The Gluten Free Diet

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Gluten Free DietA gluten free diet is a diet free of the protein gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley. Most processed foods contain wheat and therefore are not gluten free. A gluten free diet is used to treat people with celiac disease. A person who has Celiac disease will have inflammation in their intestines when they eat the gluten protein. Celiac disease is very upsetting at first and will always be a challenge, but it is not the end of the world.

There are still plenty of foods out there that are gluten free. Companies have made the gluten free diet quite simple by labeling their products gluten free right on the front of the box. If you don’t see gluten free right away, check the ingredients column, most of the time it will say “allergy warning: made in a factory that uses soy, wheat, or dairy”. A lot of the time spotting gluten free items can be quick and convenient.

Things that are naturally gluten free:

We all know processed foods are bad anyway – gluten free or not. So naturally gluten free foods are the the healthiest for you, and the best way to go on the gluten free diet.

Naturally gluten free foods are:

Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
Fresh eggs
Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
Fruits and vegetables
Most dairy products
Most spices and herbs as well
When things have been processed, even things that do not wheat or gluten, there is a small risk that there was some cross contamination with something that contained gluten. Making the natural gluten free diet the safest way to eat.

Many starches and grains can be part of a gluten free diet. Starches and grains like:

Amaranth
Arrowroot
Buckwheat
Corn and cornmeal
Flax
Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
Hominy (corn)
Millet
Quinoa
Rice
Sorghum
Soy
Tapioca
Teff

On the market there are many foods similar to the ones you ate before that have been prepared gluten free.

Never eat any of the following unless they say gluten free:

Beer
Breads
Cakes and pies
Candies
Cereals
Cookies and crackers
Croutons
French fries
Gravies
Imitation meat or seafood
Matzo
Pastas
Processed luncheon meats
Salad dressings
Sauces, including soy sauce
Seasoned rice mixes
Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
Self-basting poultry
Soups and soup bases
Vegetables in sauce

The gluten free diet takes time to master, but have patience and stick with it. People with celiac disease who accidentally ingest tiny amounts of gluten, said they did not experience signs or symptoms, but the gluten had damaging effects on their intestines over the long-term. The safest route is to eat naturally gluten free foods. However if you are out, and you must eat something processed or off a menu, make sure it says gluten free.

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