With 29% of Americans trying to cut gluten out of their lives, chances are, you’ve noticed the recent gluten-free trend. But have you actually considered it? While most people who eat gluten-free are not in fact sufferers of Celiac disease, many have found that they feel healthier and more energetic without it.
So what exactly is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that comes from wheat and many grains. As a result, it’s primarily found in flours made from wheat, barley, and rye. Those who are allergic or intolerant to gluten typically notice it through stomach pain, bloating and swollen joints.
Who suffers from gluten intolerance?
About 1 in 133 people suffer from Celiac disease, a disorder in which a person cannot digest the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. In a Celiac, eating gluten can go so far as to cause panic attacks, depression, vomiting, fatigue, and even malnourishment from the destroyed villi in the intestines. These are the people who absolutely cannot consume gluten. However, large amounts of people have been trying to solve gastrointestinal issues via the gluten free diet. Gluten sensitivity has grown in numbers drastically over the last few years, and switching to a gluten-free diet has helped millions solve a multitude of issues afflicting the entire body; the switch has fixed many Americans’ digestive issues. The benefits don’t stop there though: many credit the new meal plan for clear skin and the end of headaches, migraines, and even neurological disorders and nerve sensitivities.
Why should I stop eating it?
This is a trick question: you should stop eating gluten if you feel like it will truly improve your digestion or overall wellbeing. If you experience a lot of abdominal discomfort or pain, and you’re still determining why, then you might want to try out an experimental diet for a week or two. Cutting gluten from your meals can help cure your stomach issues, give you more energy, clear your skin, and even lose weight. Yet, it should not be treated as a fad diet. Part of the reason why people feel so much healthier is that gluten is mostly found in carbs, so any time you fill more of your meals with vegetables than flours, you’ll feel better. Most unhealthy snacks contain gluten, so when you aim for a gluten free diet, you’ll have to find new vices, which usually results in a much higher consumption of fruits and vegetables.
How can I make my diet gluten free?
For starters, recognize the vast amount of foods that are naturally gluten-free: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and dairy. Rice, beans, oils, nuts, seeds, sugar, honey, and most syrup are also lack the protein. The main foods to watch out for are breads, pastas, crackers, oats, and baked goods; it can be tough to find good replacements for these without gluten, but we like to boast on our gourmet gluten free pastas and desserts. There are also several alcohols derived from wheat, rye, and barley, so you may have to switch your favorite brand of beer. You’ll find yourself exploring a variety of flours – we recommend almond and brown rice flours. If you are going to try out this diet, you’re in luck because recently, the FDA has issued the first regulations on gluten-free labeling, so it’s about to get much easier to find good substitutes for your old favorites.
How can we help you?
We try to take note of the many different dietary restrictions afflicting people across the U.S. We offer a multitude of gluten free options for those suffering gluten intolerance and sensitivity. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the taste you want when making a decision for your health, so we strive to make the gluten-free life a little easier, and a lot tastier.
To read more about today’s health issues, check out our series on nutrition.