The Gluten Free Diet Plan: What You Need To Know

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The Gluten Free Diet Plan: What You Need To Know

What is a gluten free diet plan? Essentially, a gluten free diet plan is at the very base, a diet that contains foods that have no gluten in them. Gluten is a protein which can be found in barley, wheat andrye and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.

The gluten free diet plan exists primarily to treat celiac disease.

The Mayo Clinic also notes that gluten can cause inflammation in your small intestines, specifically of those who have celiac disease. Going on the gluten free diet helps their symptoms.

It is difficult to follow at first, but there are several foods that one eats that are already bereft of gluten. One can also find suitable gluten-free substitutes for other foods.

 

 

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What Purpose does the Gluten Free Diet Plan Serve?

The main purpose of the gluten free diet is to fight celiac disease. Others who don’t have celiac disease however, still show symptoms when having gluten. This is what’s known as “non-celiac gluten sensitivity.”

Why Go Gluten Free?

The site Beyond Celiac notes that a permanent gluten-free diet is the only way to treat celiac disease. It can treat the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Mood disorders
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas/bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Headaches and migraines
  • An itchy skin rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis
    • Known as the ‘skin form’ of celiac disease
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Various reproductive health issues
  • Peripheral neuropathy
    • This can cause tingling in your feet and hands

Over three million Americans currently have celiac disease. About 18 million have some form of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Many are unaware are not diagnosed or are misdiagnosed.

The fact of the matter is that 83 percent of those with celiac disease are not aware they have it. Foods like bagels, cookies and crackers are making those who have it very sick. If it does not go treated, it can lead to osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders and cancer.

 

gluten allergy

Who Lives Gluten-Free?

Those who have celiac disease are not the only ones who are utilizing the gluten free diet plan. Here’s who else is living gluten-free in the US.

  • People with celiac disease.
  • Those with a gluten sensitivity.
  • People with wheat allergies. This can range from as mild as hives or something as serious as anaphylaxis.

Details of a Gluten-Free Diet Plan

Switching a gluten-free diet plan is clearly will take an adjustment.

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It can be a good idea to reach out to a licensed dietician to help you walk through what is and what’s not good for you to eat on the gluten free diet.

We’ll give you a list here a list of what is gluten free:

  • Most dairy products (as long as there are no gluten additives)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most meat and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Beans/legumes
  • Vinegar that is distilled
  • Alcoholic beverages that are distilled
  • Monoglycerides
  • Diglycerides
  • Spices are gluten free.

The Mayo Clinic cautions all to beware that these foods are not process or have grains, preservatives or additives with gluten.

There are many starches and grains that can be part of a gluten-free diet. You can check several of them out here.

What To Avoid In A Gluten-Free Diet

Here’s what to avoid in a gluten-free diet:

  • All wheat. This includes the following:
    • Wheat is found in most breads, cakes, cereals, cookies, crackers, pretzels, pasta and pizzas. One can make a pizza crust following this gluten free mix.


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    • Most foods with “wheat” in its name
      • This is particularly true for pre-gelatinized wheat protein and hydrolyzed wheat protein.
      • Buckwheat, however is gluten free.
    • Barley
    • Malt, as it is typically made with barley.
      • This includes the following:
        • Malt syrup and extract
        • Malt flavoring and vinegar
    • Rye, as you often find in bread and bread products.
    • Floured or breaded or foods (when the breading comes from wheat)
    • Licorice
      • This is because it is made with wheat flour.
      • This is also true with other candies that contain barley or wheat.

    It should be known that wheat products go by several names. These are just examples of the many types of wheat flour out:

    • Plain
    • Self-rising
    • Enriched phosphated
    • Bromated

gluten free

Here are some other wheat products to avoid while on the gluten free diet:

  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Semolina
  • Kamut
  • Spelt

MAYBE: What You Must Avoid Unless It Is Labeled “Gluten-Free”

  • Beer can be gluten-free when you make it with grains that are devoid of gluten
  • Dextrin
    • Unless there is a label denotes it is gluten-free
  • Flavorings
    • They can sometimes have barley or wheat.
    • Wheat by law needs to be labeled in all foods regulated by (FDA)
    • Another term for barley ‘malt flavoring.’
  • Oats are generally considered safe if you follow the gluten-free diet.
    • This is only if they’ve been made to prevent what is called “cross-contamination.”
    • These oats have a gluten free label. Oats you see in everyday cereals aren’t safe unless you see a gluten free label.

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MAYBE: What to Absolutely Avoid Unless Labeled “Gluten-Free” (Part 2)

  • Prescription and other household drugs can have gluten.
    • If you are not sure, check with the company or your doctor.
    • This is especially true if the medication in question is taken everyday or on a regular basis.
  • Processed cheese could have gluten.
  • Some seasoning mixes
  • Soy sauce
    • Soy sauce is typically fermented with wheat
    • Only soy sauce that says it is made without wheat and/or is labeled gluten free not is gluten free.
    • One thing of note is the La Choy brand of soy sauce is naturally gluten free.

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Some Special Cases

  • Caramel color usually comes from corn.
    • Malt syrup is another product be also be used from corn that seldom happens. Another ingredient that tends to almost always be gluten free is caramel color.
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is a term under federal law that can’t be used on a food label.
    • Those who make food must properly identify the actual “vegetable.”

 

gluten free life

In Conclusion

To successfully master the gluten free diet plan, one must consult a dietician and examine food labels carefully. Doing this will take a lot of work and won’t be easy. However, you can be successful if you really work at it! The gluten free diet plan is liberating once you’ve learned and adjusted to the new, healthier way of living.

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