Many people are turning to a gluten free lifestyle these days. However, the reasons they are doing this can vary from one person to the next. And, there are valid reasons such as celiac disease, allergies, or intolerance to gluten, while some have even eliminated gluten as a weight loss measure. Regardless of your reason for considering a gluten free diet, you probably have some questions about living this lifestyle. I am going to share some of the most common questions, as well as the answers. So, read the Gluten Free FAQ below if you want to learn more about gluten free living.
Gluten Free FAQ
1. Is gluten unsafe?
It certainly can be, especially for people with celiac disease. This is a digestive disorder that can damage a person’s small intestine and block absorption of the vital nutrients that we typically get from our diet. What happens is that when eating gluten, the body responds by damaging something called villi, which is found in the intestine to help the body absorb nutrients.
Aside from celiac disease, some people suffer from allergies or intolerance to gluten which can cause a lot of discomfort such as abdominal pain, bloating, or difficulty in breathing. However, if you don’t have any of these issues, gluten is not considered to be unsafe.
2. What is the most common mistake when removing gluten from their diet?
As with most changes we make, patience is often an issue for people eliminating gluten from their daily diet. You won’t notice results immediately. It takes a while to eliminate all food from our system, and feel the effects of healthier foods.
3. Is it challenging to go without gluten?
In some ways, yes. But, if you research and learn what to look for, cooking itself is not any more difficult than with gluten. The only difference would be that you will be cooking with fresh foods, which might take a little more effort to cook than processed foods. Once you learn about the new diet, which a nutritionist can help you with, it will become second nature.
4. Who can benefit from a gluten free diet?
Most everyone can benefit to some degree, especially if means you will be eliminating processed foods that are filled with unnecessary preservatives. In addition, as I mentioned above, anyone with a gluten disorder can certainly benefit.
5. How do I know if I have an allergy to gluten or sensitivity to it?
First, there are symptoms that will be a good indicator that your body might have a problem handling gluten. The list of symptoms is longer than my arm, but here are some of the most common:
- Abdominal pains
- Joint pain
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
As I said, the list is long, and not all are so obvious, as you can see from the list above. Be honest…did hair loss occur to you? If you have these symptoms and suspect you have adverse reactions to gluten, check with your doctor.
6. How can I live without pastas and breads?
You don’t have to…see how easy that is? Gluten free diets have become so popular that it’s relatively easy to find healthy alternatives. For example, gluten free pasta is often developed with soy, brown rice, quinoa, or even potatoes. There is even a type of pasta called Miracle Noodles, which is not only gluten free, but very low on calories and carbs…bonus!
Gluten free flours are also available to make breads, pizza crusts, and other baked goods. Now, where to buy Miracle Noodles and gluten free flours and grains? That’s easy too. Many supermarkets are now offering some form of gluten free products, or you can visit health food stores and various health websites.
7. How can a person starting a gluten free diet make sure they are getting the proper nutrients?
The best way would be to meet with a nutritionist and join a support group where you can get a lot of valuable information, as well as new ideas and recipes.
Another way is to eat a well-balanced diet, filled with various healthy foods. This new diet should consist of about 70% vegetables, with the balance consisting of a protein and starch. Foods that are derived from plants, such as your vegetables, nuts, grains, and olive oil will help your diet. Combine this with healthy lean meats, fish, and eggs…and you should have a well-balanced diet.
Finally, a multivitamin supplement can help you get the proper nutrients as well.
Do you have a Gluten Free FAQ question to add to this list? If so, email it to us at [email protected]!
As a freelance writer, Melissa Cameron often writes on topics that she has experience with, or has piqued her interest while browsing the Internet. For example, when visiting www.biogirlhealth.com, she chose to research and write on the topic of gluten free diets. Melissa is a wife and mother, who lives in Austin, Texas.