Monday , May 20 2024

The Whats, Whys and Hows of Gluten-Free Diet

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein that can be found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale, however, gluten can also be found in many other types of food. The main purpose of gluten is to act as a glue in order to hold the food together. Unfortunately, more and more people are cutting gluten and leaning towards a gluten-free diet because of gluten sensitivity, allergy or some other health condition.

The Purpose of Eating Gluten-Free

gluten free foods

source: supermarketperimeter.com

The main purpose of going gluten-free is to minimise the symptoms and signs of gluten resistance. One of the most common conditions caused by this food protein is celiac disease . The main benefits of this diet are a feeling of energy, improved health and weight loss ( which is another reason why some people also go gluten-free). Besides this disease, there are many other conditions related to it.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Practice shows that there are some signs and symptoms of this condition that are associated with celiac disease like diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, headache and ‘foggy brain’.

Gluten Ataxia

This is an autoimmune disorder that can affect certain nerve tissues. Unfortunately, it can also cause problems with muscle control and voluntary muscle movement.

Wheat Allergy

Wheat allergy, unfortunately, occurs when your immune system doesn’t recognise gluten as a protein, but as a disease-causing agent, just like a virus or some bacterial infection. Because of this, your immune system will start to create antibodies to the protein, and once your body receives it, you might start having breathing difficulties, congestion, etc.

Allowed Food in Gluten-Free Diet

The first thing you need to know about this diet is that you’ll have to pay a lot of attention to the foods you’re going to consume, especially the ready-made ones. Reading labels should be the first thing to do when picking food. Fortunately, there are many types of fresh food that can be included in a gluten-free diet. For instance, you can eat all types of fresh fruit and veggies, beans, seeds, legumes and even nuts but only if they’re in their raw form. You can also eat eggs, lean and unprocessed meat, fish, poultry and most low-fat dairy products.

What Cereal Does Not Contain Gluten?

bottle of milk and gluten free breakfast cereal in bowl

source: healthactivefitness.com

Although gluten is a part of wheat, rye and some other cereals, gluten isn’t part of amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, flax, gluten-free flours, hominy, millet, quinoa, rice, soy, tapioca and corn-related products like polenta, grits and cornmeal but only if labelled gluten-free.

Aside from fresh food, fortunately, you can also enjoy the taste of many gluten free breakfast cereal options. The easiest way to find cereals that are allowed in a gluten-free diet is by simply reading the label and by shopping from trusted and well-known shops for healthy food. You should also pay more attention to the cereals that contain puffed rice and cornflakes because they can contain malt extract or flavouring that contains gluten.

Quinoa Flakes

When looking for a great way to start the day by eating cereals but without compromising your health, you can always choose quinoa flakes. Crunchy and delicious, these flakes are a great nutritious gluten free breakfast cereal that contains lots of dietary fibre and low sugar content which is also great for those of you who want to cut on sugar. You can combine this breakfast cereal with low-fat milk, fresh or dried fruit, and if you still lack some sweetness you can always add a natural sweetener.

Muesli with Dried Fruit

If you love oats and the idea of having an oat muesli breakfast, then you can find a great substitute like the ones containing buckwheat, rice bran, nuts, puffed brown rice, soy flour, amaranth, etc. The ingredients of this muesli breakfast option may depend on the manufacturer and on the food combo. Either way, all of them are a great way to start the day without having to worry about gluten.

Protein Crunchy Cereal

Soy, lupin buckwheat, amaranth, millet, coconut chips, sunflower, hazelnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and linseeds are some of the things that you can find in a protein breakfast cereal of this kind. Usually, these cereals are available in different flavours, so the type you choose should depend on your taste.

Terms and Labels to Have In Mind When Buying Ready-Made Gluten-Free Food

gluten free breakfast cereal with fruit

source: liezljayne.com

As you have learned by now, you should avoid wheat because it contains gluten, but what you might don’t know is that there are different types of wheat where all of them contain gluten. Such are durum, einkorn, emmer, spelt and kamut. Wheat flours, on the other hand, have different names which are based on how the flour is processed or how wheat is milled.

That being said, all of the following flours contain gluten:

  • Graham flour- a coarse whole-wheat flour;
  • Farina cereal – milled wheat that is mainly used in hot cereals;
  • Enriched flour that contains vitamins and minerals;
  • Self-rising flour or also known as phosphate flour;
  • Semolina, which is a part of milled wheat that is used in couscous and pasta.