If you are interested in adopting a gluten-free diet, but you are not exactly sure how and/or where to start, rest assured you are not the only one in this situation. There are actually a lot of individuals in the U.S. who have recently discovered that they are either sensitive to gluten (gluten-sensitivity) or completely allergic to the substance that is naturally present in both wheat and wheat products.
How to Begin a Gluten-Free Diet: Reasons Why People Go “Gluten-Free”
There are all sorts of reasons why people decide to stop eating foods that contain wheat and/or gluten. However, some of the primary reasons why people choose to adopt gluten-free diets are because they exhibit symptoms of gluten sensitivities and/or gluten allergies. If you have a gluten allergy, it is important that you learn how to begin a gluten-free diet.
Individuals with sensitivity to gluten may exhibit symptoms of upset stomach, bloating, abdominal pain and/or diarrhea. Fatigue and headaches are also symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is a gluten allergy in its most severe form. You can experience all of the same symptoms you would experience if you had a gluten sensitivity. However you can also suffer from migraines as well as issues with your muscle coordination.
Once you have ruled out any other possibilities for these types of symptoms, it’s pretty likely that you have some form of gluten intolerance and that eliminating gluten from your diet will most likely relieve your symptoms. Now you will need to learn how to begin a gluten free diet so that you can improve your overall health.
How to Begin a Gluten-Free Diet: Recognizing Gluten-Free Foods
The first part of how to begin a gluten-free diet is realizing what gluten-free means and how to recognize which foods you are allowed to eat and which foods you need to avoid. Gluten is essentially a protein that is generally found in foods such as:
- Any foods that are derivatives of these three grains
If you are on a gluten-free diet, you need to avoid consuming any foods that contain any of these grains as well as any foods that contain any derivatives of these grains. The following grains must be avoided if you are following a gluten-free diet:
Wheat: Wheat such as Farro, Bulgur, Durum, Couscous, Einkorn, Graham, Matzo Meal, Semolina, Kamut, and Spelt should all be avoided.
Barley: A grain that is also sometimes used in making malt flavoring. It can be called barley, malt or barley malt. It is not mandatory for manufacturers to list barley on their ingredient list, so even though it’s rare, barley malt is sometimes listed on labels as simply “flavoring.”
Rye: Is a grain that is typically found in sandwich breads. It’s common for people in Eastern European and German countries to use this rye flour in their breads.
Triticale: A grain that is created from crossbreeding rye with wheat, and it can typically be used in breads, brewing, distilling and cereal manufacturing.
If you want to learn how to begin a gluten-free diet, you can start by avoiding these foods.