Omitting gluten is a very popular topic of discussion today. I seem to hear about it at least once a week whether it be on a talk show, amongst friends, or even yesterday on the news. More and more people are finding that omitting it from their diet brings dramatic results. We aren’t just talking weight loss, people are seeing results from skin irritations clearing to energy levels being at their best.
My mom recently went to a nutritionist for pain in her legs and some other complaints. His first test for her is to go gluten-free for two weeks. Now, that to me right there is pretty intense. If he believes a list of her most common complaints could boil down to something as simple as gluten, what an amazing easy fix that could be.
Then, my sister came to me asking about what she should omit from her diet for various reasons. My first suggestion was gluten. Before I was pregnant I went through some major health concerns with my liver. After battling digestive issues since my teens it was becoming fairly obvious the culprit was gluten. I told her I would help her go gluten free…you always need a partner in crime! Plus she asked me what she would have to get at starbucks…to drink. She clearly needed assistance. I must have scared her over the years saying gluten is in everything!
You may ask yourself why all of a sudden a staple crop is an issue. The problem is, our crops aren’t what they used to be. We have allowed our food to be mass produced in cases beyond packaged foods. We want it now, quick, easy and cheap, unfortunately that comes at a sacrifice to our health. We are also eating wheat and other grains in much greater volumes today than needed. Think of your last five meals, they probably all included gluten in some form. Tortilla, bread, cereal or even salad dressing (yep lots have wheat).
The greatest thing about omitting gluten from your diet, is within 3 weeks you can truly tell if it is making a difference. This makes it a very easy self test on whether or not your body tolerates it properly. Blood work for gluten intolerance and even going as far as an endoscopy can all come back negative when in fact you have an intolerance to it. It’s the pits…I know!!
I want to give you some simple guidelines if you decide you want to omit it from your diet. It’s in a lot of products you wouldn’t assume. Lots of packaged foods that are gluten free have jumped on the bandwagon of labeling their products as such. Which is a positive for you! However, some packaging can be decieiving.
For example…items will be listed as “wheat-free” and you’d think oh perfect! Wrong…gluten can be found in other grains as well so just omitting wheat won’t give you full benefits.
Enough words let’s get down to business:
Different Names for Wheat:
Common products with Gluten or Wheat (unless otherwise labeled):
Malt, Malt Vinegar, Malt Flavoring (derived from barley)
Imitation meat or seafood
Processed luncheon meats
Sauces; BBQ, soy sauce, ketchups, etc
Seasoned rice mixes
Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
Soups and soup bases
Vegetables in sauce
Modified food starch
Vitamins that use gluten as binding agents
READ LABELS, know every ingredient and be extra cautious of packaged products; cereals, breads, crackers, etc. Don’t assume because you can’t understand an ingredient it’s safe. In general, if you don’t know what an ingredient is, start looking it up!
Hopefully this will give most of you a simple easy start. I will add to it overtime. Just wanted to give anyone who is looking to try this a head start!