especially true for those who suffer from gluten sensitivity.

No matter your reason for going gluten-free, here are a few reminders to ensure that your diet remains healthy and good for your body.

Know your food

Gluten can be found in the foods you may least suspect, so eating can be some sort of minefield especially for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That's why familiarizing yourself with the various sources of gluten is important. They're not easily identifiable, so in some cases, you'll really have to ask questions about the various ingredients in the food you're about to eat.

If you want to avoid gluten, here are some ingredients, grains, and flours that you should watch out for:

  • all-purpose flour
  • barley
  • barley malt
  • breading
  • bread flour
  • brewer's yeast
  • food starch
  • couscous
  • durum wheat
  • high-protein flour
  • spelt
  • malt vinegar
  • malt
  • wheat flour
  • whole wheat
  • rye
  • starch
  • thickeners

Meanwhile, the following foods may contain gluten:

  • Asian sauces (soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce)
  • baked goods
  • cereal grains
  • chewing gum
  • baking mixes
  • dried fruit
  • croutons
  • beer
  • bread crumbs
  • ice cream
  • gravy
  • bacon
  • jerky
  • luncheon meat
  • macaroni
  • spaghetti
  • spaghetti sauce
  • miso
  • salad dressings

A lot of these foods and ingredients may be part of your daily diet, and you might think that opting for their gluten-free versions is good enough. Well, that isn't really the case. For instance, choosing gluten-free pizza, bread, cookies, etc. may seem like a better alternative. However, the truth is that some of these products may actually have a more negative effect on your blood sugar regulation than their gluten-filled counterparts.

Plan ahead

Carefully planning your meals and really knowing the food products you buy are measures you need to take if you want to cut gluten from your diet. Of course, you don't have to do this so drastically. As a first step, you can gather as much information as you can about going gluten-free.

The internet offers a slew of reliable sources such as:

  • www.celiac.com
  • www.glutenfreegluten.com
  • www.glutenfreedomproject.com
  • www.gfcfdiet.com
  • www.foodallergy.org

Alternatively, you can check these awesome books and cookbooks to guide you through your gluten-free journey:

 
 
 
 

 

Find good food substitutes

 As mentioned earlier, cutting back on gluten isn't as simple as choosing the gluten-free versions of food. There are specific food substitutes that have been proven to be safe for those who want to avoid gluten. When shopping for food, make sure to check if there is a Certified Gluten Free label.

Here are some food substitutes that you might want to try:

 
 
 

 

Author

Gladdys Garcia

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