Maintaining A Balanced Diet While Eating Gluten
In order to maximize the health and nutritional benefits of going gluten-free, you should adopt a diet filled with a variety of naturally gluten-free foods such as fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, as well as gluten-free grains. U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommendations encourage everyone, including those on a gluten-free diet, to avoid overly processed foods, and keep refined sugar and saturated fat intakes to a minimum.
As with any balanced diet, portion control and moderation are extremely important for people living with celiac disease and eating gluten-free. Daily exercise is also necessary for managing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
A gluten-free diet is by no means a cure all. It can be common for some people to struggle with celiac disease symptoms even after going on a gluten-free diet. Keep in mind that it does take time for the body to heal. If you are still having symptoms over time, it is important to talk to your doctor about them. Your doctor and a registered dietitian knowledgeable of celiac disease can help you to determine if you are accidentally eating gluten or if something else may be the cause of your symptoms.
Most importantly, a gluten-free diet cannot replace a formal consultation, diagnosis or recommendation from a physician or trained healthcare professional.
Dietitians knowledgeable in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet play a critical role in the management of this autoimmune condition.
Precautions And Next Steps
When you’re considering a gluten-free diet or have concerns about celiac disease, speak with your doctor. Also, questions about diabetes or weight loss should be directed to a healthcare professional. When looking to switch to a gluten-free diet and one that is low in added sugars, speak with a registered dietitian to evaluate your current diet, make changes where appropriate and assist in meal planning. A dietitian can also provide education on the importance of dietary changes for certain conditions and provide tips for adherence.
Reviewed by: Kay Peck, MPH RD
The #1 Mistake People Make When Starting A Gluten
Pictured Recipe:Dark Chocolate Trail Mix
If you don’t plan out this new way of eating, it’s easy to default to gluten-free packaged foods. “I see people go on this diet and eat three meals and snacks from these foods,” says Begun. You know-the gluten-free muffins or brownies or cereals or pizza. These are often made with refined grains and heavy in sugar and often contain more calories than their traditional counterparts. The result: you may start to gain weight if this is the main change you make to your diet. So think of these as “on occasion” foods. It’s just like with any diet. A candy bar is just a candy bargluten-free or not.
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Foods That Contain Gluten
Some foods that can contain gluten include:
- cereal and baking products wheat, wheat flour, wheaten cornflour, freekeh, spelt, semolina, couscous, wheat bran, barley, oats, porridge, breakfast cereals containing wheat, rye, oats or barley, cereals made from corn or rice that also contain malt extract from barley, some icing sugar mixtures and some baking powders
- pasta and noodles spaghetti, pasta, lasagne, gnocchi, hokkien noodles, soba noodles and two-minute noodles
- bread, cakes and biscuits all bread , pizza, cakes, pastry and biscuits prepared with gluten-containing flours
- meat products any products prepared with breadcrumbs or batter, sausages and other processed meats or smallgoods , marinaded meats thickened soups, meat pies and frozen meals
- dairy products malted milk, oat milk, ice cream cones , some ice creams and some soy milks
- fruits and vegetables textured vegetable protein and fruit-pie filling
- condiments malt vinegar, some mustards, relishes, pickles, salad dressings, stock, sauces, gravy and yeast extract from barley
- snacks liquorice, some lollies, some chocolates, packet savoury snacks and some flavoured potato chips and corn chips, muesli bars
- drinks coffee substitutes made from cereal, and some milk-drink powders
- alcoholic drinks beer, stout , ale, and lager .
Tips For Eating A Gluten
Before we dive in, let me remind you that ALL recipes on Downshiftology are gluten-free. So really, that means you have hundreds of recipes to choose from. But Ive rounded up 40 or so of my favorites in this post for you today.
Starting a gluten-free diet may seem tricky, but it doesnt have to be. The key is to focus on all the things you can eat, and nourish your body with simple, wholesome, and nutritious ingredients. Thats the best way to make your gut happy!
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Who Needs To Follow A Gluten
If you are diagnosed with coeliac disease, the treatment is to avoid eating food that has gluten in it. This includes making sure to avoid hidden sources of gluten and foods that may have been cross-contaminated with gluten.Your doctor may also advise you following a gluten-free diet if you have gluten intolerance or sensitivity. You may find that you can tolerate a small amount of gluten, so may not need to take so much care to avoid hidden sources of gluten or cross-contamination.Removing gluten from your diet without medical advice puts you at risk of missing out on some nutrients, and this can lead to other health issues. Digestive symptoms can be caused by many things, so see your doctor before changing your diet. Getting the right diagnosis is your best chance of improving your symptoms and maintaining good health long term.
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:
- Stomach pain
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Gluten Free Food List
The gluten free diet is very helpful for suffers of IBS with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy. You will find there is a bit of a cross over with the gluten free diet and the as many gluten free foods are useful when doing the restrictive FODMAP diet. If you have had a diagnosis of having coeliac disease or have found you have a sensitivity or allergic reactions to gluten or wheat then it is advisable to follow a gluten free diet. For more information on the diet head over to the page.
Below is a list of good foods that are gluten free to help you on your trip to the supermarket. Be sure to look at the labels these days labels will label whether they have gluten within them so pay particular attention to them. If you find the label says there is gluten or has been processed in an environment that may have traces of gluten then trust the label and do not consume that item. Gluten free foods is defined as foods containing less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
A great place to find a lot of good gluten free foods is . Have a browse and you can find a lot of foods tailored to a gluten free diet that you wouldve thought you could not have again such as gluten free cakes and pasta.
What You Can Eat
There are many naturally wheat and gluten-free foods that are part of a healthy balanced diet. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends that for good health we eat a range of fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products, oils and proteins , all of which are safe for celiacs and people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Grains half of which should be whole grain should also be part of a healthy diet. And though it’s trickier if you have to avoid wheat and gluten, there are plenty of safe choices.
Check out this list of gluten-free grains as recommended by the Mayo Clinic:
Oats arent straightforward. According to the Gluten Free Watchdog, if you have celiac disease, you may want to avoid them altogether. They don’t naturally contain gluten, but may be contaminated with traces of wheat or barley during processing. Oats should be OK with a mild intolerance though, especially if the food carries a gluten-free statement.
Read more:List of Wheat-Free Bread and Cereal
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You Might Experience Frequent Constipation
A lot of the whole-grain foods you cut out on a gluten-free diet are good sources of fiber. If you simply ditch them without compensating for the loss in other areas of your diet, your digestive system could get all out of wack which is what you were trying to avoid. By upping your intake of leafy greens and legumes, you’ll avoid this issue.
Fruits Everyone On A Gluten
Fruits are an important part of anybodys diet, but for those of us on a gluten-free diet, theyre even more important. Why?
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, years of gluten exposure have damaged your ability to absorb nutrients, so its important that you make sure youre getting all the vital nutrients and digestive help you need.
Now, research has shown that following a strict gluten-free diet leads to healing of intestinal damage and the return of nutrient and mineral absorption to normal levels. On the other hand, we also know that our bodies can take a long time to heal and things like constant cross-contamination and leaky gut are leaving our intestines constantly impaired. This means that we need to continue to be especially vigilant about our daily vitamin and mineral intake even when eating gluten-free.
Fruits are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. They are versatile and can be incorporated into any meal of the day! Fruits are great for breakfast either alone or added to a smoothie, yogurt, or granola. They are a great meal addition when added to salads and of course a healthy snack or dessert option.
Fruits can obviously help, and also be delicious at the same time! So lets get down to it and look at 5 super healthy fruits that will make your taste buds jump.
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A Note From The Editors
The Spruce Eats does not endorse this diet rather, we are providing some information that can contribute to your decision. Please talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet.
The gluten-free diet is increasingly popular, and with the number of gluten-free products on supermarket shelves, and restaurants offering gluten-free menu items, going gluten-free is easier than ever. But, what exactly is the gluten-free diet, , who needs it, and is it a plan for weight loss?
Things That Happen To Your Body When You Go Gluten
It might get worse before it gets better.
For most people, gluten isn’t the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad protein it’s made out to be, and doctors insist you shouldn’t avoid it just to follow a trend. But if you’re sensitive to gluten about 1 in every 133 Americans cutting it out of your diet is a necessity. Like with any other major change you make to what you’re putting in your body, there could be side effects. Here are some things you might want to prep for.
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May Relieve Digestive Symptoms
Most people try a gluten-free diet to treat digestive problems.
These include bloating, diarrhea or constipation, gas, fatigue and many other symptoms.
Studies have shown that following a gluten-free diet can help ease digestive symptoms for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (
Focus on eating plenty of whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, veggies and lean proteins.
A gluten-free diet can provide many health benefits, especially for those with celiac disease. It may help ease digestive symptoms, reduce chronic inflammation, boost energy and promote weight loss.
Despite having a variety of health benefits, a gluten-free diet can have some downsides.
Here are a few negative effects of a gluten-free diet:
Dig In To Rice And Potatoes
On a gluten-free diet? Say hello to filling, flexible rice and potatoes. You can top them with just about anything, mix them into meals, or enjoy them on their own. Still mourning the loss of your favorite pasta? Here’s a secret: When you’re really craving a bowl of spaghetti, it is possible to find gluten-free pasta — just think rice noodles.
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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.
Can Make Socializing Difficult
Many social situations revolve around food.
This can make it difficult to socialize if youre following a gluten-free diet. While many restaurants have gluten-free options, there is still a risk of food being contaminated with traces of gluten .
Sadly, studies have found that roughly 21% of people with celiac disease avoid social events so that they can stick to their gluten-free diet .
That said, you can still socialize while following a gluten-free diet. It simply requires a little extra preparation beforehand.
For example, if youre eating out, call the restaurant beforehand to see if they have gluten-free options. If youre going to a social gathering, you may need to bring your own food.
People who follow a gluten-free diet may be at risk of nutritional deficiencies and prone to constipation. Following a gluten-free diet can also be quite expensive and make social situations difficult.
Here is a sample menu with delicious, gluten-free meals.
Feel free to swap meal suggestions according to your liking.
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