Why You Should Avoid Gluten
Gluten intolerance affects approximately 18 million people, or 6 percent of the U.S. population, according to 2013 information provided by the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment. Celiac disease a serious autoimmune disorder caused by ingesting gluten is believed to affect around 1 in 131 people or 1 percent of the population in the United States. Eliminating gluten from the diet takes effort and vigilance, as in addition to avoiding wheat, rye and barley, you will need to remove “low gluten” grains, like spelt and kamut, from your diet, as well as avoid most processed foods since they may contain hidden gluten in their ingredients like caramel color, baking powder, citric acid and numerous others, according to Dr. Amy Myers, an expert on the gluten-free lifestyle.
Should I Start A Gluten
No. If you think you might have celiac disease, you should talk with your doctor about testing to diagnose celiac disease before you begin a gluten-free diet. If you avoid gluten before you have testing, the test results may not be accurate.
Also, if you start avoiding gluten without advice from a doctor or a registered dietitian, your diet may not provide enough of the nutrients you need, such as fiber, iron, and calcium. Some packaged gluten-free foods may be higher in fat and sugar than the same foods that contain gluten. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, your doctor and dietitian can help you plan a healthy gluten-free diet.
If you dont have celiac disease or another health problem related to gluten, your doctor may not recommend a gluten-free diet. In recent years, more people without celiac disease have begun avoiding gluten, believing that a gluten-free diet is healthier or could help them lose weight. However, researchers have found no evidence that a gluten-free diet promotes better health or weight loss for the general population.8
Getting Started On The Gluten
If you and your healthcare provider have determined that going gluten-free is right for you, the first steps include reading food labels carefully, getting rid of gluten-containing products, and restocking your pantry and fridge with gluten-free options. Working with a registered dietitian who is knowledgeable about celiac disease and a gluten-free diet can help make the transition to this eating style easier. Know that for people with celiac disease, no amount of gluten is safe to consume. You cant go on and off a gluten-free diet or have a cheat day. Even without symptoms, gluten will damage the villi in the intestines of those with celiac, research has shown.
There is a big learning curve to looking for gluten-free alternatives, and it takes considerable time and experience, says Begun.
Check for the Certified Gluten-Free seal on food packages, and read the ingredient list on food labels. Foods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may be gluten-free but arent required to be labeled as such. Several foods, such as rice, are naturally gluten free, per Beyond Celiac, so knowing those foods is important, too.
Other tips from the Celiac Disease Foundation on how to tell if packaged food is free of gluten include checking a list of allergens, identifying any obvious sources of gluten , and looking into hidden ingredients or those you havent heard of before.
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Who Misses The Breading
You don’t need to hide the succulent charms of fresh chicken, fish, and beef under a bunch of bread. Go for lean meat without any additives and you’ll be eating right for a gluten-free diet. Do keep in mind that hot dogs and deli meats are processed, so check the ingredients for additives that might contain gluten.
Other Important Info You Should Know
Here are a few other things you most definitely need to know and check out especially if youre on a gluten free diet and allergic to gluten.
These things can help save your health and your belly.
Plus, youll even be more prepared to dominate Celiac Disease and live life to the fullest even when youre on a gluten free diet.
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What To Do If You Have Symptoms
If you have diarrhoea or you are vomiting, it’s important to keep yourself well hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Some people find that taking medication to treat constipation, diarrhoea or headaches can ease symptoms, but check with your pharmacist or GP.
The most important thing is to get back onto your gluten free diet to try to prevent further symptoms.
If your symptoms are very severe or do not improve, speak to your GP.
Coeliac UK support gluten free food safety for people with coeliac disease and gluten related conditions. To find out more, click here.
Know Which Foods Are Naturally Gluten
You can have most products that do not contain grains. A gluten-free diet allows all fresh fruits and vegetables and all frozen and canned fruits and vegetables as long as they contain no sauce. Breaded vegetables are off-limits, according to New York University Langone Medical Center 1. Nuts and peanuts are naturally gluten-free as well. Avoid breaded meats, poultry and fish.
- You can have most products that do not contain grains.
- A gluten-free diet allows all fresh fruits and vegetables and all frozen and canned fruits and vegetables as long as they contain no sauce.
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Why Might Someone Choose To Go Grain
Grains are thought to cause inflammation in the body, in a similar manner that gluten does for those with a gluten intolerance, sensitivity, and celiac disease. In a former article on the difference between grain-free and gluten-free diets, Stacey Marcellus, cofounder and co-CEO of Cappello’sa grain-free frozen food companyexplains a common reason why someone might opt out of eating grains.
“Most who embrace a grain-free lifestyle are looking to ease digestive issues, relieve inflammation, and balance gut health. Going grain-free means going that extra step beyond gluten-free and eliminating all grains, including corn, rice, and quinoa,” she says.
Kelli McGrane MS, RD for the food-tracking app Lose It! also explained in that article that while diets free of grain are thought to reduce chronic inflammation and alleviate bloating, there currently isn’t enough long-term research to support these claims.
“However, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which is a type of grain-free diet, has been shown to help reduce symptoms in individuals with inflammatory bowel disease,” says McGrane.
RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.
Reasons You May Feel Tired On The Gluten
Basic pillars of nutritional health and lab parameters can resolve the symptoms of fatigue that many celiacs experience.
- Selena De Vries is dedicated to helping individuals who are struggling with digestive issues find food freedom. Selena understands that celiac disease not only effects ones physical health but also effects ones emotional health. Using an integrative approach in the management of digestive health conditions, she provides support for those with celiac disease/gluten sensitivity and nutrition coaching for other digestive health conditions.
Fatigue is probably the most common complaint I get when seeing clients with celiac disease. Often, individuals jump to thinking they need some complex supplement, an exclusion diet trial to discover food sensitivities, or specialized lab testing. But, it often comes down to a few basic pillars of nutritional health and lab parameters. Lets discuss them below.
1. Lack of fiber and protein in the diet
This is by far, very common in not only individuals with celiac disease, but the general population. Protein and fiber helps to hold blood sugars stable, which is one thing that contributes to energy levels. Stable blood sugar = stable and consistent energy levels.
Without consistent fiber intake at meals and snacks, blood sugars will be more likely to up and down vs stable which will contribute to uneven energy levels.
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Thoughts On Top Foods To Avoid On A Gluten Free Diet
Thanks, I havent been dizzy in the kitchen or anywhere else for a week or so!
I have severe reactions to gluten. If I get even the tiniest bit, I have horrible aura migraines where I lose my site for a few minutes and vertigo, as well as severe stomach stabbing, cramps and discomfort. I never have vertigo or those type of migraines unless I accidently ingest gluten. I had only had severe and painful migraines before I removed gluten, but once I removed gluten, any type of accidents after removing it now causes the vertigo and aura migraine attacks. I originally removed it because of bloating, skin rashes and migraines, and now am so thankful because I did not realize what it was doing to my body. Luckily, 2 years after removing it from my diet, I am in excellent health
Hi Carrie. Thanks for sharing, sorry to hear about your difficulties !! I have been gluten intolerant for 10 years.. Sadly it does not get any better with time. I have had skin rashes lately, and headaches.. I am traveling for work, and for breakfast, the hotel I am staying in serves a great grab and go breakfast, and it contains sausage. Bad Bad Bad.. Headaches, bloating, skin rashes, digestive discomfort.. I am glad youre healthy again ! Thanks for your post take care
Hidden Dangers Of Going Gluten
There are plenty of long-term health risks.
You might have been shunning gluten unnecessarily. Image: iStock
From poor gut health to iron deficiency, dietitian Melissa Meier exposes the surprising side effects of following a gluten-free diet.
Rewind a decade or two and nobody had a clue what gluten was.
For some, a gluten free diet is essential in the management of an autoimmune condition called coeliac disease. In a nutshell, this is a condition in which the lining of the bowel becomes inflamed after consuming gluten. Amongst many other side effects, this reduces nutrient absorption. Its pretty serious stuff.
For the vast majority of people, however, following a gluten free diet is simply unnecessary. While its oh-so trendy and might seem like a healthier way to eat, the health halo just doesnt live up to the hype.
Yes, gluten is found in many not-so-healthy foods, like pastries, biscuits and deep fried chicken but these foods arent unhealthy because of the gluten they contain. Rather, its the saturated fat and/or tonnes of added sugar that make these foods occasional treats instead of everyday foods.
It’s not the gluten in foods that’s bad – it’s the saturated fats and sugars. Image: iStock
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Gluten Free Keto Coconut Shrimp
A paleo, gluten free and keto masterpiece, this delicious Gluten Free Keto Coconut Shrimp is sure to be your next favorite meal. Made with our organic coconut flour and coconut flakes, it’s the ideal way to satisfy your breaded food cravings without munching on gluten-filled food. An excellent light dinner or appetizer, it’s sure to be your new favorite treat.
Lack Of Essential Vitamins And Nutrients
While there are definitely unhealthy foods that contain gluten, there are also healthy foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly. Similar to the effects of lack of fiber, going gluten free without a legitimate cause can result in vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. In the US, many grains are fortified or enriched to contain large, added amounts of nutrients. Foods with gluten in them can be a great source of:
- Vitamin B:
People with celiac disease are often tested for nutritional deficiencies when first diagnosed, as many are deficient in key vitamins and minerals due to decreased absorption in the gut. Many take a gluten free multivitamin or individual vitamins to try and make up for this deficit. These people also need to be very diligent about finding alternative ways to get the much-needed vitamins and nutrients, like searching for fortified gluten-free alternatives.Switching to a gluten free diet by choice means that dieters also need to be mindful of what they eat. This makes it more difficult to maintain a balanced diet, which may lead to completely unnecessary added stress in the grocery store aisles for not much benefit. In addition, research has shown that people on a gluten-free diet have increased levels of heavy metals in their blood and urine – possibly due to the increased consumption of rice in gluten-free foods.
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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 Snacks Are Gluten
Snacks dont have to be processed, pre-packaged foods! Whole foods make quick, delicious, and cost effective snacks. Rather than reaching for snack packs or crackers, consider choosing:
- Fruit and nut butter
If you do choose pre-packaged processed foods for a snack, be mindful of labels. Youll begin to notice certain brands that are known for being gluten and dairy-free. Snacks labeled vegan or paleo are often safest, but be sure to always double check and weigh the risks of contamination for yourself.
Get my full list of the best gluten-free and dairy-free snacks.
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