What is a gluten free diet? Learn more about this special diet that is followed by persons suffering from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Find out how you can avoid gluten from your diet and still seek nutritional and wholesome foods. A gluten-free diet works well for those suffering gluten intolerance as well as gluten sensitivity.
Gluten is a protein and leavening substance that is found in flour and is responsible for the structure of dough. Persons suffering from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance notice symptoms such as diarrhea, malnutrition, breathlessness and weight loss since their intestines cannot tolerate specific food grain antigens such as those found in wheat, barley and rye. These foods can become toxic in the intestines of a person with Celiac disease. This may occur due to abnormal immunologic reaction.
Celiac disease gives rise to problems such as bone pain and mild weakness and abdominal bloating. It is essential not to ignore this condition as it is known to progressively lead to gastrointestinal carcinoma or lymphoma. Patients suffering from dermatitis hereptiformis also need to follow a gluten free diet since their condition is induced by gluten-induced skin sensitivity. Even a slight bit of gluten in the diet is likely to trigger the symptoms. There can be decreased bone density, unintentional weight loss and anemia.
Benefits of going gluten free
While a gluten-free diet is used primarily to treat celiac disease, the benefits of excluding gluten from your diet are many.
Better Digestive Health: Those who suffer recurring digestive issues might see considerable relief when they eliminate gluten from their diet. It has shown relief for those suffering Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn's disease.
Increased Energy Levels: Eliminating gluten from the diet can heal intestinal inflammation and the resultant malabsorption of minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Anemia, constant fatigue and lowered energy levels are often the result of poor intestinal health.
Removing gluten from your diet reduces inflammation; from the gastro-intestinal system and other body systems. Gluten-sensitive persons experience various joint and muscle aches, numbness and pains. Chronic inflammation leads to arthritis, eczema and sometimes cancer. Going gluten-free provides benefits of better neurological health and relief from anxiety and headaches. Lowered LDL cholesterol, reduced triglyceride levels and increased HDL cholesterol are other health benefits of going gluten-free.
Gluten free diet
The grains that can be used when on a gluten free diet are maize, rice, tapioca, arrowroot, yam, soybean, buckwheat and quinoa. Check flavorings and syrups for any wheat or barley derivatives. A gluten free diet excludes any bread, pasta and most convenience foods. There is controversy over the exclusion of oats from a gluten free diet. Wheat can be used in many forms - durum flour, semolina and kamut. You need to stay clear of all of them. Pickled food, cereal beverages, ice creams in cones, cookies, pies, pastries, packaged meats, foods with macaroni, corned beef and casseroles with flour are to be avoided by anyone on gluten free diet.
Products made of corn flour, soy flour, rice flour and buckwheat flour must be chosen when on a gluten-free diet. Go for millet flakes, rice and dried active yeast and milk powder. Breakfast can include eggs, turkey bacon or puffed rice cereals. Opt for rice noodles and gluten-free pasta. Tuna fish, corn tortillas, kebabs with rice or beef chili can be eaten for lunch or dinner.
Rice cakes, Desserts made of gluten-free icing sugar, pudding, baked apple and dark chocolate are a good option. Medicines containing gluten, especially some Vitamins must be avoided. Vitamin and mineral supplements may be necessary for those on a gluten free diet since there might be decreased absorption of iron, calcium, folate and B-vitamins. Opt for seeds and nuts in natural form. Go in for eggs and most dairy products.