Even so, there are many others who view the gluten free diet as a healthy way to eat even if they don’t meet the medical parameters of being gluten intolerant. While many people feel gluten free is healthy, the fact is that it can be even less healthy than eating gluten depending on how you eat. Here are some facts you need to know if you decide you want to go gluten free.
In this fast-paced world, we rely heavily on processed products and going gluten free requires a lot of time and effort in the kitchen. Cooking from scratch is becoming a lost art and with such changes, it is logical that anyone who wants to go gluten free may blindly follow a label.
Living a gluten free lifestyle goes beyond the kitchen. For starters, the gluten protein is used as a binder. It is found in cleaning formulas, laundry detergent, shampoos, soap and toothpaste, just to name a few places.
If you’ve not lived a gluten free lifestyle before, remember that gluten is also a protein that embeds itself in almost everything with pores – granite counter tops, ceramic tile, plastic storage bowls etc. One cannot truly be gluten free without sanitizing their entire lifestyle. If a person wants to be on just a gluten free diet, there are some things everyone needs to know before proceeding.
A gluten free diet can remind you of eating cardboard when it comes to replacing foods that usually have gluten in them. So make sure that in an attempt to make it more tasty that you don’t over salt or over season, which can cause other health issues.
In the beginning, you’ll want to track your intake of vitamins and minerals to make sure you’re not losing anything in the mix. If you are, don’t forget to find a way to supplement those missing necessities.
You will have to learn how to really cook mostly from scratch to be truly gluten free. Trading in over-processed and preserved foods for other over-processed and preserved foods with a gluten free label does no one any favors, it may increase a person’s sodium levels, and it can actually be more unhealthy than having gluten in your diet.
Gluten free food is less sustainable and requires more preservatives if it’s prepackaged for the consumer. This causes higher overhead for shorter shelf life. High overhead for manufacturers increases the cost of these foods. Manufacturers also know they can charge a premium price for gluten free food.
Meats, in general, are gluten free. If for example, the pigs are fed wheat bread however, there can be some contamination. So it’s good to know where you’re buying from and their practices on additives and diet for their products. In reality, this is something that should be advocated for any meat purchase, not just to certify that it is gluten free.
Be sure to read product labels. There is actually no certification to prove something is gluten free and some products you may think are gluten free actually aren’t. Chances are you are going to have to spend long hours in the store reading the labels on everything before you buy it. Note the following examples. Potato flakes used for making instant mashed potatoes can include wheat flour or gluten. Many products made with oats say they are gluten free but they do not have a dedicated gluten free facility for processing, which means there is a high chance of cross contamination.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should become your new favorite snack. It’s a healthy alternative and a gluten free one that can satisfy almost any craving.
You may want to switch to lower fat dairy products because you’ll probably find that you will eat more of them to balance out your diet. Don’t go overboard though. Science has shown that you can make your body intolerant to foods by eating too much of one thing.
Gluten free living is a process, and it can be time consuming. Weigh your options and make one of them just eating healthier – the information above can be used for that as well.
(Photo courtesy of Paul Swansen)