What is all the hype about going gluten free?

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To start out, let’s define gluten and where would we find it? In an easy explanation, gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barely.  Oats does not contain gluten, but due to cross contamination gluten free diets do not include them.  Some common foods that include gluten are:
  • Bagels,
  • Baked good
  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Malt
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Pretzel
  • Soy Sauce
  People decide to go gluten free for many reasons; one being they just want live a healthier life style or they are feeling symptoms and want to get better.  Going gluten free may alleviate symptoms that you have.  For example:
  •  Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Joint Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Infertility
  • Autism
  • Stomach problems
  • ADD/ADHD, and many more……..
  Before doing anything it is recommended that you speak to your doctor.  Going gluten free does not mean that you have celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.)  Some people are just sensitive to certain foods. There are many who suffer from gluten sensitivity and don’t even know they have it.  A good way to know for sure is to eliminate it from your diet for a period of time.   It is important to read all your food labels when shopping.  There are many ingredients that you need to watch for: are:
  • Barley (flakes, flour, pearl)
  • Breading, bread stuffing
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Bulgur
  • Durum (type of wheat)
  • Farro/faro (also known as spelt or dinkel)
  • Graham flour
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Kamut (type of wheat)
  • Malt, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring
  • Malt vinegar
  • Malted milk
  • Matzo, matzo meal
  • Modified wheat starch
  • Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, whole oats (unless they are from pure, uncontaminated oats)
  • Rye bread and flour
  • Seitan (a meat-like food derived from wheat gluten used in many vegetarian dishes)
  • Semolina
  • Spelt (type of wheat also known as farro, faro, or dinkel)
  • Triticale
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheat flour
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat starch
Going gluten free is a challenging endeavor, but if you choose to do it, forge ahead and don’t get discouraged.  It takes time to see results, the first one you may notice is a flattened stomach then weight loss. The others come along thereafter.  Just remember to READ all labels and have a meal plan.  It becomes difficult if you do not have meals planned ahead.  Trying to buy gluten free from fast food places is tough.  Carry snacks with you in your purse or car at all times. Unfortunately, it is hard to find research to support this topic.   Studies have been conducted, but too many people quit due to not following through.  It is tough to find the foods in the stores or you might need to go to multiple stores to find what you need.  In addition, to the high cost food bill that goes along with purchasing them.  

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