Are you someone who recently got diagnosed with Celiac disease? Or are you somebody with a gluten or wheat allergy? Or are you simply switching from the traditional diet to a gluten-free one? If you are one of these, probably you might be having a zillion doubt. Where to start? How to start? How to know if something is truly gluten-free? Can I still eat out? The list goes on and it can seem daunting at first. If so, you have come to the right place.
But before tackling a gluten-free diet, let us get to a little more about our culprit? So, what is gluten? To put it in simple words, gluten is a protein. What’s the harm in consuming protein you ask me? Well, gluten is not the kind of protein that we find in meat, eggs or pulses. Gluten is a protein found in cereals like Wheat, Rye and Barley. It is the protein that holds the starch in bread and pasta together. Some people can develop an allergy or an intolerance to gluten while some others can have autoimmune diseases like celiac disease which makes their small intestine highly sensitive to gluten. Now that we know what gluten is and what it can do to some people, here are some tips to help you start or follow a gluten free diet.
1. Research, research and research
One way and the most important way to get familiar with something is to know more about it. Do your research, know more about gluten and gluten free diets and ease out any stigma left in your mind. (Pssst…did you know? Our website has everything you need to know about gluten there is! From guides to recipes and delicious gluten-free products). And research does not always mean reading volumes and volumes. You can also speak to someone you know who follows a gluten free diet. Now that brings us to our next tip…
2. Reach out
Always remember that you are not alone in this endeavor. As we said, reach out to people who you know are following a gluten free diet. There are many support groups available online and even some great apps that can help you customise and track your gluten free diet.
3. Do your reading
Before you say ‘nay I hate to read’, we meant, read the labels. When buying something or anything canned, bottled or tinned, carefully read your labels. The ingredients and the allergens listed are usually (and thankfully) are listed on these bottles. So, if gluten is an ingredient, even a little of it is used, it will be mentioned on the labels. Also, watch out for the type of grain used in the product-such as wheat, barley, rye, oats etc. So, do your reading.
4. Nature’s gluten-free products
You probably might be wondering that there is nothing you can eat anymore. Well, that’s not true! As the heading suggests, some products and produces are naturally gluten-free. These include veggies, fruits, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and so on. So, include these products in your diet.
5. Watch out!
ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! Always watch out for cross-contamination. Some foods might be naturally gluten-free. But they can come in contact with products that can contain gluten and before you know it, you might accidentally consume gluten which may or may not result in something disastrous. This can happen in restaurants, from equipment, or even from the surfaces in your own home.
6. A gluten free diet can be a delicious one too!
Gluten-free products and recipes can be as delicious or sometimes more delicious than gluten-containing food items. Know your alternatives, stock ’em up and try out some great gluten-free recipes. You can still have grains like quinoa, polenta, buckwheat, etc. There are even gluten-free alcohols available, most ciders, wines and spirits are gluten-free.
We hope these tips will ease your worries about starting a gluten-free diet. Going gluten-free doesn’t mean that you are missing out in life. You can still eat out; you can still have yummylicious food and can drink alcohol too. All you need is some care and attention to certain factors and we are sure that you will certainly enjoy this journey.