A gluten-free diet excludes the protein gluten. The main sources of gluten are wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). People who suffer from celiac disease can control their symptoms and prevent complications by moving to a gluten-free diet. In these individuals the gluten can cause inflammation in the small intestine which becomes painful and can cause sickness. Other individuals may find that they can consume small amounts of gluten however if they consume too much they too will get bloated, gassy and sick. This is usually due to a gluten sensitivity.
As with any change in your diet it takes awhile to get use to the new way you are eating. Instead of focusing on things that you cannot have, focus on items that you are able to consume. Many whole food stores now offer gluten free breads and pasta so that you won’t feel deprived. Below is a list of acceptable food and unacceptable foods.
The next step is to decide if you should go gluten-free. If you have celiac disease the answer is YES however if not, I recommend keeping a food journal. If you are finding that you are experiences belly aches, bloating, gas or diarreah after eating foods containing gluten then do an elimination diet. An emlination diet is where you remove a certain food group or ingriedant for 30-60 days and then slow add one item in at a time and see how your body reacts. I have done an elimination diet of gluten and to my surprise I don’t get headaches, bellyaches, I’m not gassy or tired. I slowly added small amounts back into my diet and found that I’m ok with a very low percentage however I could never have a plate of pasta again. Instead I have gluten free pasta or spaghetti squash and I don’t feel deprived when the rest of my family is having regular pasta. Plus, I don’t feel awful afterwards.
So, if you are experiencing issues, consult your physician and give the elimination diet a whirl. If you think about it, you will be eating whole foods instead of processed foods packed with chemicals, artificial flavoring and sugar. You may even notice your body becoming leaner and your clothes fitting better 🙂
I would love to hear from those that follow a gluten-free diet and how it has helped you. Please feel free to leave a COMMENT below and share your story with us!