Gluten-Free Diet: What to Eat & What to Avoid

adapting gluten-free diet

We are always looking into ways in which we can effectively lose weight and look and feel good. This leads to many kind of fab diets which we try to take on to make it happen. But fad diets will get the job done temporarily and do not make a major difference. And some diet plans are only for certain cases and should not be implemented by everyone. For instance a gluten-free diet is catering to certain people only. And it is not adaptable for everyone.

This means if you are actually have the celiac disease then you can opt for a gluten-free diet. Otherwise it is not something which any person should be adapting in their daily lives. While it does have its benefits, you need to be certain whether it is suiting specifically to your case or not.

In this article, I want to talk in detail about what exactly goes in gluten-free diet, the kind of food you can eat and the ones you should be avoiding. What are the benefits, risks and how to prepare.

So let’s begin:

What Is Gluten?

understanding gluten

So gluten basically means a family of various kinds of grains. This will include rye, wheat, barley and others. When you mix the flour containing gluten with water, what you get is a very sticky texture. This is what makes the bread elastic and it will also raise the bread making it all chewy.

Now while there are not major issues with how gluten works, it is true that there are certain conditions relating to it. This will include diarrhea, stomach pain as well as feeling bloating and a sense of depression.

What is Gluten-Free Diet?

And this is what we call when we eat and consume food which does not contain gluten. This means including food which has high volumes of wheat, rye as well as barley. Now when we will be talking about gluten, we will specifically talking on how it relates to and effects people who have celiac disease.

Gluten sensitivity does exist. And ways in managing it effectively is what we will be talking about in detail. Those who are not tolerant to the elements of gluten should be avoiding eating it completely.

Now you will first need to understand what is celiac disease basically?

Celiac Disease and Gluten

This is actually an autoimmune disorder. Those people who suffer from this condition have issues when it comes to ingesting gluten. It is harmful because it will be damaging the lining of your small intestine. If this condition is not taken care of in time. it can also cause long-term problems. You will also likely suffer from other symptoms.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

So how does one know if they are suffering from this disease. There are some common symptoms you may suffer from and these include:

  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • gas
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • headaches
  • anemia 
  • joint pain

These are some of the common symptoms and if you are suffering from one and more, it is best that you first get tested to make sure if you have celiac disease or not. So before we begin, let’s first highlight and talk of ways in which you will be making sure if you are suffering from celiac disease. This is done majorly in two ways:

Blood test

You will be needing to get a blood test done which actually helps in looking if their are any antibodies which are not interacting with the gluten protein in the right manner. This is one of the major tests which will provide the complete picture of the condition.

Biopsy 

Sometimes the results are not as clear or you need some advanced look into the system. And when this happens, you will ne needing to have a biopsy done. This is when small sample tissues are taken from the intestine. This will help your doctor to analyze and understand where the problem lies and make an informed decision.

Only when you get a proper test done for this disease, will you be absolutely certain whether you should be adapting a gluten-free diet or not. It is all about making an informed decision. You should be sure to seek advice and assistance from your dietician before you make your own decision on the diet plan.

While gluten is not harmful, those who are intolerant to this or who suffer from certain conditions should not be eating gluten at all.

Why is Gluten Harmful?

can gluten damage your health

So we have talked about how gluten is not good for those who have certain diseases like celiac. This is because if someone with celiac is consuming gluten, their immune system is going to attack and will damage the inner lining of the small intestine.

And as they continue to consume gluten, their inner system will become even more weak. Up to the point where they cannot absorb nutrients. This can be very harmful to your body and even small complications can arise. These include:

  • Having nutrient deficiencies
  • Anemia can set in
  • Inexplainable weight loss can happen
  • Infertility is a major worrisome factor
  • Neurological conditions can take place

So now that we have covered all the details pertaining to what is gluten, let me share the major food items you should be avoiding so to keep your gluten-free diet strong. This will include:

Foods to Avoid

When it comes to avoiding gluten in your diet, you need to steer clear of all products and food items which contain the following. These are the common ingredients in gluten-based food:

  • Wheat foods. This means anything which includes wheat in any kind of form. This also means wheat bran, wheat flour, spelt, durum as well as semolina.
  • Barley is quite common
  • Rye should be avoided at all costs
  • Triticale is also a major food item to avoid
  • Malt
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Bread also contains gluten elements, specifically wheat-based breads
  • Pasta is also a major source of gluten. Especially pasta with wheat in it
  • There are also certain cereal types which contain gluten but you can also choose the gluten-free as they are readily available in aisles of major supermarkets
  • Baked goods can contain gluten and this includes pizza, muffins, cakes and crumbs
  • Surprisingly you will also find gluten in sauces like teriyaki, soy sauce, and salad dressings
  • Beverages can also contain gluten and this includes alcoholic drinks

You should also make a habit of reading the labels before purchasing any kind of food item. This pretty much sums up and gives an overview of what is inside the good box.

Now that we have had a good understanding on the kinds of food items you should avoid eating, let’s move onto foods which are actually a really good choice when you are trying to adapt a gluten-free diet. Let’s check out what these are:

Foods Which Are Gluten-Free

understanding what falls into gluten free diet

So the good news is , if you are planning to adapt a gluten-free diet, it should not b very problematic as you can opt for many options. There are ways in which you can enjoy healthy and delicious meals. These types of food are completely gluten-free. They include:

  • Meats and Fish- however we are talking about grilled fish here. If you are using battered or coated fish or meat, it may be having traces of gluten in it.
  • Eggs- the good thing is that all kinds of eggs are gluten-free. So you don’t need to look for a specific brand or type.
  • Dairy- so this is a major misconception. Plain dairy products including plain milk, yogurt and cheese do not contain gluten. But if you are choosing the flavored dairy choices, they will be containing gluten. Hence you should be reading the labels just to be 100 percent sure.
  • Fruits and vegetables are your best source of a gluten-free diet. There are just so many options to choose from. Whether it is fleshy or citrus, you can entice the taste buds with a range of delectable choices.
  • Grains- now here we are specially talking about the grains. For example quinoa, rice, tapioca and even corn and millet. They are excellent choices for a diet which is enriching and completely free from gluten.
  • Starches- so it turns out you are safe to enjoy those potatoes. They contain various kinds of benefits and are completely gluten-free. This includes other kinds of flours too. You can include potato flour, corn flour, chickpea flour as well as soy and coconut flour.
  • Herbs and spices are also completely gluten free.
  • Again when it comes to beverages, you can enjoy so many kinds which are really good for the health too.

Conclusion

Gluten-free diet is one of the leading diets people have been raving about. But is it really benefiting for all? In this article, we talked about and touched on how it is effective in those who suffer from celiac disease but can also be adapted by others due to its many health benefits. However you need to make sure you know which foods to eat and what foods to avoid, in order to completely understand the dynamics of a gluten-free diet.

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