Going on a gluten-free diet takes a lot of work, so you shouldn’t try it as a fad diet when your main goal is weight loss. However, if you have celiac disease or another form of gluten intolerance or sensitivity, it can definitely bring a lot of relief.
Discover the biggest gluten-free diet mistakes that beginners often make, and find out how to avoid them. From not checking labels beyond the gluten free claim to ignoring contamination, here are the major errors that can derail your gluten-free diet.
Assuming Foods are Safe Because Gluten Isn’t an Ingredient
Simply reading labels and seeing that gluten isn’t listen among them isn’t a guarantee that you’re getting gluten-free food. Since it’s used as a stabilizing agent during the production process, gluten doesn’t always make it to the label, so you could find it in food products from ice cream to ketchup.
Relying on Processed Foods
One of the biggest gluten-free diet mistakes is to focus on processed foods instead of natural gluten-free foods. When you’re getting gluten-free versions of bread or pasta, you might be getting more calories than the regular version, and definitely more sugar. When you’re craving carbs and starches, focus on rice, potatoes and oats instead of reaching for a gluten-free processed product.
Forgetting about Vitamins and Dietary Supplements
If you’re going gluten-free for the first time, you need to consider everything that’s getting into your body, and even your cosmetics. When you’re using dietary supplements and vitamins, you should check the labels, and even prescription medication like painkillers can contain gluten.
See also: 9 Worst Gluten Free Foods
Hoping Gluten-Free Will Lead to Weight Loss
While many people who stop eating gluten can also benefit from weight loss, one of the major gluten-free diet mistakes is expecting a magical weight loss solution. The reason why people who stop eating gluten can lose weight is because they’re usually cutting back on carbs, and end up eating more fibers. Without making sure that your diet is balanced, you can actually gain weight once you go gluten-free.
Thinking that Adapting Recipes Will Be Easy
If you plan on baking your own gluten-free goodies, you have to be prepared to experiment with different flours. You can’t just swap regular flour to naturally gluten-free options. Be open to using almond meal, coconut flour or even ground oats to create great baked goods, even if your base is gluten-free flour.
Giving Up Too Soon
When you decide to go completely gluten-free, your body may not react well right away. However, one of the worst gluten-free diet mistakes is to give up in just a few days. Just like giving up sugar, the experience won’t be pleasant, but you have many benefits to look forward to if you manage to stick to it.
Make Sure You’re Not Getting Gluten in Your Coffee
Coffee is gluten-free, but flavors can definitely add it in. Whether you love pumpkin spice coffee in the fall or other flavors all year round, make sure that you’re not drinking gluten in your flavored coffees. Instant coffee can also have added gluten.
Check Your Dairy
Some dairy, particularly light versions, can also pack gluten. Avoid one of the worst gluten-free diet mistakes by making sure that you’re getting the right dairy products, particularly sour cream, without any gluten. Flavored milks and malted milk products, along with ice cream, some blue cheeses and all beer-washed cheeses can contain gluten.
Ignoring Portion Control
If you want to avoid weight gain or actually lose a few pounds once you go gluten-free, you’ll also have to check your portion size. Even if you avoid processed gluten-free foods, you should still pay attention to naturally gluten-free foods that are high in calories.
Ignoring the Risk of Contamination
One of the major gluten-free diet mistakes when you’re very sensitive to it is ignoring the risk of contamination, either in your kitchen or when eating out. Make sure that all your cookware and tools are washed thoroughly after they’ve touched foods with gluten, and storing regular flour next to gluten-free ones is another big mistake.