There are many who need to live a gluten-free lifestyle due to an intolerance or allergy to gluten. There are issues with going gluten-free however, such as gluten-free substitutes for bread, cookies, crackers, or pizza crust, are often higher in calories and carb content than the conventional gluten-filled version. Relying on them may cause insulin resistance and fat gain.
Products that are labeled gluten-free or that were previously gluten-free may not actually be gluten-free. Companies regularly reformulate products, and although a product can’t be labeled gluten-free if it contains gluten, if a product or food is made in a plant or kitchen that also processes gluten, it may be contaminated by gluten.
There are no labeling regulations regarding the definition of “gluten free”, meaning that marketers can claim a product is gluten-free even if it is made beside a gluten-containing product. Additionally, products that appear to be gluten-free, including sauces, condiments, dried fruit, and spices may contain gluten, but a store-based marketer may not know this, and inadvertently label it gluten-free.
Here are several ways that you can successfully eliminate gluten from your diet, and take away the guess-work as well. The first and most obvious thing that can be done to benefit your health regardless of whether you are attempting to go gluten-free is to eliminate all processed foods. Minimize eating gluten-free substitutes such as bread and crackers. If you are transitioning to a whole food-based diet at the same time you are eliminating gluten, it may be helpful to use gluten-free substitutes to help you make the transition, but be careful how much of these substitutes you consume as they may compromise body composition and insulin health.
Eat high-quality protein from whole foods sources such as wild and grass-fed meats, beans, nuts, and seeds. Be sure to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and berries. By doing so you will ensure you are getting adequate fiber. If you are eating a high-protein diet, getting enough fiber is an important component.
Consider taking glutamine, because it will boost the immune system and help seal up gaps in the intestinal wall that are caused by gluten. Also, a probiotic supplement will provide the healthy, live bacteria found in yogurt that will support digestive health. A prebiotic supplement can be added as well. A Prebiotic is not a live bacteria, but a fiber that, when consumed, causes vigorous growth of the beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut. You need the prebiotic present for the probiotic to grow. There are a variety of prebiotics, including oligosaccharides, oligofructose and inulin, which are found in onions, garlic, yams, leeks, asparagus, bananas, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion, and wheat and barley – these two contain gluten. Prebiotics maintain gut health, aid in the absorption of magnesium and calcium, improve glucose tolerance, and may fight the development of cancer tumors.
If you still want to cook with flour, try using coconut, pea, quinoa, or flaxseed flour. Avoid all wheat flour products like rye, barley, kamut, chapatti flour, brewer’s yeast, farina, semolina, spelt, bulgur, couscous, malt, seitan, triticale, and graham flour. Oats are gluten-free, but they are often processed in plants that also process wheat and are commonly contaminated by gluten. Avoiding corn is also a consideration, especially genetically modified and processed corn, because there is data that corn is the second most common food sensitivity after gluten. Opt for organically grown corn if you choose to include it in your diet.
Sauces, condiments, and spices may not appear to contain gluten in their ingredients, but gluten is often used as a stabilizing agent. Gluten is used to create a smooth texture such sauces as soy sauce and ketchup. It can also be found in unsuspected places such is in medications, postage-stamp glue, chewing gum, and cosmetics, such as lipstick.
In the case of a gluten-free diet, you need think ahead when planning meals and snacks. You aren’t going to be able to rely on getting edible food without some effort if you are trying to avoid gluten. If you choose to eliminate gluten, have confidence in your decision and stick to it if it makes you feel physically better. You can’t allow convenience, or eating what those around you are eating, to be a factor in the decision to adopt this as a healthy lifestyle choice.