What Is Gluten?
Gluten refers to a mix of proteins found in wheat, rye, spelt & barley. Gluten is mainly known for its viscosity. When flour is mixed with water, the gluten forms a sticky network that has a glue like consistency. The gluten in wheat enables the mold ability of dough and the ability of bread to rise when it bakes.
Why is gluten bad for some people?
Most people tolerate gluten just fine however it can cause problems with certain health conditions this includes celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy and other such conditions.
1. Celiac Disease – people with this condition suffer from the fact that their body treats gluten as a foreign substance and attacks the gluten as well as the inner lining of the gut. Common symptoms of celiac disease are digestive discomfort, tiredness, skin rash, weight loss etc. There are various other non-digestive symptoms of celiac disease which is the main reason that it is difficult to diagnose it.
2. Non Celiac gluten sensitivity – This refers to the category of people who do not have celiac disease or test negative for celiac disease but have a negative effect upon consumption of gluten.
Still confused about what exactly gluten is?
Watch this video to understand the details of what it is.
What grains generally contains Gluten?
• Wheat and the varieties and derivatives of wheat
• Triticale Malt
• Brewer’s Yeast
• Wheat Starch
What common foods should you be cautious about incase you are gluten intolerant?
• Breads and Pastries
• Baked Goods
• Cereal & Granola
• Breading & Coating Mixes
• Sauces & Gravies
• Flour tortillas
Let’s see how you can cut out gluten from your diet
Fortunately, there are many healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten free. The easiest way to follow a gluten free diet is to seek out the following food groups
• Meat and poultry
• Fish and seafood
• Beans, legumes, and nuts
Apart from this there are many other grains that you can opt for which are naturally gluten free. Many of the grains are easily available, but the other grains may only be found in specialty or health food stores.
• Cassava Corn (maize)
• Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)
• Gluten-free oats
• Nut flours
A word of caution is that there have been cases where gluten free grains may contain gluten due to cross contact with gluten containing grains. So be sure to buy your produce from trusted sources.
What should one do if they have gluten intolerance and they need to eat out?
It may seem daunting to go gluten-free at first. But for many, the advantages far outweigh the inconvenience. The first step is to get rid of all the gluten-containing products in your kitchen and stock it with alternatives such as gluten-free breads, pasta, crackers, and cereals.
Eating at restaurants can be particularly challenging when considering a gluten allergy, but this doesn’t mean you can’t ever dine out. You should be able to dodge the gluten bullet if you stick with the same types of items you eat at home, such as grilled meats and steamed vegetables.
Foods to avoid in restaurants include fried foods, certain sauces, or anything that has been fried in the same pan with a gluten-containing food.
Celiac disease requires extra caution when eating out. Make sure that dietary restrictions are communicated to the chef in advance. Certain restaurants are almost certainly out of question for those on a gluten-free diet, including fast food restaurants, buffets, salad bars, and most bakeries. On the flipside, some establishments, such as vegetarian restaurants, cater to the gluten-free diet.
How do I start my journey into a gluten free lifestyle?
The CDF 7 Day Gluten-Free Meal Plan can help you kick-start your gluten-free lifestyle. This nutritionally balanced Meal Plan provides three meals and two snacks each day with easy to make recipes and “Quick Fixes” for those on-the-go.
Take a look at the 7 Day Gluten free meal plan and write to us with your suggestions, feedback and more.