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Gluten Free Diet For Beginners

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Step : Learn What Foods To Include Or Avoid

A Beginners Guide to Gluten Free

While the basis of a gluten-free diet is avoiding certain foods, you should also learn what foods are safe to eat. There are many naturally gluten-free foods you can still enjoy that happen to be delicious and healthy! Focus on shopping the perimeter of your grocery store: vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, meats, and dairy products are good places to start. In their natural forms, without potentially gluten-containing flavorings or ingredients added, these foods are gluten-free and are staples of a gluten-free diet.

If you are going gluten-free, these gluten-containing grains should be eliminated from your diet:

  • Wheat Includes all varieties and forms such as: durum, spelt, semolina, couscous, bulgur, emmer, farina, farro, and einkorn.
  • Barley

Avoid varieties and derivatives of these three grains including:

  • Triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye
  • Wheat starch that has not been processed to reduce gluten to the levels that meet the definition of gluten-free
  • Malt extract derived from barley
  • Malt vinegar derived from barley
  • Brewers yeast usually derived from beer that is brewed from wheat, barley, or rye

Choose naturally gluten-free grains and flours, including rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, cassava, coconut, arrowroot, amaranth, teff, flax, chia, yucca, bean flours, and nut flours.

What about oats?

People With Gluten Sensitivity

Another condition that may prompt someone to cut gluten from their diets is a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, sometimes called gluten intolerance. We dont have a clear definition for gluten intolerance or a clear way to explain it, says Rajagopal. We know that some people eat something that contains gluten and then they dont feel well.

Its important not to assume that gastrointestinal irritation is the result of gluten. If you think you may have a gluten intolerance, Rajagopal recommends working with a physician and a registered dietitian to get to the bottom of your symptoms.

There isnt a test for gluten intolerance, so we might try a process of elimination such as the low FODMAP diet, says Rajagopal. This is a temporary eating plan that eliminates lots of foods that can irritate the gut, including wheat-based products. If gluten is the source of the irritation, you may notice an improvement in symptoms such as:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain

Simply Request No Gluten Please At Restaurants

There are a number of gluten-free restaurants, similar to how there are vegetarian/vegan restaurants around that serve delicious food. If itâs inconvenient to find any, for example if youâre with a group of friends who eat gluten, simply ask the waiter for a selection of gluten-free food. Nowadays, restaurants will cater for their customers down to a tee.

Recommended Reading: Are Bud Light Seltzers Gluten Free

Introduction To A Gluten

Individuals with gluten-related disorders must avoid gluten for health reasons. This includes anyone diagnosed with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity , or dermatitis herpetiformis , the skin condition related to celiac disease. Gluten is the generic name for certain types of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye and their derivatives.

When individuals with celiac disease ingest gluten, an immune response occurs which damages the lining of the small intestine and can lead to symptoms and health problems in virtually all body systems. Even very small amounts of gluten can cause problems, whether or not obvious symptoms are present. In the case of non-celiac gluten sensitivity , damage to the small intestine may not occur, but gluten must still be avoided.

The gluten-free diet should not be started before being properly diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder. Starting the diet without complete testing makes later diagnosis difficult. Tests to confirm celiac disease could be falsely negative if a person were on a gluten-free diet for a period of time. For a valid diagnosis to be made, gluten would need to be reintroduced for at least several weeks before testing.

Clean Out Your Pantry

Gluten Free

Sort through your pantry and identify foods that contain gluten. If you live alone or will have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, donate any foods you can no longer eat.

If you live with gluten eaters, place all foods containing gluten on the bottom shelves of your pantry and reserve the top shelves for your gluten-free foods. Label shelves and food you dont want others to touch.

Also Check: Gluten Free Substitute For Bread Crumbs

Do I Need To Avoid Oats

Its best to check with your health care provider to see if you can eat traditional oats or if you need to look for certified gluten-free oats. To find out if your favorite brand of oatmeal is gluten-free, check the package each time you purchase them. You can also call the company or check the brands website. Some brands, such as Bobs Redmill, Glutenfreeda, and GF Harvest make oatmeal that is certified gluten-free. When eating out or when in doubt, avoid oats and oat-containing cereals and breads since oats may be cross-contaminated with wheat.

More Strategies For A Gluten

Here are ideas to better make the transition to a gluten-free diet:

  • These include cooking utensils, cutting boards, forks, knives, and spoons.

  • When eating out, if youre not sure about the ingredients in a particular dish, ask the chef how the food was prepared. You can also ask whether a gluten-free menu is available. Most restaurants have a website where you can review the menu in advance.

  • Ask your pharmacist if any of your medicines contain wheat or a wheat byproduct. Gluten is used as an additive in many products from medicines to lipstick. Manufacturers can provide a list of ingredients on request if they are not named on the product. Many herbals, vitamins, supplements, and probiotics contain gluten.

  • Watch your portion sizes. Gluten-free foods may be safe and good for you, but they’re not calorie-free.

If you still feel symptoms on your gluten-free diet, double check that you’re not still consuming small amounts of gluten hidden in sauces, salad dressings, and canned soups or through additives, such as modified food starch, preservatives, and stabilizers made with wheat. Even some medicines can contain gluten. Tablets and capsules can be sources of gluten contamination. The risk of your medicines containing gluten is very small but, if you are concerned, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Read Also: Is Red Wine Gluten Free

Master Eating Out Gluten Free

Restaurant staff must take great care when preparing your food including using separate pots, utensils, cooking oils and clean hands/gloves. Restaurants may say they can make a gluten-free dish, but can they really?

Here are a few resources to help you eat out safely and gluten free:

The Ultimate Guide to Eating Out Gluten Freebook. This ebook includes everything you need to know about eating out safely while on a gluten-free diet. Its required reading for anyone who likes to eat out while following a strict gluten-free diet.

Eating Out Library. I share all my experiences at various restaurants on my blog and encourage you to scroll through my Eating Out library.

Here is a list of fast casual and fast food restaurants that Ive tried. I also tested 20+ restaurants with my Nima Sensor. You can see the full report in this post, How Did 20 Restaurants Fare Against the Nima Sensor?

Eating at Friends Houses. I get a lot of questions about how to safely eat at a friends house. I wrote this article that features 10 tips to hosting your gluten-free friend for a meal and encourage you to share it with your friends.

Handling Special Occasions. Special occasions, like weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, can be difficult when you eat gluten free. I wrote about how to navigate special events when youre on a gluten-free diet.

Healthy Tips To Eat Gluten

Gluten-Free Eating for Beginners: How I started

Know whats off limits. The first step is to understand the basics: where does gluten typically live? Gluten is a protein, and the following grains and starches that naturally contain the gluten protein include:

  • Wheat
  • Oats

Talk directly to chefs. If youre going out to eat and could get very sick if you eat gluten, the best thing you can do is talk directly to the chef or cook in the kitchen. Even if certain meals on a menu sound gluten-free, oftentimes foods are cooked in pans or pots that have contained gluten for other dishes, and cross-contamination can occur. This applies to the bar as well. If a pint glass that had a beer in it wasnt thoroughly rinsed, even something safe like an apple cider could contain hints of gluten. The best thing you can do is to dine at an establishment where the entire restaurant is gluten-free so you run into no risk of becoming contaminated. Luckily, these eateries are becoming more and more popular.

Make a plan when going out. If youre heading to a wedding, dinner party, or another outing that will involve food, plan ahead. If its a restaurant, call the establishment to find out if there are foods for you to eat. If youre attending a wedding or another event, see if you can find out details about the menu. Its always better to be safe than sorry, so carrying emergencies snacks is key if you arent able to eat whats offered. Bring a handful of raw nuts, a sandwich in a gluten-free wrap, or a homemade quinoa salad with fresh veggies.

Also Check: Substitute For Gluten Free Bread Crumbs

Will I Go Through Gluten Withdrawal If I Start Eating Gluten

Theres no scientific evidence to suggest that people actually go through withdrawal when they stop eating gluten. Some people report feeling dizziness, nausea, extreme hunger and even anxiety and depression when they suddenly go from eating a lot of gluten to being gluten-free. These symptoms usually go away after a few weeks on a gluten-free diet, but talk to your health care provider if they persist.

Consider Supplementation To Support Digestion Post Cross Contamination

Sadly, it is almost impossible to be 100% gluten free at all times.

Ok sure, if you live on your own farm and grow your own food and never visit the grocery store or dine at a restaurant, this would be possible. But, this is not the situation for most of us and as a result, I would suggest always keeping some form of supplementation on hand in case you encounter gluten when you least expect it.

For my clients with severe reactions, I suggest bringing supplementation support every time they dine out, unless they know the restaurant well and can ensure zero cross contamination.

While there are a handful of great products on the market, my three favorite products to support accidental gluten exposure are:

If youd like to give any of these supplements a try for the most reasonable price you will find anywhere, try shopping where we buy all our supplements you would like to try. The discount and free shipping will automatically be applied at checkout. Weve been using Wellevate for forever because they do testing to assure quality and purity for the brands they carry and their prices simply cannot be beat. With so many supplement brands out there, we appreciate having a company like Wellevate that only stocks the ones that are high-quality.

One last thing to note, these supplements are NOT a crutch or an excuse to have the ability to eat gluten-rich meals. Please do not think of this as a safety net in order for you to house a large pizza.

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Can You Go Gluten

People who adopt a gluten-free diet often lose weight, but its usually because they also cut out a lot of processed foods and refined carbohydrates that contain gluten. If you stop eating gluten to lose weight, its important to watch your portion sizes, get regular exercise and eat plenty of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

Are You New To Gluten Free Eating

How to Go Gluten Free in 2020

Do you feel overwhelmed not knowing what you can and cant eat on a gluten free diet? These tips and gluten free recipes will help you start your journey to better health as you go gluten free!

Perhaps you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, or maybe youve just decided to make a healthy change in your diet. Either way, going gluten free can be somewhat intimidating. I know. Ive been there. It can be hard to know where to start! Thankfully, a lot of progress has been made in the past 10 years of my gluten free eating career.

Now with that in mind, let me share with you some of my tips on how to go gluten free

Also Check: Gluten Free Substitute For Bread Crumbs

What Does Gluten Free Mean

So were all on the same page, when we say gluten free we mean less than 20 parts per million gluten. This amount is a proportion of the food you are eating.

Its difficult to imagine, but its like visualizing a drop of food coloring in a gallon bucket of water. Its generally accepted that up to 10 milligrams of gluten per day does not harm most people, but not all, with celiac disease.

This is a good thing, as many people following a gluten free diet still ingest some gluten either from small amounts in gluten-free labeled foods or from cross-contact with other foods. In fact, a typical, gluten free diet can contain between six and 10 milligrams of gluten per day.

Heres a visual representation from Gluten Free Watchdog of what 10 milligrams of gluten in wheat bread looks like. I highly recommend reading her entire article to see representations of just how little bread it would take to equal 10 milligrams of gluten. This fact becomes particularly relevant when considering cross-contact with gluten in co-mingled kitchens.

So, if a food actually contained 20 parts per million of gluten, in order to eat a full 20 milligrams of gluten from that food, you would have to eat one kilogram of that food thats about 1/2 of one large pineapple, so you can picture it. Therefore, the amount of the food eaten is important. One cracker with 20 ppm gluten contains a lot less gluten than a burrito with 20 ppm gluten. Keep this in mind when we discuss safe food choices.

Buy A Gluten Free Cookbook

Find a gluten free cookbook or two with recipes that have already been tried and tested. Cookbooks are great for finding new recipes as well as being building blocks for recipe inspiration and a reference source when you have questions.

Americas Test Kitchen How Can it Be Gluten Free Cookbooks Volume 1 and Volume 2 are my favorites. Theyre great for both beginner and seasoned cooks. The books have easy to follow directions, explain why the recipe works, and the food tastes good!

A couple recipes that Ive adapted from their cookbooks are my Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies and Gluten Free Pizza Hut Breadsticks.

Read Also: Substitute For Soft Bread Crumbs

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Celiac Disease

It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have celiac disease but many go undiagnosed since the symptoms can be so varied and the damage to the small intestines can happen slowly over a long period of time. It can sometimes take years to get a proper diagnosis, with many people never finding out they have celiac disease.

Its also important to note that while the symptoms of a gluten intolerance/sensitivity are similar to celiac disease and also improve with a gluten-free diet, the 2 conditions are different in that a gluten intolerance/sensitivity doesnt cause an immune response and doesnt damage the small intestines.

If you suspect you or someone you love has celiac disease, here are some of the common signs and symptoms in children and adults.

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