Transition to a Gluten-Free Diet with These Simple Tips

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Coeliac disease is a type of autoimmune disease that affects the small intestines. This condition is triggered by a reaction to gluten. Gluten is a byproduct of wheat and other grains. This compound gums up the intestines, causing abdominal distention, malabsorption of nutrients, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. To reduce the symptoms of coeliac disease, you have to avoid gluten. In today’s post, we are listing down ways to transition to a gluten-free diet easily:

Check the Labels

Checking the label helps identify any grain byproducts that might’ve ended up in packed foods. When checking the label, look at the date of production, a certified gluten-free logo, and the list of ingredients. Most gluten-free packed foods come with a Certified Gluten-Free logo so they are safe for people suffering from gluten sensitivity. Sometimes the gluten-free label or logo is placed near the date of production. Check the ingredients to see if the product is free from wheat, rye, barley, oats, malt, brewer’s yeast and other grains.

Use Gluten-Free Substitutes

Who says you cannot enjoy your favorite bread or pasta dishes because you are diagnosed with celiac disease? Thankfully, most grain-based foods come with gluten-free counterparts. You can get these products from the local supermarket or at selected health food stores. Some of the most common gluten-free substitutes include pasta, bread rolls, cereals, and crackers. You can also ask your doctor for recommendations.

Opt for Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

There are hundreds of foods that are 100% gluten free so you are never out of options. Meats, poultry, fish, cheese, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables are all free from gluten. You can serve up the filling and delicious meals using any combinations of these foods.

Not all Grains Contain Gluten

That’s right, not all types of grains contain gluten so you don’t have to live grain-free forever. Quinoa, teff, amaranth, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are just a few types of grains that do not contain gluten. You can use any of these grains as a substitute for wheat, rye, and oats.  You can also try using gluten-free buckwheat noodles or polenta crumbs as a substitute for rice noodles and breadcrumbs, respectively. For baking, you can use quinoa and millet instead of wheat flour.

Go For Gluten Free Spirits

Some types of drinks contain gluten because the products are derived from fermented grains. Gluten-free alcoholic beverages include cocktails, cider, sherry, port, and spirits. Beer and other drinks fermented with barley or malt are not gluten-free. However, some types of beers are made specifically for those suffering from celiac disease. You can get these gluten-free drinks from your local supermarket.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Even the smallest amount of gluten can irritate the gastrointestinal tract of a person suffering from celiac disease. It is not enough to avoid gluten, you have to watch out for cross contamination too. Do not prepare regular and gluten-free products on the same kitchen surface. Minimize the spread of crumbs and store gluten free products separately from regular foods.

Avoiding Gluten in Condiments and Sauces

Some types of sauces and condiments contain trace amounts of gluten from wheat flour. These sauces include regular gravy and soy sauce. If you are making your own sauce, use corn flour or potato starch instead of wheat flour to thicken the base.

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