A Gluten-free diet is simply one that eliminates gluten, which is a protein found in many common grains like: wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats! Oats may be okay, but can be processed on equipment that also processes wheat! It's a diet used to treat those people diagnosed with Celiac disease, which is a common disease that affects around 1 out of every 150 people! They can't tolerate gluten at all!
The gluten-free diet can seem difficult at first, but there is so much information available now! Educate yourself! It is simply a matter of learning to redo your grains and find great substitutes and products, which are becoming more and more available now! You may be giving up some traditional grains, but there are so many others you can try, as well as many new recipe books and recipes! The payoff of feeling well is worth the added effort!
Once you learn the new substitutions, life can continue as normal. Eating out will be difficult because of the unknown, but eating at home should become easier over time! Remember that your goal is to avoid every single bit of gluten! Even if you do not feel bad by eating it, it is still damaging your intestines! Avoid all gluten and products that contain even a small amount of gluten!
Acceptable Gluten-Free Grains:
There are also some gluten-free flours, the main ones being rice flour, soy flour, potato flour, and bean flour! Other foods that are great are fresh meats, fish, poultry, fruits and veggies, most dairy products, potatoes, distilled white vinegar, and wine! If any of these is processed, you must check the ingredient label.
An example would be breaded fish because the breading contains gluten. Remember that you must always be looking for gluten in every single thing that you put in your mouth! It is doable though, because most of us really do not eat that many different foods. Learn which foods work for you and stick with them.
Grains to Avoid:
The gluten-free diet hits a roadblock and becomes more difficult when evaluating foods made with a wheat product, or processed in a facility that produces wheat products. You must become an avid food label reader or avoid these foods, unless they are labeled as gluten free, or made with any of the above grains that are acceptable! The list is long and will include:
Other products that should be avoided because they contain gluten are:
Remember anything that you put into your mouth needs to be evaluated by reading the food label. The words Stabilizer, Starch, Flavoring, Emulsifier, Hydrolyzed, or Plant Protein, often means that a grain was used that has gluten! Avoid these too!
The list of foods to be avoided might seem daunting! They are mostly processed foods. You must become a lover of real foods, which is healthier for anyone. If you do choose to eat processed foods, the simplest way is to choose processed foods that are labeled Gluten-Free, because they are safe for you! There are more and more products hitting the market every day! Keeping on top of new information will be the lifestyle solution that you want to follow! The gluten-free diet does not have to be discouraging, if you learn some new tools and foods! Practice healthy eating without gluten!
A very helpful website is Gluten-Free Girl: https://www.glutenfreegirl.com/. Their site offers so many delicious recipes that you will not feel left out for long! It is written by Shauna James Ahem who also has Celiac Disease! She is a great writer and very funny! She will delight you and help you find your way on your journey to health!