Discover Why the Gluten-free Diet Can Be Very Tricky

Yes, you read that right. The gluten-free diet can be very tricky for the simple fact that gluten can be hiding in many foods and you may not know which foods contain gluten. Following a gluten-free lifestyle is tough enough as it is without gluten playing hide and seek with you.

This article will highlight place where gluten may be hiding so that you can spot it a mile away. Of course, before even going into foods that may contain gluten, you need to be aware of foods that you can and cannot eat.

gluten-free diet

A general rule of thumb is that most natural foods do not contain gluten. Eggs, meat, poultry, vegetables, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts, legume and fruit do not contain gluten. Feel free to eat these to your heart’s content.

While there are grains that contain gluten, there are many that don’t and are perfectly safe to consume even if you’re gluten intolerant. Rice, soy, yucca, teff, millet, quinoa, tapioca, millet, potato, yucca, cassava, maize and oats (gluten-free) are all safe foods to eat. You do have choices.

Now, let’s look at why you may inadvertently end up getting gluten in your diet. In many cases, it may not even be your fault. Gluten may creep into your diet because of cross-contamination or even deceptive or poor labeling.

For example, in stores that package their gluten-free food, they often use the same preparation area for non-gluten free foods. Some crumbs from the bakery section may find their way into the cut fruit packages if a common preparation is used.

Even at home, one family member might use a knife on the whole-wheat bread and leave crumbs in the butter. The gluten intolerant person may get these crumbs into their body without even realizing it. So, separate containers will be required.

Another matter that you may totally have no control over is for processed foods. Even with products such as canned fruit or vegetables, the manufacturing line may be processing gluten containing foods too. There is a very real possibility of cross-contamination despite what the labels say.

In cases like these, you may have to contact the manufacturer and get reassurance that their product line is solely dedicated to gluten-free products. This is a hassle but it is a necessary inconvenience, especially for those who have celiac disease.

Living on a gluten-free diet is a lifelong challenge. There is no easier way to say it.

You need to be aware of foods that contain gluten. Like mentioned earlier, natural foods such as meat do not contain gluten. However, processed meats such as sausages, meatballs and ground meats may use wheat-based filler. Now you have a meat that contains gluten.

Sauces, gravies and marinades may contain gluten too. That dollop of tomato sauce you just added to your plate may have gluten flour in it. That bag of potato chips may be seasoned with ingredients that contain wheat starch.

So, you need to be alert all the time. You need to research and exercise due diligence in getting as well-informed as you can. Ultimately, this will help you make the best choices when deciding if the food you plan to eat is something you should be eating. Forewarned is forearmed.


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5 Gluten-free Diet Mistakes You MUST Avoid

The gluten-free diet  is an extremely strict diet. Unlike most other diets which have a certain degree of laxity, the gluten-free diet does not have that luxury. Most of the people on the gluten-free diet are gluten intolerant.

Even a small amount of gluten in their diet will cause symptoms such as headaches, lethargy, rashes, mood swings, inflammation, etc. None of these are worth writing home about and should be avoided.

gluten-free diet

They can be avoided if gluten is avoided. Yet, many people make mistakes and let gluten creep into their diet, either through ignorance or a lack of will-power. This article will highlight 5 of the most common mistakes that are made and how you should avoid them.

  1. The first mistake that most people make is to think that products that do not list gluten as an ingredient are automatically gluten-free. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Gluten creeps into many products indirectly and you can never be 100 percent sure unless you check.

Gluten is used as a stabilizing agent in many commercial food products. Yet, since it is an agent and not a “food ingredient”, in many cases, it is not mentioned on the label.

Even healthy foods such as vitamins and supplements have been found to contain gluten.

To make matters worse, gluten need to not necessarily come in the form of food. Soaps, creams, shampoos, lipsticks, deodorants, hair sprays and other beauty products may contain gluten because of the wheat germ oil that is often used in the manufacture of these products.

  1. Cross-contamination can happen at any time. Toasting gluten-free bread in a toaster that was used to toast normal bread will cause cross-contamination. You need to be watchful of the way your food is being handled and prepared. Cross-contamination often occurs in a household where one person is gluten intolerant and the rest are not.

Even the most well-meaning family members may make a mistake because it’s always the small things that matter. The devil is in the details. By double dipping a bread knife in butter, they may have inadvertently left tiny gluten containing crumbs in the butter. This is a very common example.

  1. It always goes down first before it comes up. You must remember this. What does this mean? It means that when you first start the gluten-free diet, your body will react negatively. You will not feel good. You may feel sick. You may even suffer withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

You will be very tempted to throw in the towel and give up on the diet. Don’t do that. You will recover from these negative effects. Your body needs to adapt and re-adjust to the new diet.

You should recover in a few days and will come out feeling stronger, healthier and a whole brand new you. You will also notice many pre-existing conditions slowly dissipate and disappear.

  1. Another mistake that many people make is going gluten-free but not adopting a healthy, well-rounded diet. Remember, the gluten-free diet only has one rule. Avoid gluten. It doesn’t concern itself with micro and macro nutrients. You however, need to watch your diet.

You want to ensure that you are getting sufficient protein, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals… while remaining gluten-free.

  1. Don’t believe everything you read, especially food labels. There are major food companies that proudly display the words “Gluten-free” on their product. In reality, due to legal loopholes, products containing 20 parts per million gluten are referred to as gluten-free. This is the harsh reality of the world today where the dollar is more important than the consumer’s health.

Therefore, the onus is on you to make sure the food you eat really is gluten-free. Keep a food journal and record down how you are feeling that day. Over time, you will notice patterns emerging and it will be easy to see what is affecting you. Then, you just need to tweak your diet.

It will take time to achieve a completely gluten-free life. This will be a challenge but rest assured that it is achievable and worth the struggle.


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What are the Pros and Cons of a Gluten-free Diet?

There are two sides to every coin and nothing is perfect for everybody. The same applies for the gluten-free diet. It is extremely beneficial for those who are gluten intolerant. However, there are downsides to it too.

This article will examine both the pros and cons of a gluten-free diet. It goes without saying that if you are gluten intolerant, you really have no choice but to avoid gluten. The weighing of positives and negatives are for the fence sitters who usually tend to think about going on a gluten-free diet for health benefits.

gluten-free diet

You’re probably able to handle gluten and you’re wondering if you should make the switch to a gluten-free lifestyle. If that is the case, do read on.

It may seem that going gluten-free seems to be all the rage these days just like how the paleo diet’s popularity has skyrocketed. However, the gluten-free diet is the result of Celiac disease. This autoimmune disorder affects millions and has serious health implications. Sufferers really need to avoid gluten foods just to stay healthy.

It’s not a trend but an essential lifestyle change to cope with the negative effects of gluten intolerance.

So, what is gluten?

Basically, it’s a protein found in wheat. This protein is made up of glutenin and gliadin. Most flours contain glutenin and this is one reason it is so difficult to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. Most commercially sold foods such as breads, pastries, sauces, etc. contain gluten or wheat based additives.

When a gluten intolerant person consumes gluten foods, the villi, which line the small intestine gets destroyed. This hampers and impedes the body from absorbing nutrients into the blood stream via the small intestines. The end result is a sick person who is nutrient deficient.

So the big question is, should you adopt a gluten-free diet?

If you’re gluten sensitive, the answer in a categorical YES!

If you’re not gluten sensitive, then the answer is no. You do not need to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. It is unnecessary hassle and serves no health benefits. You would be better off with the paleo or Mediterranean diets which are far superior.

The pros of the gluten-free diet only apply to those who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten. They will be able to reduce or make most of their negative health symptoms disappear. Inflammation, headaches, lethargy, etc. all fade and disappear once they go on a gluten-free diet.

The downside to the diet is that it requires immense preparation and you need to be well-informed. You’ll need to find gluten-free substitutes for the usual foods you eat. Gluten also tends to creep in through cross-contamination or it is hidden in certain foods such as sauces, etc.

You will constantly need to be alert and investigate how the food is manufactured. This is really too much work for someone who is not gluten sensitive. Gluten-free foods are not necessarily healthier. They contain fats and calories too. You can gain weight and be unhealthy on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free foods also tend to be more costly.

The gluten-free lifestyle is a solution for sufferers. It is not a health trend that should be adopted if you’re not affected by gluten. You can be healthy by eating wholesome foods in moderation and incorporating an effective exercise regimen in your life. It’ll be easier and way more fun.

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