Suggestions for going 'gluten free'

Suggestions for going 'gluten free'

Going "gluten-free" may seem daunting but the health benefits can be dramatic.

Gluten is a protein found in many grains and if you are allergic or sensitive to it, exposure can create a lot of inflammation in your body.

Some research has shown that many people who are sensitive to wheat, are actually reacting to the chemicals used in the production, storage and processing of wheat, and not the gluten protein itself.

Regardless of the trigger of the inflammation when exposed to wheat, it can be very damaging to your health and symptoms can include fatigue, skin problems and digestive discomfort including gas, painful bloating, or even IBS. Eliminating (or at least minimizing) how much gluten you eat, allows the digestive tract to heal, your digestion to improve and other symptoms to fade away.

Below are a few pointers on how to make the change.

Avoid any products with wheat (and replace them with gluten-free options wherever possible):

  • Pasta

  • Bread (some people who have a gluten sensitivity can tolerate rye. However be aware that in the U.S. most rye breads have a high content of wheat flower and you want to find one that is really 'hearty' and just rye)

  • Crackers (use rice crackers instead)

  • Many breakfast cereals

  • Soy sauce (replace with Tamari sauce)

  • Many "power bars"

  • All pastries or cake

  • Breaded deep-fried foods

Many of these foods are now available as gluten free options.

Breakfast ideas:

  • Eggs with steamed veggies e.g. Tomatoes, spinach,mushrooms

  • Eggs with a small salad

  • Grits with fruit and nuts

  • Quinoa with fruit and nuts

  • Oatmeal (there is some gluten in oats but if you have only a sensitivity to gluten, you may be able to get away with this option)

Lunch/dinner ideas:

  • Vegetable soups or stews (favorable in the winter)

  • Salads with some sort of protein (good summer option)

  • Rice dishes

  • Mexican dishes using corn tortillas

  • Steamed vegetables with fish, chicken or meat

Snack ideas:

  • Apple or celery with peanut or almond butter

  • Rice crackers with cheese

  • Nuts and raisins

  • Fruit

  • Yoghurt with fruit or nuts/seeds (in moderation - Greek is best)

Hope this is a good starting point. I'd love to hear some of your ideas and add them to the list.

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