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Unless you have gluten sensitivity, gluten is NOT bad, contrary to what some people may believe.
However, people with autoimmune disease, celiac disease or gluten intolerance can have serious health issues even with small amounts of gluten.
For instance, digestive problems like abdominal pain and chronic inflammation
in the gastrointestinal tract can occur because gluten is difficult for them to absorb.
Gluten is a protein found in cereals that when combined with water, becomes glue protein. It is used as a thickener and flavoring and coloring agent.
It ensures that pastries are bound together and maintain a moist consistency and used in
almost every industrially manufactured food product.
It may also be found in medications, toothpaste and cosmetic products.
Consequently, complete avoidance of gluten is difficult.
But we're here to help!
Most types of grain, such as wheat, spelled and rye, contain these proteins and form gluten.
Common sources of gluten are the following:
For a complete list of food containing gluten, go to: https://celiac.org/gluten-free-living/what-is-gluten/sources-of-gluten/
Grains, baking needs:
Amaranth, quinoa , buckwheat, millet, potato flour, chickpea flour, rice flour, locust bean gum , soy flour, soy flakes, tapioca starch, sweet lupine flour, cassava flour, almond flour, coconut flour, chestnut flour, non-starch corn flour, non-starch bean flour, non-starch bean flour
Corn, polenta, rice, rice noodles, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes (peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils), glass noodles and soba noodles.
Fresh milk, UHT milk, buttermilk, thick milk, sour milk, cream, natural yogurt, crème fraîche, sour cream, condensed milk, butter, curd cheese, skyr , naturally matured cheese (Emmental, Gouda), mozzarella, cream cheese, cottage cheese , processed cheese, mascarpone.
minced meat and meatballs
left in its natural state, unseasoned, canned fish like tuna.
all natural and unprocessed vegetables, herbs, dried herbs without additives.
all natural and unprocessed fruits, pure dried fruit.
all natural nuts, kernels, seeds without coating and all vegetable oils, chia seeds, sesame, linseed, psyllium husk, poppy seeds.
Water, coffee, juices without additives, non-flavored tea
Nut milk like coconut and almond milk, soy milk, popcorn, pickled cucumber, olives, grated coconut, frozen fruit and vegetables, jam, jelly, herbs without additives, baked cocoa, pure spices like pepper, clear vinegars, tomato paste without additives.
Table sugar, dextrose, fructose, agave syrup, honey, coconut blossom sugar, sugar substitutes like sorbitol, xylitol
A gluten-free diet doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.
Switching to gluten-free may actually do more harm to people who don’t need to avoid gluten.
If you've been diagnosed with an intolerance, it makes sense to avoid gluten containing foods.
But gluten-free diets have no advantages for healthy people. Experts advise eating a healthy and balanced diet.
According to GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group), the gluten-free diet is healthier ONLY for people who have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and other gluten-related problems.
1. Relieves digestive problems
Digestive problems such as bloating and diarrhea are some of the typical symptoms of gluten sensitivity, along side effects like fatigue and mood swings.
If you experience any of these problems after eating gluten-free foods, try an elimination diet to confirm if a gluten-free diet can help in the long term.
2. Boosts energy
People with gluten intolerance feel sluggish or exhausted after eating gluten-containing foods. If you are like this, switching to gluten-free could boost your energy and improve your focus.
3. Helps children with autism
Autism is a developmental disability that impairs communication and social skills. Therapies combined with medications are the common treatment. But new research has shown that eliminating gluten can help reduce symptoms of autism in children.
In a study conducted by the Penn State College of Medicine, which included Laura Cousino Klein, Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Human Development and Christine Pennesi, a medical student, found that--
“parents who eliminated all gluten and casein from their children's diets reported that a greater number of their children's ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms and social behaviors improved after starting the diet compared to children whose parents did not eliminate all gluten and casein. The team also found that parents who implemented the diet for six months or less reported that the diet was less effective in reducing their child's ASD behaviors.”
4. Reduces inflammation
A gluten-free diet decreases joint pain inflammation and prevents health consequences especially those suffering from gluten intolerance.
Dr. Rochelle Rosian, MD of the Cleveland Clinic said that those who have gluten sensitivity respond differently to gluten. Saying,
"We know that certain foods are pro-inflammatory, which includes gluten-containing grains and the thousands of foods made from them.
When some, but not all, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eliminate these from their diet, they may find their arthritis symptoms also improve."
5. Promotes weight loss
Because of digestive problems that go untreated and contributing factors like fatigue eventually lead to unintentional weight loss which is unhealthy.
This is a common problem among gluten sufferers.
But if you’ve been seen by a specialist, going gluten-free means giving up the calories from pasta, bread, cereals and all processed foods.
As a result, you’ll feel better and healthier.
6. Improves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that affects the large intestine causing bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation.
As a first line of treatment, a low-FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols), IBS diet is recommended.
This is a diet where short-chain carbohydrates are fermented by the bacteria in the intestine. Intake of these types of food should be reduced to avoid symptoms of IBS.
Starting any kind of diet may sound intimidating at first, but in time everything will be a breeze. Start by stocking up on some foods from the list above.
Read your labels. To completely remove gluten from your diet, reading ingredient labels is key. However, it is unlikely that “gluten” will appear on almost all labels.
What you can do is avoid anything containing these ingredients:
Also, look for products labeled as “certified gluten-free”, this is a seal that certifies a product is gluten-free and not cross-contaminated.
Do the cooking yourself. Another way to start your gluten-free diet is by preparing and cooking your own meals at home.
This way, you’d know exactly what’s in your food and from this, you’d have an idea what to get in restaurants.
Get to know the alternative options of gluten-free cuisine and buy from your local market.
Although gluten is common across the food supply, there are a variety of gluten-free foods that can make it easy to switch to a gluten-free diet, so don’t worry about not finding the alternative.
Give away all things gluten. Go through your kitchen cupboards and take out everything that contains gluten.
Sort out everything and give it to friends, neighbors or social institutions.
If you live with several people in one household, set up separate storage cupboards. One cabinet or drawer exclusively for your gluten-free food, the other for the rest of the family or roommates.
Pack your own food if traveling. With a little preparation, traveling won’t be a problem. Before you go, order a gluten-free meal when booking your flight.
Some airlines may not offer this service, so prepare and pack your own meals. Make sure to inform the airline company to avoid getting held up at the check-in counter.
Word of caution: A gluten-free diet for children is not advisable unless it is medically necessary or is under the supervision of a doctor or dietician, as important nutrients may be missing if not properly planned.
Here are some quick recipes you can try at home!
Flaxseed Curd with Blueberries
150 g lean curd, organic
2 tbsps linseed oil, native and organic
4 tbsps linseed, crushed / gluten-free
4 tbsps Milk 3.5%
50 g blueberries
Vegan Sweet Potato Pan with Herbs & Peppers
3 pcs sweet potato
4 pcs spring onion
2 pcs garlic cloves
5 branches of fresh parsley
5 branches fresh herbs of Provence
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Gluten-free Banana Bread
250 g oatmeal, gluten-free
50 g walnuts
17 g baking powder, gluten-free
1 g cinnamon
3 pcs banana
6 pcs dried dates
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