There is a plethora of choices in the market when it comes to gluten free food. This is quite amazing given the fact that gluten free was an alien concept only about a decade ago. Today, people are willing to pay top dollar to purchase the best gluten free food. Some are doing this because they feel obliged to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Others are flocking the gluten free stores because they are medically required to stay away from gluten. Then again, you have people who are spending money on gluten free food simply because “it’s the cool thing to do”.
Even though there are many places that offer gluten free food, finding high quality products that will cause no damage to your body (provided that you are gluten intolerant or sensitive) is not an easy task to accomplish. Here are some useful tips that can make your search easier:
1) Create Your Own List
It is not possible to list down all the foods in the world that are free from gluten. Your personal list of gluten free foods should only contain items that you are interested to eat. You may think that gluten free foods are unappetizing and tasteless, but you need to try them out in order to change your perception. For your information, gluten free food can be incredibly delicious if they are prepared in accordance to the right recipes. Besides learning about products that are gluten free, you should also take note of foods that can be identified as hidden sources of gluten. A common example of such a hidden source would be salad dressing. Did you know that even meat can contain gluten? The best option is to fill up your list with fresh, unprocessed and nutritious food that you know for sure is safe.
2) Study Food Ingredients
Staying healthy or eating healthy comes at a cost. You need to spend a certain amount of time conducting your own research on what’s good for you and what’s not. In other words, you need to thoroughly study the ingredients that are used to produce the foods that you regularly consume or are likely to consume in the near future. While doing this, you will probably come across a few jargons or technical terms such as hydrolyzed veggie proteins. Once you have studied the ingredients, you will be in a much better position to determine whether a particular food substance would aggravate your gluten sensitivity or intolerance.
3) Locate “No Gluten” Areas
Departmental and mass market stores are now accommodating the needs of gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive consumers. Therefore, it is quite common to find a no gluten section in grocery stores. Even if there isn’t such a section for you to shop from, you can always rely on the organic foods or natural meals section. The food sold in these sections is usually free of additives that are known to contain gluten. You could also visit one of the many specialized shops that cater to the needs of people with food sensitivities. There are many such shops that have opened across the United States over the last few years. Even though the products that are sold in these stores tend to be pricey, they are worth the extra dollar that you are paying. After all, there is no need to compromise with your health.
4) Join a Gluten Free Society
The great thing about our country is that there is no shortage of support groups for all kinds of people with special needs. If diabetics can have their own support groups, then why can’t people who are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant? Even though the number of gluten free support groups is not as high as those for diabetics, there are still quite a few that you can be a part of. It goes without saying that there are several benefits to being a part of a gluten free society. They will guide you on the kind of foods that you can buy and where you can buy them. The people in there can help you out with creating your own gluten free recipes. They can also direct you to online resources that will make your research work a lot easier. Most importantly, you can learn invaluable lessons about surviving a gluten free diet from people who have “been there and done that”.
5) Stay In Touch with a Nutritionist or Dietician
The services of a nutritionist or a dietician are not exactly inexpensive. If you can afford such a service, then don’t be reluctant to make the best use of it. Professional advice from a nutritionist is the best help that you can ask for when it comes to planning a gluten free diet and selecting specific gluten free foods.