You may have to follow a gluten-free diet because you have celiac disease, or you may want to avoid gluten for other health reasons. These are some mindful ways to follow such a diet.
What Is Gluten?
First, you need to understand gluten if you want to avoid having it in your diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. Thus, to go gluten-free, you’ll need to avoid all items that contain wheat and wheat flour. You should start your journey of gluten-free eating by reading materials on gluten and finding lists of foods that almost always contain gluten.
Bread, rolls, cookies, and cakes almost always have gluten in them. However, other items that you weren’t aware of may have gluten in them as well. Salads with croutons and salad dressings may also contain gluten. Therefore, your journey requires a lot of research and understanding of cross-contamination. Some gluten-free items can still have gluten in them because of unwanted cross-contamination.
Why Is Gluten Bad for the Body?
Gluten doesn’t contain any nutrients. Therefore, it doesn’t benefit anyone who eats it. It can be especially harmful to individuals who have celiac disease. Celiac disease is an immune system disorder that causes the sufferer’s immune system to attack the small intestines if that person consumes gluten.
Symptoms of such incidents include extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, anemia, constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and more. The worst part of it is that it can cause the sufferer to lose nutrients due to malabsorption. That causes anemia in most persons who have celiac disease.
Three Mindful Ways to Follow a Gluten-Free Diet
These are some tips for staying gluten-free if you would like to live that way. Try some of these to keep yourself in the right mindset:
1. Conduct Research and Join Forums
You’ll need to connect with other people who are living the same lifestyle you’re trying to live right now. Many forums are out there for celiac sufferers and people who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. You’ll need to find some so that you can gain information about your lifestyle changes.
2. Search for Gluten-Free Products
Always stay mindful when you are in the grocery store or out in restaurants. You’ll need to question the restaurant workers if you intend to avoid gluten as you eat your meals. When in the grocery store, you can look for gluten-free labels and gluten-free packaging on the items. You can also order a gluten-free gift basket for yourself or another person from a provider who intentionally sells gluten-free items.
3. Read Labels on All Food Items
You should ensure that you read all labels on grocery food items you intend to purchase. Sometimes, you’ll find clues that certain products are not gluten-free items. Anything that says wheat or wheat flour on the packaging is most likely not gluten-free. You must also pay close attention to items to see if they were manufactured in a gluten-free facility.
Now you know how to get started with gluten-free eating. Follow the tips above to start your journey toward living a gluten-free life.