If you’re sensitive to it, eliminating gluten from your diet can seem impossible at first. We’re here to help. Read How To Go Gluten Free: In A Nutshell!
You could have a couple different conditions which are triggered by gluten, and not everyone understands the difference. Most people think that they have to have celiac disease to have an issue with gluten (1). There is also gluten sensitivity, which is similar but different.
If you are sensitive, you may feel effects that are not entirely noticeable at first, but can make your feel mentally foggy, your energy is off, and you have a rash (2).
Until the last 10 years or so, most had never even heard of the gluten free diet. Lately though, it has become fashionable to say you’re going gluten free. People think that going gluten free will somehow make them automatically healthier, lose weight, and regain their confidence.
Regardless, this popularity has given rise to several large food producers and restaurants offering gluten free options to those who need it most.
What Is Gluten?
Is gluten the devil? No. It is a specific kind of protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt. The word literally is derived from “glue” because these proteins make the bread sticky.
Most people can handle gluten without an issue. For some though, the body considers it a foreign object which must be eradicated. The result is an onslaught of damage to the surrounding cells in your intestines, which causes inflammation, and prevents your body from properly taking in nutrients from food.
If you suspect that you may be allergic to gluten, the best course of action is to contact your doctor. You can either get a blood test, which will check to see if you body has produced cells to combat the gluten.
If it comes up positive, further testing will need to be done on your intestines to see if any damage has been done. It’s better to get tested before your start any diet that focuses on gluten. The reason being, you could be allergic to something else instead.
What Food Should I Avoid?
This is where things get tough. Most commercially produced food products that aren’t pure protein, fruit or veggies tend to contain some form of gluten in them. Why? Because common ingredients in food come from things like wheat. These ingredients include:
- And many more!
That’s the obvious ones. But there are things that contain hidden sources of gluten as well:
- Processed cheese
- Soy sauce
- Chicken broth
- Artificial flavoring
- Protein Bars
Of course, the best way to avoid gluten is to eat foods that have minimal ingredients, and are not processed beforehand.
Best Foods To Eat
Knowing what to eat is just as important as knowing what not to eat. There are several different options, but you’ll need to plan your meals a little better to pull it off.