A gluten-free diet is not a “no wheat” diet; it is an elimination of foods containing gluten. A gluten-free diet involves excluding foods that contain the protein gluten, including wheat, rye and barley.
A gluten-free diet is for people with celiac disease, not those without it. Numerous studies show that a gluten-free diet can help those with celiac disease feel better and have fewer symptoms by reducing the effects of their disease. Researchers also know that it isn’t clear whether or how often gluten causes problems in people who don’t have celiac disease but think they are sensitive to the protein because symptoms improve when they go on a gluten-free diet.
what is gluten sensitivity and why should you care?
Gluten sensitivity is when your body reacts negatively to gluten. This mainly occurs due to an autoimmune response. When your immune system is working properly, the antibodies it releases do not react with self-tissue. So when you have Celiac Disease, you have a reaction to eating either gluten itself or foods that are cross-contaminated with gluten. “Cross contamination occurs when someone who has celiac disease accidentally eats foods that contain ingredients that are known to contain gluten”. When this happens it can cause serious damage to the small intestine and over time could lead to cancer, malnutrition and osteoporosis.
Avoid these foods
The following are some of the most common foods which contain gluten:
- Baked goods. Cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza, bread crumbs and pastries. Candy, muesli bars, crackers, pre-packaged convenience foods, roasted nuts, flavored chips and popcorn, pretzels.
- Sauces. Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, marinades, salad dressings.
- Beverages. Beer, flavored alcoholic beverages.
If you decide to go gluten-free, your life begins to change dramatically. It’s hard to avoid the temptation of eating out because all/most foods served in most restaurants have wheat as an ingredient.
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