How to remove gluten from your diet

Food containing gluten. Image via pixabay.


Are you looking for ways to remove gluten from your diet? If so, then you might be going down this path because gluten is affecting your health in a negative way or you want to live a much healthier life and you have heard of the health issues associated with gluten. Gluten has been linked to health issues like celiac disease, Dermatitis herpetiformis and gluten intolerance or non-celiac gluten intolerance.

Related: Health effects of gluten

Whether you're doing this permanently or, occasionally, below are tips to achieve this.

All you need to do to achieve this is to do what the statement says below:

A gluten-free diet will require you to replace gluten-containing grains with gluten-free grains. That and also all foods/ food products that are made with these grains. 

Unfortunately, this is not possible every time or as simple as it sounds because:
  1. A lot of persons are eating gluten and still don't know it! 
  2. Also, it's hard for them to switch to gluten free foods.
More on these!

1. A lot of persons are eating gluten and still don't know it!


- Unfortunately, this is as a result of the fact that gluten is found in some unexpected foods. Soy sauce, pasta sauce, hot dogs, pickles, etc. It is also found in some medications. 


Pasta sauce. Image via pixabay.


TIPS TO DEAL WITH THIS:

  • Read labels. If the label doesn't say gluten free then they may not be.

  • Buy the gluten-free versions of these foods. E.g. buy gluten free soy sauce and so on.



- Then there are persons who don't know what foods they are found in. These individuals might rely on labels to tell them, but unfortunately, some foods don't come with labels or even labels that say gluten free. All some have is the ingredients like wheat and so on. And so if you don't know that wheat contains gluten, then you won't know.

TIP TO DEAL WITH THIS:

So, therefore, you need to educate yourself on the foods that contain gluten. Once you know this then you will be able to make the right choices.

You can educate yourself by:
  • Researching it on the internet or at a library
  • Or you can ask someone

The first step in your learning process can be to find out what are the gluten and gluten-free grains. The grains that contain gluten are wheat, barley, and rye. You can read more on these grains here. So, therefore, foods that are made with these grains will contain gluten.

Some gluten-free grains are:
  • rice
  • corn
  • sorghum
  • millet
  • teff
  • amaranth
  • buckwheat
  • quinoa
  • wild rice
  • oats
Pasta and so on are also made with these grains and so they are gluten free. This is discussed below.


- Also, gluten can be in food that you get at a party, restaurant, etc. These foods don't come with labels! Also, you don't know all the ingredients that these foods were made with or if these foods were contaminated with gluten-containing foods that were cooked there also.

TIPS TO DEAL WITH THIS:
  • Avoid eating out as much and cook your own food. If that's not possible, try to find out all the ingredients that were used in your food by simply asking if gluten ingredients were used. 
  • Or eat foods that you know for sure won't contain gluten, but must keep in mind of cross-contamination.

- Cross-contamination
Oats are sometimes contaminated with gluten.

TIP TO DEAL WITH THIS:
  • Look for labels that say gluten-free. 


 2. Also, it's hard for them to switch to gluten free foods.

Gluten-containing foods are so tasty, right? Getting rid of gluten from your life can mean getting rid of most of your loved foods! I have to agree that that can be extremely hard, but you can find healthier alternatives. For example, you can give up wheat pasta for buckwheat pasta. The end result, you can still have pasta.
At first, you can try to give it up for a few days a month then a week and so on until you can cope without it.

TIP TO DEAL WITH THIS:

Find gluten-free substitutes for your favorite gluten foods like bread, pasta, flour, etc.

Gluten-free flours
  • buckwheat flour
  • rice flour
  • potato flour
  • corn flour
  • amaranth flour
  • banana flour
  • chickpea flour
  • coconut flour

Gluten-free bread made with coconut flour. Image via pixabay.


It can be concluded that some of us knowingly or unknowingly eat gluten. A great way to combat that is to replace those foods that we love so much with healthier gluten-free alternatives.

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