The first subject I want to preach about in my nutrition tips section is something I’m very well-rehearsed in. If the title wasn’t a dead ringer about the topic the next sentence will be a dead giveaway. So you want to go gluten-free? I’m going to start off by getting technical and explaining a few things. Naturally with the help of a few well-sourced websites.
*1 Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.*
There are three different reasons why someone would go gluten-free: First number up is an immune disease called celiac. *2 Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage to the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body. Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families.*
Secondly, there is gluten intolerance or non-celiac wheat sensitivity. *3 People with non-celiac wheat sensitivity experience symptoms similar to those of celiac disease, which resolve when gluten is removed from the diet. However, they do not test positive for celiac disease.* So basically these individuals get a long list of unpleasant symptoms because of gluten in their diet and once they make the change they are as good as new.
And then the last runner up is just the simple gluten-free diet. Recently more individuals than ever identify themselves as gluten intolerant or celiac. This created quite a hype over a gluten-free diet and what benefits it can hold for losing weight. It has caused the gluten protein to get quite a bad reputation and although I personally don’t care for the protein, if your body can digest and get the benefits from it than why cut it? Although I do recommend you read your label to see what else might be in your beloved pasta or bread.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way I can give you a few tips on how to go gluten-free. You need to know that it’s pricey most of the time. So it will be near impossible to throw out all the products in your kitchen that might contain gluten and replace them with gluten-free options. I did this gradually, by starting with an almost complete gluten-free diet with small amounts of gluten until I got the hang of it. You also need to know that gluten is in almost everything, products you won’t even think of. Always and I mean always read that label. You will become a professional at spotting the word gluten that I can promise you. The last tip I can give you is mostly for mental support. It’s very difficult to go gluten-free especially if the choice is forced by a test result, so surround yourself with people in a similar situation. You’re going to need someone to complain and relate to when being gluten-free is being a pain in your arse.
Best of luck!
I will post a blog about how I found out about my gluten sensitivity in the next few weeks. If you have any questions or just need a friend, you know where to find me.