While eating a gluten-free diet is optional for some people, avoiding gluten-containing foods is an absolute must for others. However, the idea of completely eliminating wheat can be overwhelming and challenging, especially in the initial stages.
Wheat is the most common ingredient used in the preparation of baked goods, cereals, and pasta, and it can be very difficult to avoid it completely.
Read on to learn more about gluten and the five gluten foods you should avoid.
Gluten and people who should avoid foods with gluten
Gluten is a protein present in wheat, triticale (the hybrid of wheat and rye), barley and rye and it binds foods. Gluten is a hot topic recently as celiac disease affects an estimated three million people in the United States alone. And approximately 95% of celiacs are not diagnosed.
For adults, symptoms of celiac disease can occur at any time in their lives. However, they are most common between the ages of 20 and 40. Some people with celiac disease may not have any symptoms. But they can still damage your small intestine by consuming foods with gluten.
Celiac disease in children
The celiac disease in children can be very serious because their bodies cannot absorb the crucial nutrients they need to grow if gluten is ingested regularly. This can also lead to an imbalance of vitamins and minerals.
Symptoms of celiac disease
General symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, gas, fatigue, low blood cell counts, osteoporosis, pain in the abdomen or joints, malnutrition, delayed puberty, and slow growth. Cramps, rashes, weight loss, and itching are also common symptoms. However, many people do not experience any symptoms.
You should speak with your doctor to determine if you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten. You can also try eliminating gluten from your diet, to see if your symptoms go away and if you feel better overall.
The 5 foods with gluten that you should eliminate
These are the five foods gluten can secretly lurk in.
The "rule of thumb" for a gluten-free diet is to avoid three main grains: wheat, barley, and rye. These grains can be present in cakes, cookies and other baked goods, cereals, pasta, bread, waffles. Also, in mixes for pancakes, dumplings, wheat germ, bran, ice cream cones, tortillas, breadcrumbs and croutons.
Keep in mind that there are many gluten-free options available for these foods. Make sure to read the labels to be sure there are no wheat byproducts.
2. Processed meats
To follow a gluten-free diet, you must eliminate all processed meats. Sprue is a debilitating type of arthritis, which is accompanied by digestive symptoms due to excessive gluten intake. Processed meats are discouraged due to the dangerous preservatives it contains.
Meats such as salami, pepperoni, mortadella, hot dogs, liverwurst, and cold cuts should be avoided. Since processed meat you can use gluten flour as a binder.
Recommended alternative sources of gluten-free protein include unprocessed meats such as turkey and chicken or gluten-free brands that do not use preservatives.
3. Sweets and candies
If you like sweets, you might want to hear this: Most sweets in stores contain gluten. Pay attention to all chocolate products, root beer, commercial glaze for cakes, sorbets, cereals, candies, ice cream. And when it comes to bakeries, unless they're gluten-free, don't even think about it.
Before buying any of these food products, it is recommended that you check the labels and make sure they are labeled gluten-free.
Fear not though, there are still plenty of healthy, gluten-free desserts you can enjoy. Fresh fruit is an excellent example. You will also be reducing your sugar intake and eating healthier.
4. Dressings and condiments
Several seasonings and seasonings contain gluten, which triggers problems related to gluten intolerance. A healthy diet will require you to opt for gluten-free soy sauce and eliminate barley malt, malt products, foods with modified starch, and monosodium glutamate.
Also, it should be noted that many salad dressings and sauces are thickened using gluten grains and flours. Most tomato sauces are gluten-free, or you can make your own homemade sauce with butter, salt, olive oil, herbs, and spices. You can also use potato starch, arrowroot, or cornmeal to thicken your homemade seasonings.
5. Alcoholic beverages
Once you know that many alcoholic beverages are made from grains, malted beverages, including wine and beer, will have to move to the top of your list of drinks to avoid.
It is recommended that if you have to drink alcoholic beverages, proceed with caution in consuming alternative grain-based alcoholic beverages such as gin, specific vodkas, whiskey, cider, tequila, and rum.
Healthy eating tips to prevent the effects of gluten-free foods
If you can master the healthy tips below, then you can significantly prevent the undesirable effects of gluten on your health.
· Keep in mind that gluten-free foods can come into contact with gluten-containing foods, causing cross-contamination. Cross contamination is common in manufacturing industries, which use similar machinery in processing regular and gluten-free products. In home kitchens, the same surfaces and tools can be used when preparing meals. You should be careful with this and have a backup cutting board and tools exclusively for your gluten-free foods to avoid cross contamination.
· You are advised to use extreme caution if you have to eat out. Most restaurants tend to lack the proper measures to ensure minimal cross contamination while preparing and serving food.
Stopping gluten is much easier than you think, so don't be discouraged. Your health depends on it. As mentioned above, natural and unprocessed foods are surely gluten-free. Using the guide above and simply using common sense, you can easily restructure your diet to make it more delicious and healthier!
Just remember to never assume a product is gluten-free. You should analyze the ingredients of a product or seek help from store personnel to identify gluten-free foods. Gluten-free foods can be just as delicious if you follow these helpful tips.
Finally, just because something is labeled gluten-free, it doesn't mean the product is healthy. It simply means that it does not contain those specific grains. Whole foods in their original form are always the best option.
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