First you must understand what gluten is. Gluten is “a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.” Watch out for oats though. Although they are gluten free, they can be cross-contaminated during the production process.
Try and remember this. Gluten free means wheat-free, but wheat free doesn’t necessarily mean gluten-free. Spelt and kamut are two examples. They are forms of wheat.
Gluten is the culprit in many health related problems today. whether you have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, or have decided a gluten free diet is healthier, being gluten free may relieve or completely help the following.
- Gastrointestinal distress (including gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and reflux)
- Depression and anxiety
- Joint Pain
- Autistic behaviors
- ADD/ADHD behaviors
So whatever the reason, the path has been chosen and you cannot look back. Now don’t run out to the store and buy everything that says gluten free on the label. The last thing you want to do is overcompensate your deprived state of mind by eating loads of gluten free cookies, cakes, breads and pretzels. Yes, there are plenty of these delicacies on the market and you may find your pocket book empty and your waistline a few inches larger by over indulging. Everything in moderation.
What you need to do is visit your local bookstore and become educated on reading labels so you know what you need to avoid. Here are a few to get you started.
- Baked goods (cookies, cakes, brownies, etc.)
- Soy Sauce
- Commercial salad dressings containing gluten stabilizers; wheat germ oil
Don’t get discouraged. The good news is there are a lot of gluten free foods you will be able to enjoy. I promise!