Perhaps you’re a fan of eating wheat, barley, and rye. The smell of bread, malt, and cereal can make your mouth water in an instant. These food options have a common component called gluten. Gluten is an umbrella term for the proteins found in different foods, including wheat, barley, and rye. This ingredient helps foods maintain their shape. But, choosing to go gluten-free can promote several health benefits.
5 Tips to Live Gluten-Free
Starting a gluten-free diet seems demanding at first. But, remember that changing your diet for the better can help you live a fitter, healthier lifestyle than before. So, here are six top tips to help you start living a gluten-free life.
Eat Gluten-Free Foods
Gluten can promote adverse effects in some people. You might have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, which is an autoimmune illness wherein the body mistakes gluten as a threat. So, it’s best to stock your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards with gluten-free foods to prevent these harmful effects.
Some food items you should always have for a gluten-free lifestyle include:
- Meats and fish
- Plain dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
You may also consider eating gluten-free cereal for breakfast. If you have gluten-related health concerns, then eating cereal without the compound can reduce the risks of aggravating these issues. After all, experiencing health issues due to gluten intolerance or celiac disease at the start of the day may destroy your otherwise happy morning.
Start Reading the Labels
If you weren’t keen on reading the labels of food products when you shop, now is the best time to start doing that activity. Keep in mind that there are gluten and gluten-free options on the market.
For example, you’re shopping for noodles for a pasta recipe to make for an upcoming social gathering at home. But, you’re unsure if some of your guests are allergic to gluten. The first thought that may come to mind is to ditch the noodles. After all, many noodle manufacturers develop this food product from wheat.
Wheat contains gluten, as mentioned previously. But, you can find gluten-free noodles on the market. Some noodle producers create gluten-free pasta made with different grains like corn, buckwheat, and quinoa.
Finding these products may take a fair amount of research to purchase the right gluten-free item for your healthy dishes. It should be in your best interest to start reading the labels on food items to ensure that you’re going buying products without gluten.
Release the Negativity
Starting a gluten-free lifestyle might not be all about positivity. Some people, especially family and friends, might annoy you about your change in eating habits.
Some comments and questions about your gluten-free life might annoy you. Perhaps some inquiries may imply that you have nothing in this world to eat.
Take a deep breath, and answer these questions regardless if they’re irksome or not. Remember, it’s best to educate not hate; teach people the value of going gluten-free for the short- and long-term. Some individuals might hold their values and advice you to stop the healthy eating habit because of particular reasons.
These folks might tell you that you’re missing out on the taste of real wheat. But, tell these naysayers that you’re changing your eating habits for the good of your overall well-being. You might remove food items like salad dressings, rye bread, and salad dressings from your daily menu, but you’ll gain unique health benefits in return.
Make Your Dressings and Sauces
Unfortunately, many salad dressings and food sauces on the market have gluten in them. Pre-packaged salad dressings, gravies, and dips have this compound as manufacturers use gluten as a thickener.
You might find it very challenging to search for gluten-free dressings and sauces for your recipes. But, all is not lost; you can create your gluten-free dips, dressings, and sauces at home.
For instance, you can create a gluten-free Caesar dressing at home by mixing the following ingredients:
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1-1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
- ¾ cup Paleo mayonnaise
- One garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
Start by whisking the lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic, and mustard in a mixing bowl. Next, add the mayonnaise. Combine all the ingredients until you gain a creamy texture. Season the dressing with salt and pepper for additional taste.
This recipe shouldn’t take more than five minutes to prepare. Yes, it will take a bit of extra effort to make as compared to picking up a bottle from a grocery store. But, five minutes of your time shouldn’t be a lot. Furthermore, the final product assures you that your salad dressing is going to be gluten-free.
Be Careful What You Eat in Restaurants
Eating in restaurants can become challenging when you’re following a strict gluten-free diet. Ask the waiter or chef for any gluten-free options on the menu. If the food joint doesn’t have gluten-free dishes, then you may want to consider eating at other restaurants that offer the meals and snacks you need.
Now that you know some tips to start ditching gluten foods from your daily menu, it’s time to start learning about the potential benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle.
3 Benefits of Living Gluten-Free
Changing your diet to consist of whole fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and other gluten-free products will deliver unique health benefits. Continue reading to know three of these advantages:
Manage Celiac Disease
As mentioned above, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder wherein the body mistakes gluten for foreign contaminants. In other words, your immune system attacks gluten, and this event can leave trace amounts of gluten in your small intestine, causing significant damage.
People with celiac disease may experience symptoms like:
- Sudden weight loss
Patients with untreated celiac disease might also be at a high risk of developing other nutritional deficiencies like osteoporosis and iron-deficiency anemia. The body may also be in danger of contracting other autoimmune disorders and neurological problems.
But, you can prevent these harmful effects by getting rid of gluten in your diet. Start eating gluten-free foods today to help manage celiac disease. Also, a gluten-free diet can help the small intestine heal over time. The absence of gluten in your diet allows the organ to absorb nutrients properly, thereby reducing the risks of celiac disease-related problems.
Bring More Fiber in Your Diet
Many gluten-based products have starch, and the small intestine doesn’t digest this substance well. You can find starch in dishes like pasta, soup, and rice.
Going gluten-free means you can eliminate starch-filled food options from your diet. Furthermore, you can start introducing more dietary fiber in your healthy lifestyle.
You can classify dietary fiber into two categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps slow the emptying procedure of the stomach, thereby making you feel full for long periods and reduce food cravings. Conversely, insoluble fiber absorbs water to help soften the contents in the bowels and promote regular bowel movements.
Getting rid of gluten-rich foods in your diet allows you to bring more meals and snacks rich in fiber. For example, your snacks might now consist of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. On the other hand, some of your meals may now have nuts, seeds, wheat bran, and wholegrain bread.
Weight Loss and Improved Health
Eating gluten-free foods may not promote direct results in weight loss efforts. But, following a gluten-free diet may cause you to eat healthier options like unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
This change in diet may lead to you choosing healthier and low-calorie food options. Furthermore, you might become more aware than before of the food products you buy from the supermarket. Now that you’re always searching for gluten-free items, you should now be keen on reading food labels.
Weight loss from following a gluten-free diet can be an additional benefit to strict followers of this eating habit. But, remember that weight loss won’t happen if you still eat more than the daily recommended calorie intake. After all, eating 1,800 calories of gluten-free food per day when you should only consume 1,500 calories daily will still yield an excess of 300 calories.
Aside from weight loss, you should also gain improved health from picking healthy food options. Substituting specific dishes like processed pasta and rice with healthy foods like wholegrain bread and cereal may offer positive impacts on your overall well-being.
Following a gluten-free lifestyle can seem intimidating at first. But, you can pull through this new eating habit by reading food labels, watching what you eat in restaurants, and making your recipes at home.
Continue this diet, and you may find yourself benefiting from unique health advantages like weight loss and improved overall health. Last, consider changing your eating habits to a gluten-free diet if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance to reduce the risks of adverse effects from eating that compound.
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However, consult your doctor before following a gluten-free diet to lessen the risks of potential adverse effects. Don’t consider jumping into this eating plan for the sake of weight loss without proper advice from a health and medical professional. Otherwise, you might put your body in danger of acquiring nutritional deficiencies.