Gluten is a protein predominantly found in most grains. Typically, we acquire most of the gluten in our diet from barley, rye, triticale, and wheat. For individuals with gluten sensitivities, consuming food with these core ingredients can lead to adverse health effects. One of the most common conditions pertaining to gluten sensitivity is celiac disease, a disorder which impacts more than 3 million Americans every year.
For individuals who have undertaken dieting ventures before, it is easy to see why going gluten-free can present so many problems. Wheat and barley are such common ingredients that it can be hard to completely excise them from our routine.
Here are a few key benefits that gluten-free advocates have found after removing gluten from their diet.
- Improved Energy Levels
- Healthy Weight Gain/Loss
- Reduction in Joint Pain
- Improved Skin and Hair Health
While these benefits are touted among many gluten-free advocates, your experience will vary based upon your body's composition, your diet, and your own gluten sensitivities. Discuss all diet choices with your primary care physician to ensure a healthy and enjoyable diet transition.
Transitioning Into a Gluten-Free Diet
Leading a gluten-free diet has been a hot fad among the dieting world for the better part of the last decade. Individuals with celiac disease or some other form of gluten sensitivity can make the transition to a more restricted diet bereft of wheat, barley, rye, and other common gluten-rich sources.
The purpose of leading a gluten-free diet is to manage the symptoms that most often manifest as a result of gluten sensitivity. Let's briefly outline a few of the most common reasons to transition to gluten-free dieting as well as the symptoms that may appear along the way.
- Celiac Disease is a disorder that impacts the immune system as gluten triggers damage among the lining of our small intestine. This damage can prevent proper absorption of nutrients from food.
- Gluten Ataxia is an autoimmune disorder which can impact muscle control, muscle movement, and nerve tissues.
- Wheat Allergy consists of our body's immune system rejecting gluten as if it were a virus or bacterium. Symptoms of a wheat allergy can manifest with difficulties breathing and congestion.
While the prior disorders/symptoms are the main reasons for transitioning away from gluten dominant food sources, they aren't the only ones. As gluten-free foods continue to gain ground in the supermarket, both literally and economically, more people are deciding to transition away from conventional gluten-rich foods.
Essential Gluten-Free Eating Tips
Whether you are switching to a gluten-free diet out of necessity or a personal desire to limit gluten intake, you've come to the right place to learn some pretty essential information. Everybody that switches to a gluten-free diet should be armed with tips and tricks that help make their transition easier while improving their health along the way.
Here are our key tips for making the most out of your gluten-free diet.
- Get Creative With Your Snacks - One of the easiest ways to improve the likelihood of success with a gluten-free diet is by ensuring that your snacking needs are met. Transitioning into a gluten-free lifestyle means saying goodbye to some of our more familiar and beloved treats. Look instead to snacks like Organic Crounons (Garlic & Parmesan) for a gluten-free treat that is good on-the-go. Sourced from quinoa and seasoned with garlic and parmesan, Carrington Farms Organic Crounons are vegan, gluten-free, and all-organic. Best of all? They pump a ton of flavor without the gluten-filled guilt.
- Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time - The easiest way to fall prey to gluten-packed meals is simply by not preparing. Most of the foods that are easy and readily available to us have gluten in one form or another. Pick a day out of the week to prepare your meals for work or school. When you have control over your meals, you have control over your gluten sensitivity. If you can't prepare ahead of time, consider prepping a Ground Lupin Bean bowl in advance. With 16g of protein per serving and 15g of fiber per serving, this is a filling dish that you can cook in only 3 minutes and set aside for later.
- Watch Out For Hidden Gluten - You likely already know that gluten is lurking in most baked goods, but what about the places that you don't expect to find it? Flavored chips and nuts, cream-based soups, salad dressings, and even candy can possess wheat gluten by way of an ingredient known as seitan. Get used to checking labels or planning your shopping ventures ahead of time to avoid exposure to unexpected gluten.
- Be Aware of Cross Contamination - If you struggle with gluten then even the smallest hints of the protein can lead to symptoms. This means that we have to be careful when we are dining away from home as cross-contamination can cause actual symptoms to appear. Most often, this means avoiding food prepared on the same grill/counter as a traditional gluten-packed meal. If you are eating out, inquire with your server as to their gluten-free policies.
According to a poll performed by Gallup in 2015, one in five Americans are attempting to eat gluten-free foods more often because they like the way that their body reacts to the diet. Shop gluten-free foods from Carrington Farms and use our tips to enjoy a gluten-free lifestyle!
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