Are you constantly getting sick, and experiencing dairy intolerance, nausea and vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, or other food reactions? Gluten in your diet might be the culprit. I bet you never thought that some of our everyday foods were causing you to be sick. Nevertheless don’t worry, you have plenty of options as far as eating gluten free is concerned. As you roam the grocery aisle, you will be begin to see gluten free products available to you; and you will continue to see more as food brands offer them.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a sticky protein composite found in foods processed from certain grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and kamut. It’s stickiness acts like a glue to bind ingredients together. Gluten holds together the flour that makes bread, and gives the final product a chewy texture. It is often used in packaged and processed foods, sauces, flavorings, flavor enhancers and even as a binder or filler in vitamins and supplements. Gluten may also be found in some cosmetics or dermatological preparations. Food manufacturers extensively use gluten, and in recent years substantial and controversial studies suggest our bodies may not tolerate and digest this unique protein composite as well as everyone has assumed.
What is Gluten Intolerance?
Gluten intolerance, also known as gluten sensitivity, is when we experience symptoms after eating foods containing gluten. As our diet depends mainly on wheat and wheat by-products, we are seeing a higher incidence of intolerance to the wheat protein gluten. What we know from recent research is that there is a spectrum of disorders associated with gluten – from an inability to digest it to a full diagnosis of celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease associated with gluten intolerance. It occurs in genetically predisposed people of all ages.
Symptoms associated with gluten intolerance and celiac disease include:
Depression – Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Growth Issues – Constipation and/or Diarrhea Hives – Brain Fog – Nausea and Vomiting – Constantly Getting Sick – Chest Pain, Dairy Intolerance – Sugar Cravings – Other Food Reactions – Bone Pain
Transitioning to a Gluten-Free Life
1. Take steps to change your shopping habits. Look for gluten-free substitutes and gluten-free products in your supermarket. I will suggest that you locate a natural or health food supermarket in your area, as they will most likely have gluten-free products available.
2. Experiment and try to find the best products that meet your taste requirements. You should know that there are many good options. After a couple of months, your new purchasing habits should be formed and it will be much easier from that point on.
3. Be aware that when eating at restaurants there are many foods contrary to your expectations that may contain gluten, such as french fries and dressings. Be sure to check with your server to see which menu items are gluten free, and if the server is unsure; have them ask the chef.
4. Consult with your healthcare practitioner to assist in identifying your symptoms, and help treat symptoms associated with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
The gluten-free movement has come a long way. One of the many reasons is the dramatic improvement people feel as a result of eliminating gluten- containing foods from their diet.
Being gluten-free is a complete lifestyle change, and I’m sure you can use all the support you can get. Check out these helpful websites for more information on eating gluten free.
Will you join the gluten-free movement? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Shawna Kay ( Blissed Out Belle )
Kay is a Lifestyle & Empowerment Enthusiast, and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blissed Out Belle™. Connect with her on Facebook here, and follow her on Twitter @BlissedOutBelle .