Gluten Free Diet Tips to Make Your Life Easier
If you have been experiencing uncomfortable digestive symptoms when consuming gluten, you're not alone! Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity has become a common issue for many people. Though following such an alleged "restricted" diet may seem like a tough task, these gluten-free diet tips can make your life easier!
So you or a loved one have been experiencing uncomfortable digestive symptoms or witnessed signs of a nutritional deficiency... Only to find out, the body is dealing with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. So what now? The only known treatment of celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity (at this time) points towards diet - specifically, the ever so popular, gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free for Beginners
First off, gluten is found is wheat, barley, and rye and it is imperative to eliminate their associated products - wheat pasta, rye bread, etc. And while oats are mostly included in the "gluten-containing" list, they are naturally absent of gluten but may become contaminated during food processing and manufacturing. Additionally, gluten is hidden in a wide-variety of products such as vinegars, sauces, dressings, gravies, and even medications.
So you may be wondering, "What can I eat?" and "Is gluten-free healthy?" To answer both questions: You can certainly eat an abundance of healthy foods - whole grains (other than gluten-containing wheat, barley, and rye), fresh fruits and veggies, milk and dairy products, lean proteins, and healthy fat sources. The following gluten-free tips can further aid in celiac disease or gluten sensitivity management!
Gluten-Free Diet Tips
Check the Product Label
Reviewing the packaging and label on the product can help aid in selecting gluten-free products. Requirements and standards are set into place for gluten-free labeling at a national level. If the label is non-existent on a food, a quick internet search on the manufacturer or food company may offer further insight regarding gluten-free options.
Most grocery stores now feature a gluten-free section or aisle, making shopping (and your life) much easier! So if desiring or needing a gluten-free product, you can have peace in mind knowing the products are absent of gluten.
Scope Out the Menu
Restaurants are improving strides to make menu options gluten-free friendly. As an added tip to make your life easier, scope out the menu prior to dining at certain restaurants. Since most restaurants upload their menus to mobile apps or accessible online, knowing what options are available can alleviate stress some gluten-free individuals experience when eating out.
Choose Fresh Foods
Most fresh foods are naturally gluten-free. Choosing fresh products over prepackaged foods also tend to be higher in nutrients and serve the body well. Such products include fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, cheese, meat and fish.
Experiment in the Kitchen
A gluten-free diet does not translate to subpar foods! And against what your mom may have said ("Don't play with your foods!"), following a gluten-free diet certainly gives you permission to. Have fun and experiment with gluten-free foods along with flavorings and seasonings. This is also a great opportunity to open up the discussion of healthy eating and food preparation with friends and family!
Though the tips indicated are valuable in eliminating gluten, it is important to stay cautious. Gluten is found in an extensive list of products and even if they are avoided, cross-contamination may arise. Minimize that risk with these six ways to avoid gluten cross-contamination!
You do not have to go on this new journey alone! Though the tips above may be beneficial, reach out to others for strength in numbers. Healthcare professionals can further assist in disease management and reduce the risk of deficiencies while friends and family can be a strong support system!