Glutеn ѕеnѕitivitу аnd/оr intоlеrаnсе hаѕ come to thе fоrеfrоnt оf health and nutritiоn оvеr thе last fеw years. This protein found in wheat (and other grain) products can cause a whole host of issues. Some of the signs of gluten sensitivity are bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tiredness and skin rashes just to name a few. While gluten sensitivity is a serious issue, there are ways to avoid gluten and still enjoy delicious foods that you love.
Have you been told that you have a gluten intolerance or are sensitive to gluten? Do you feel like your body reacts negatively to gluten? Are you experiencing some of the signs of gluten sensitivity listed above? If so, you may want to avoid gluten. This may seem like a daunting task as so many foods that you are currently enjoying contain gluten. Luckily, there are many ways to avoid gluten that are easy. On the other hand, there are also items that are labeled “gluten free” that you may want to avoid. To help you navigate what may or may not be acceptable options, here are a 5 tips to help you avoid gluten.
1. Stick To Whole Foods – Your best bet when going gluten free is to eat fresh, whole foods. Chicken, fish, shell fish, beef, whey protein, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and oils are fantastic items to incorporate into your daily eating plan. These types of whole foods will generally not contain gluten (unless gluten is added in some form during cooking).
2. Stay Away From Packaged Foods – Packaged and processed foods are more likely to contain some type of wheat or grain product that has gluten in it. It’s best to leave the packaged and processed foods alone and stay away from purchasing them. You won’t be as likely to eat them if they aren’t in your home.
3. Just Because It Says “Gluten Free” – There are hundreds and thousands of products listed “gluten free”. Their packages list them as free of gluten all over the label. Please beware of these products. They fall into the category of processed and packaged foods but not because they might contain gluten. Packaged cookies, crackers, breads and candies that are labeled as gluten free contain other flours, sugar and additives that still aren’t good for you. So while they may not contain gluten, they are equally as bad for other reasons. Don’t fall into this trap.
4. Stay Clear of Condiments – Ketchup, salad dressings and sauces are all condiments you might need to stay away from. Make sure you read labels as these types of items tend to have wheat or another grain containing gluten.
5. Eating Out – When eating out at a restaurant, you’ll need to ask questions. Just because a salad is listed on the menu as having chicken, lettuce and tomatoes looks innocent and free of gluten, does not mean that it is. What is the chicken cooked with? Is it breaded? Does the salad dressing have gluten? There are many things to think about when eating out. Make sure you cover all of your bases and ask your server to be sure you avoid any items with gluten.