Maintaining a healthy lifestyle without consuming gluten is not exactly the easiest job in the world. The Western diet is filled with gluten containing foods. Most of the delicious treats that we indulge in contain gluten in lesser or greater quantities. This forces a lot of people to believe that living a gluten free lifestyle restricts their dietary choices to a handful of options. This is only true if you are not aware of how to manage a gluten free lifestyle in the 21st century. There are plenty of non gluten foods that you can purchase or prepare at home. If you buy food from the right vendor or use the right recipe when preparing the food, you will not feel as though you are eating something less delicious than what most people eat.
Discipline and knowledge are two things that will make it easier for you to overcome the challenges faced by the average American gluten intolerant. You need to promise yourself to not be careless about the food that you consume. You also need to be sincerely involved in gaining knowledge about gluten free food and beverages. The more knowledge you, the simpler it will be for you to filter out and replace gluten containing food in your diet.
It is a daunting task for people who have recently discovered their gluten intolerance to embark on the journey of a gluten free lifestyle. There is no reason to be scared or worried. There are thousands of other people in your shoes. If they can live happily and prosper without gluten then so can you. You simply need to focus on following a few effective steps that will gluten free within a matter of weeks:
1) Rely on Whole Foods
When it comes to the battle against gluten, your best option is to rely on whole foods. Fresh whole chicken, fish, beef, whey protein, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seed and oils are great food items to include in your daily diet. According to a number of studies that have been conducted over the last few years, there is a much smaller chance of whole foods containing gluten than your average food item. That being said, you need to be careful about the kind of ingredients that you are using while cooking your whole foods. For example, a bowl of chicken salad is only safe for you to eat if you have not used salad dressing that contains gluten (most cheap salad dressings have gluten in them).
2) Don’t Be Convinced by the Gluten Free Label
Keeping an eye out for the gluten free label is only the first step of filtering out safe food. The second step involves inspecting the ingredients with which the food has been made to ensure that the label is actually true. You will be surprised by the amount of gluten containing foods that are sold in the market under the gluten free label. Packaged foods such as cookies, breads, cakes, candies and crackers are often prepared and processed in facilities where gluten is present. Also, the gluten free label is used as a marketing ploy to sell substandard and mediocre food items that are made with low quality wheat flour, sugar and additives. Being stamped with the gluten free label does not make any product safe for consumption. Always take the brand, the ingredients and the manufacturing process into consideration before making the final purchase.
3) Avoid Condiments
It is very hard to tell whether a certain condiment contains gluten or not. Normally, when we think of gluten we think of baked goods. Condiments don’t usually appear at the top of the list of gluten containing foods. Also, reading the list of ingredients or the other information provided on the packaging of a bottled condiment isn’t really going to be of much help in determining whether there is gluten or not. Therefore, the best option for you is to avoid condiments as much as you possibly can. The items you need to stay away from are ketchup, bottled sauces and salad dressings.
4) Don’t Buy Packaged Foods
Since you are being recommended to rely on whole foods, it makes all the sense in the world to not buy packaged or processed foods. There is a very high chance that these foods contain some type of wheat or grain product that has gluten in it. Even if it doesn’t, then the product may have been produced in a facility where it was exposed to gluten.
5) Ask Questions When You Eat Out
Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the chef or the waiter at the restaurant you are dining at. Be eager to ask questions about the food. America is becoming more and more aware about the dangers of gluten, especially with regards to those who suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Hence, the staff at the restaurant you are dining at is likely to answer your gluten related queries and help you enjoy a wonderful gluten free dining experience. You can’t expect such a service if you remain silent at the dinner table.