What do you eat when you are are on a gluten free diet? Well, there are many naturally gluten free foods you can consume as well as an enormous selection now of gluten free products. No longer are breads, pastas, pizza, and desserts a hassle to find. It used to be true that only specialty store like Whole Foods carried these products but I have found more and more of a selection at my neighborhood groceries lately!
People have often asked me if going gluten free was a way to lose weight. I have also had people go on the diet with sole purpose to lose weight. If you eat naturally gluten free, eat healthy, and have an exercise program I am sure you would! But a diet of gluten free products alone won't do it in my opinion. In fact when I first started trying out all the breads, pastas etc I actually gained weight. Now don't let that scare you off, I admit I over consumed carbs like crazy. I suppose I was trying to prove to myself that I could still eat those items... Irregardless, if you're trying to lose weight, I wouldn't solely rely on the gluten free diet. Hey, it might work for you but I would suggest a diet of healthy, natural, and organic food accompagnied with a healthy dose of exercise.
Now what is the gluten free diet? I found a great article on Mayo Clinic's site that provides plenty of information of the backbone of it.
The Gluten-free diet
By Mayo Clinic staff
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.
A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
Initially, following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating. But with time, patience and creativity, you'll find there are many foods that you can eat and enjoy while observing a gluten-free diet.
The gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease.
In order to avoid eating gluten, avoid food and drinks containing:
■Spelt (a form of wheat)
Avoid unless labeled 'gluten free'
Avoid these foods unless they're labeled as gluten free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain. Also check the label to see that they're processed in a facility that is free of wheat or other contaminating products:
■Cakes and pies
■Imitation meats or seafood
■Processed luncheon meats
■Sauces (including soy sauce)
Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. It's not clear whether oats are harmful for most people with celiac disease, but doctors generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten free. The question of whether people eating a gluten-free diet can consume pure oat products remains a subject of scientific debate.
Many other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth may contain gluten. These include:
■Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
■Lipstick and lip balms
■Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
Cross-contamination also may occur anywhere ingredients come together, such as on a cutting board or a grill surface. You may be exposed to gluten by using the same utensils as others, such as a bread knife, or by sharing the same condiment containers — the condiment bottle may touch the bun, or a knife with bread crumbs may contaminate a margarine stick or mayonnaise jar.
There are still many basic foods allowed in a gluten-free diet. With all foods, check to see that each is labeled gluten free or call the manufacturer to double-check.
Grains and starches allowed in a gluten-free diet include:
■Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
■Pure corn tortillas
Check the label when buying amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. These can be contaminated with gluten during processing.
Other Naturally gluten-free foods include:
■Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
■Most dairy products
■Wine and distilled liquors, ciders and spirits
An increasing number of gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are becoming available. If you can't find them in your area, check with a celiac support group or on the Web. Gluten-free substitutes are available for many gluten-containing foods, from brownies to beer. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods.
People with celiac disease who eat a gluten-free diet experience fewer symptoms and complications of the disease. People with celiac disease must eat a strictly gluten-free diet and must remain on the diet for the remainder of their lives.
In some severe cases, a gluten-free diet alone can't stop signs and symptoms of celiac disease. In these cases, doctors might prescribe medications to suppress the immune system.
Not eating enough vitamins.
People who follow a gluten-free diet may have low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Many grains are enriched with vitamins. Avoiding grains with a gluten-free diet may mean eating fewer of these enriched products. Ask your dietitian to review your diet to see that you're getting enough:
Not sticking to the gluten-free diet
If you accidentally eat a product that contains gluten, you may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some people experience no signs or symptoms after eating gluten, but this doesn't mean it's not damaging their small intestines. Even trace amounts of gluten in your diet may be damaging, whether or not they cause signs or symptoms