Bloated? Lethargic? It might be time to try a gluten-free diet. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
Did you know? Reactions to wheat and gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye, is often the main culprit behind some of the most common food-related sensitivities – the most well known is celiac disease.
What is celiac disease?
Celiac (or coeliac) disease isn’t a food allergy or intolerance. It’s an auto-immune disease triggered by gluten. When someone wyith celiac disease eats gluten, the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Symptoms can include extreme bloating and lethargy.
Many people eat plenty of gluten in a day without even realising it. For instance, wheat is a common ingredient in most breakfast cereals, as well as in breads and pasta dishes. Some nutritionists believe it’s this over-reliance on one type of food that can lead to an intolerance.
For this reason, even if you don’t need to cut out gluten for a medical purposes, it’s a good idea not to rely too heavily on ingredients that contain gluten in your diet.
Adapt your lifestyle
- Plan your diet, by including gluten free recipes or download helpful apps that tell you what’s in your food.
- Base your meals around fresh ingredients and foods that are naturally wheat and gluten free.
- Organise your kitchen – Stock up with gluten-free ingredients.
- Read the labels on all ready-prepared and convenience foods as wheat and other gluten-containing grains are often used in processed foods. Products labelled as “wheat free” may not necessarily be gluten-free as they could contain rye, barley or oats.
What can you eat?
Before starting out, stock up on all these naturally gluten-free foods:
- Fruit and veg
- Dairy products
- Beans and pulses
- Nuts and seeds
- Rice noodles
- Soba noodles
- Flours such as cornflour and gram flour
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.