Going Gluten Free – Part 2

If you are unsure of whether you might benefit from a gluten free diet, please refer to my previous blog, Going Gluten Free – Part 1 for some of the common symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity or intolerance.  If you have decided to give it a go, please read on!

Adopting a Gluten Free Lifestyle

“How do I do it?”  This is the most common question by far!  Even though the answer may seem obvious, the reality of what that means to your daily routine can be daunting.  Most of us don’t think about how widespread gluten is in the American diet and so making the decision to go gluten free doesn’t initially sound like such a big deal.  The reality is a bit different and can present significant challenges. If your doctor has told you to go gluten free or you are having serious GI issues, you must immediately eliminate all foods containing wheat, rye and barley. This will mean that you must start reading labels on all foods and condiments to be sure that they do not contain these grains.  If the label says “Gluten Free”, the product should be safe to consume.  Acceptable grain alternatives would include rice, quinoa, flax and corn (preferably non-GMO).

The Gradual Approach – Start by going Wheat Free

If you don’t have serious GI issues but think that you would benefit from eliminating gluten in your diet, it might be a good idea to for you to take a more gradual approach and start by eliminating foods that contain wheat. Even though gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley, the bulk of the gluten impacting the American diet comes from wheat.  Wheat based foods make up a significant percentage of the average diet and this is the perfect place to start eliminating gluten.

You can start your Gluten Free Journey by eliminating these common foods made with wheat:

Bread, Buns, Muffins, Rolls, Bagels

Pasta, Pizza Crust

Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Donuts, Boxed Cereals

Croutons, Crackers, Couscous

Candies that contain a cookie (Twix)

Soups containing noodles

All foods that are “Breaded” (Chicken tenders etc)

All foods that are thickened with wheat flour (gravy)

It’s not hard— It’s just different!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about eliminating all of these foods at once, you can START SLOWLY with just a few foods at a time.  Look for alternatives to these processed foods like fruit instead of baked goods, grilled chicken instead of breaded and rice or quinoa instead of pasta.  Most people feel much better after eliminating gluten from their diet and this will help motivate you to eliminate it entirely.

 

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