3.1 million people across the United States follow a gluten free diet. And seventy-two percent of them do not have celiac disease.
A gluten free diet excludes the protein gluten, which gets found in wheat, barley, and rye. Its benefits reach far beyond controlling health problems, which is why so many Americans choose to follow it for non-medical reasons.
if you have ever wondered how to start a gluten free diet, you have come to the right place. It may not require as much change or sacrifice as you thought.
1. Celiac Disease Vs Gluten Sensitivity
People with a gluten allergy may experience sensitivity in a variety of ways, including diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and fatigue.
The most severe reaction to gluten is known as celiac disease. Those with celiac have an autoimmune problem that causes the body to treat gluten as a threat.
With celiac disease, the body's antibodies will also attack areas surrounding gluten while it is being digested. This may include the gut wall.
As a result, those with celiac disease can experience severe pain, anemia, and depression. A true allergic reaction will involve respiratory, gastrointestinal, and skin issues.
In order to get diagnosed with celiac disease, you will need a blood test that looks for antibodies that incorrectly interact with the protein. It also gets diagnosed through a biopsy.
Many folks, however, are simply uncomfortable after eating gluten. They will not test positive for celiac disease or a wheat allergy. They will, however, experience stomach pain, bloating, or changes in bowel movements when they eat it.
Those who are gluten sensitive may be advised to try a gluten-free diet for a few weeks to see if symptoms improve. If they don't, the problem may get caused by something other than a gluten allergy.
2. The Benefits of Eating Gluten Free
The obvious benefit of eating gluten-free is that it will reduce gluten-related symptoms. There are, however, other positives that make it a desirable eating style.
Some people have found that a gluten-free diet helped them lose weight. This is because they replace junk food with fruits, veggies, and lean protein. Losing weight can also give you a big energy boost.
You will only lose weight with a gluten-free diet if you replace processed foods with healthier options. If you are simply replacing processed foods with gluten-free processed foods, you may end up gaining weight because they are often higher in sugar and calories.
A gluten-free diet may also help you clean up your skin.
3. What You Can't Eat
A gluten-free diet will require you to avoid wheat-based foods such as wheat bran, barley, and wheat-based bread. You will need to eliminate all bread, pasta, and cereals that aren't labeled gluten-free from your diet.
All baked goods such as muffins, candy, and crackers should be avoided if they contain gluten. You will need to get very good at reading labels. You will also have to avoid non-gluten-free popcorn, pretzels, and pizza.
Gluten also hides out in sauces and marinades such as salad dressings and soy sauce. You should avoid beer altogether. Many creamy soups and flavored nuts and chips also contain gluten.
Most restaurants can now accommodate folks with different dietary needs. You may find certain menu options highlighted as gluten-free options. There are also some restaurants dedicated solely to those who don't eat gluten.
There are lots of gluten-free bread, pasta, and salad dressing options in grocery stores. If you can't find your favorites, you should be able to check online and have them shipped to your house.
The key to gluten-free eating is to eat prepackaged or prepared foods in moderation. There are lots of natural options you are allowed to indulge in.
4. What You Can
Those on a gluten-free diet are allowed to eat all fish and meat except those that are battered. They can also eat eggs, plain yogurt, cheeses, and milk. You will want to stay away from flavored dairy unless you are certain it is gluten-free.
You can eat any and all fruits and veggies on a gluten-free diet. There are also many grains that are gluten-free, including quinoa, rice, and buckwheat. You can substitute refined white flour with options like coconut flour and potato flour.
A gluten-free diet allows you to eat all oils and butter. You can also eat all the herbs and spices. All beverages except beer are okay on a gluten-free diet.
5. Delicious Tips
You can have a little fun with recipes when you are gluten-free. Cauliflower-crust pizzas, for example, are delicious and won't take long to get used to.
Lean proteins like salmon and pork are great fun to grill. Just make sure that your sauces are gluten-free. Light oils with any combination of herbs are great.
Remember that rice is gluten-free, so it is a great way to serve up lean proteins and veggies. And gluten-free folks learn to love the power of a creative omelet.
There are lots of recipes for baking gluten-free with an alternative flour. You will be able to include and snack on many nuts and seeds, as long as they are not coated.
Stuffed peppers, steak, and kabobs are all favorites of gluten-free eaters. Choose your flavors and you will find foods you return to for comfort and energy time and again.
How To Start a Gluten Free Diet
You might have been wondering how to start a gluten free diet. With the right fruits, veggies, and protein, you may never miss gluten again.
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