Going Gluten-Free? Some Tips to Get Started

gluten free diet

I’ve written so many posts about why most people do not need to follow a gluten-free diet, that I thought it was time I share some practical tips with those who really do.

Who exactly are the people who will benefit from a gluten-free diet?  Those with

  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten intolerance (symptoms vary; intolerance tested & diagnosed by a doctor)
  • certain skin or thyroid conditions that may be gluten-related (again diagnosed by a doctor)

If you fall into one of these categories and have begun to implement a gluten-free diet, it can be challenging simply because you have to be so aware of what you’re eating.  But thanks to the gluten-free craze and recent awareness about this type of lifestyle, there are now plenty of products and resources available to those following a gluten-free lifestyle.

Since I’m a gluten-eater, the tips I’m sharing with you are not my own, but those of a real gluten-free food expert, Laura Russel.  She recently posted the following advice on LesserEvil Life about how to get started on a gluten-free diet:

  1. Avoid consuming anything that contains any form of wheat, barley, or rye. Gluten can appear in even the most minimally processed foods.
  2. Become a habitual label reader. Natural foods are always the best choice, but occasionally packaged products are a quick and easy solution. Be careful: existing brands can change their ingredients. Remain diligent when it comes to label reading and contact companies directly if you need clarification. Read every label, every time.
  3. Eat as many naturally gluten-free foods as possible. Keep it simple. Things like fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, eggs, beans, rice, corn, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and legumes are gluten free and delicious.
  4. Be skeptical. Once a food ventures from its original state, it is suspect. Be on guard. Green tea, for instance, is gluten free. Flavored teas could contain gluten. Remember: the more additives, the harder a label will be to decipher.
  5. Do your homework. When dining at a restaurant, familiarize yourself with the menu and call ahead with questions. (Mid-afternoon is a good time when the staff has a break between lunch and dinner service.) You’re more likely to get your questions answered accurately when the kitchen and waiters aren’t slammed.
  6. Get support. There are many fabulous—and often free—resources out there to support you. Organizations such as the Gluten Intolerance Group, Celiac Sprue Association, plus bloggers and recipe developers who specialize in special diets can be excellent resources. Or find a nutritionist in your area who specializes in clients with gluten-free diets.

Contemplating a gluten-free diet for weight loss?  Read this first!

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