Tips for Health

Gluten-Free Diet

By on April 8, 2012 in Dieting, Health with 0 Comments

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. Most people can eat gluten without any problems, but those with celiac disease should not eat gluten.

What does gluten do to people who have celiac disease?

Gluten damages the intestines of people who have celiac disease. This damage prevents the body from many of the important nutrients in food. This includes vitamins, calcium, protein, carbohydrates, fats and other important nutrients. The body can not work well without these nutrients. Even small amounts of gluten in foods may harm people who have celiac disease.

Avoiding gluten has no beneficial effect for people who do not have celiac disease.

Why is it important to follow a gluten free diet?

Celiac disease is serious. You can control celiac disease just by not eating any gluten. But perhaps you would take some time to learn to eliminate gluten from your diet. Your doctor may suggest you seek help from a nutritionist (dietitian) certificate.Following the right diet, you can reverse the damage caused by celiac disease and feel better. But if you “cheat” on your diet, the damage will come back even if you do not feel sick right away.

What foods contain gluten?

Gluten is found in the grain of wheat, rye, barley and triticale.This includes items made from these grains eg rye, bulgur, couscous, enkir flour (Triticum monococcum), wheat (Triticum durum), emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum), flour (starch) maize flour wheat without bolting, matzah flour, kamut flour, semolina and spelled. These grains are in a variety of foods, including biscuits, breads, pasta and cereals.

These grains are also often added to processed foods, so it is important to carefully read food labels to verify the sources of gluten. Manufacturers often change the ingredients in their processed foods, so you have to make sure to check the label of each food every time you purchase.

As you learn to recognize the gluten in food labels, always remember that without wheat does not mean gluten free. If you are unsure if a food is or is not any kind of gluten it is best to not eat it.

Sometimes gluten is added to foods and products that are not common. Some of these are:

  • Beer and other beverages containing alcohol
  • Chopped salad toast (“croutons”), flour for breading and stuffing
  • Meat processed Salsamentaria
  • Bacon and seafood
  • Dressings, sauces and flour mixtures that lead to thicken
  • Soup and bases for soups
  • Soy sauce
  • Communion wafers
  • Marinade mixes 
  • Malta, malt flavors and malt vinegar
  • Prescription medications and supplements and nonprescription (OTC)
  • Dietary supplements, including vitamins
  • Lipstick (lip or blush), gloss and lip moisturizers
  • Putty for children to play (“play dough”). Children with celiac disease should wash their hands well after using the putty.

What kind of food I can eat when I’m doing a gluten free diet?

Being on a diet without gluten does not mean you can not enjoy a healthy, well balanced diet that includes a variety of foods.There are many foods that naturally contain no gluten, among these are:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat, fish and poultry (not marinated or “involved” in mass and then breaded or cooked)
  • Rice
  • Nuts
  • Gluten-free flour: potato flour, soya (soy), rice, millet, flaxseed, sorghum, tapioca and corn.
  • Many dairy products including milk, cottage cheese, cream and most of the yogurt.

There is also a variety of foods that contain gluten and which serve as substitutes for others that normally contain gluten. Some of these options include breads, pastas, sauces and baked goods that do not contain gluten. You can find many of these foods do not contain gluten in the supermarket where you live in the health food section or in section of gluten-free products. Also found in health food supermarket or online.

Tips for “deal” with this condition:

  • Learn all you can about gluten-free diets. There are many informative books, cookbooks and the internet pages which explain how to eat gluten-free diet.
  • Ask questions when you eat out. Ask the waiter or chef about the ingredients used in menu items. Sometimes the restaurant has a gluten free menu. Moreover, in some cities, there are special restaurants for people who make gluten-free diet.
  • Join a support group. Talk to your doctor about finding a support group for people with celiac disease. Talk to others who are in the same situation you may also be useful.

How do I start?

Finding out you have to follow a gluten-free diet can be overwhelming. Your doctor can help at first, providing a complete list of foods you can eat and which to avoid. A nutritionist (dietitian) can help make a gluten-free nutrition plan that includes the nutrients you need in your daily diet.

Do I need to add a nutritional supplement to my diet without gluten?

Usually you can get all the vitamins and minerals you need by eating a gluten free diet including a variety of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish. However, if you are just starting a gluten free diet, your doctor may want you to take supplementsThe reason for this is because it might have been difficult for your body to absorb all the vitamins and minerals you need while you were still eating foods containing gluten. If you take a supplement, be sure to choose one that does not contain gluten. Your doctor can help you find the supplement that is right for you.

 

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