The reason behind ridding your diet of gluten varies from person to person, but many people across the globe are looking to adapt to a gluten-free lifestyle. Some individuals are faced with resorting to a gluten-free diet due to potential damage to the intestinal lining from Celiac disease. Others find themselves trying to incorporate more gluten-free options due to an intolerance, sensitivity, or just wanting to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Regardless of why you and your family are deciding to go gluten-free, there are many ways to make the transition much less overwhelming.
Know the Six Main Grains
Although gluten can be disguised under many different names on an ingredient list, there are six most common grains that you should familiarize yourself with. If you spot wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oats, or Kamut as an ingredient, it is directly indicative of gluten. You also want to be sure that the allergen information does not mention the product having traces of these ingredients, as these can trigger reactions as well.
Gluten-Free Labels Don’t Always Equal Healthier
When starting to venture into a gluten-free diet, it is natural to be drawn to items that specifically state they are free of gluten on their packaging. Unfortunately, many food items that are made to be gluten-free can contain high levels of sugar and calories. By examining the sugar and overall calorie content, you can verify that the absence of gluten was not replaced with other unhealthy amounts of calories and sugar.
Remain Patient and Forgiving
Delving into the world of gluten-free nutrition can be overwhelming at first, so it is important to give yourself time to adjust. It is recommended not to intentionally indulge in gluten products due to the intestinal upset that the exposure can cause after prolonged avoidance, but nobody is perfect. Be aware that mistakes and cross contamination can happen. Patience and awareness is key throughout the gluten-free journey, so meet yourself with compassion and understanding at all times.
Introducing a more gluten-free diet to your life has the potential to bring you a long list of health benefits. Becoming well-versed in small steps such as these will give you the opportunity to succeed at a rate that isn’t too stressful. With the correct levels of patience and knowledge you are sure to be met with success.