12 Gluten-Free Tips That Will Change Your Life
Despite managing celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, sticking to a gluten-free diet may be an overwhelming and unnerving task. But bistroMD is here to make your life easier without negotiating its quality. Practice these 12 gluten-free tips that will change your life!
How to Go Gluten-Free for Beginners
1. Avoid "Red Light" Foods
Gluten is naturally found in wheat, barley, rye and their associated products. These grains should be halted to, or stopped at, to prevent unpleasant signs and symptoms that follow gluten ingestion. Symptoms will not only be alleviated, but the body can start to heal itself and reduce health complications later down the road.
2. Enjoy "Green Light" Foods
Going gluten-free does not have to be restrictive, as there are is an extensive amount of foods that are celiac disease-friendly. So instead of going into the diet with a narrowed mindset, take this opportunity as a change to release the brakes and drive towards new opportunities. Enjoy these gluten-free friendly foods!
3. Enjoy Nature's Garden
Get back to basics with nature's garden! Fresh produce supplies extensive nutrients the body benefits from, all while being naturally gluten-free. Get ambitious with homegrown plants, explore the nearest farmers market, or experiment with new fruits, veggies, and herbs found in most grocery stores!
4. Use Substitutes and Alternatives
Though your favorite food products may contain that notorious gluten, food companies have taken (and continue to take) big strides to cater to a gluten-free clientele. Seek out substitutes and alternatives to still enjoy favored meals!
5. Chat with Restaurant Employees
Do not feel embarrassed or discouraged to address gluten-free options when eating out! Employees will be able to guide you on safe food options. Additionally, keeping them aware of the need can further increase their attentiveness in reducing gluten cross-contamination.
6. Get Comfortable with Labels
When in doubt, check the label out! Product and ingredient labels help paint the entire picture of food and nutrients, including the verification of gluten. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the term "gluten-free" for voluntary use. Food products that bear the claim (labeled on or after August 5th, 2014), must meet set requirements of the gluten-free labeling rule.
7. Experiment in the Kitchen
Use this time to start having fun (or more fun) in the kitchen! Though going out and enjoying meals certainly still stands, preparing meals at home helps with ingredient control. This serves true for not only gluten avoidance, but of unwanted fat, sugar, salt, and other preservatives.
8. Form or Join a Support Group
Forming or joining such groups can further strengthen not only knowledge of a gluten-free diet, but form a strong support system. Having a support group can reduce concerns while increasing confidence in sustaining a gluten-free diet.
9. Seek Out Resources
Especially with the internet so easily accessible, there is an extensive amount of resources right at your fingertips. Celiac disease and gluten-free resources are valuable for quick and informative material without expensive healthcare bills. A quick engine search can further supply available resources.
10. Stay Fact-Focused
When seeking out resources and informational material, stay fact-focused. With so many resources available, getting sucked into intriguing recommendations is reasonable. However, it is important to disregard self-taught theories of non-credentialed individuals and stick to the facts. Try to not divvy away from accredited websites and organizations that promote education from healthcare professionals.
11. Be Proactive
Have some sort of game plan in your mind. Whether it be searching menus, identifying gluten-free products prior to a grocery store trip, or partaking in meal prep, staying proactive can minimize gluten ingestion and undesirable side effects. Partaking in such precautions and practices can also save on time and money!
12. Remain Positive
Like in most (or all) aspects of life, remain positive! Managing celiac disease can be tough, especially in the beginning stages. However, it is important to stay encouraging and continue to live life in a healthful way. Keeping an optimistic attitude can better serve health and prevent potential consequences later down the road.
Questions and Answers: Gluten-Free Food Labeling Final Rule. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm362880.htm.