At first, going on a gluten free diet may seem a bit frustrating. But in time, with persistence and creativity, you’ll discover that there are many gluten free foods that you already eat and you will eventually find nourishing substitutes for gluten-containing foods.
About Gluten Free Diets
Switching to a gluten free diet is a huge change and, like anything new, it takes time getting used to. In the beginning, you may feel deprived by the gluten free diet’s restrictions. However, stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be nicely surprised to realize how many gluten free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many grocery stores sell gluten free foods. If you can’t find them in your area, go online.
If you’re considering starting a gluten free diet, it would be a good idea to consult a dietitian who can answer your questions and offer advice about how to avoid gluten while still eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Gluten Free Diet Guidelines
It takes a lot of know-how to follow a gluten free diet. You’ll have to give up a lot of grains, pastas, cereals and processed foods unless you find their gluten free equivalents. There are also a variety of foods you can eat. For example, instead of wheat flour, you can use potato, rice, soy or bean flour.
There are many gluten free types of bread, pastas and other products in stores, and many websites now offer them. And of course, plain meat, fish, rice and fruits and vegetables don’t contain gluten. Going on a gluten free diet is actually choosing a healthy lifestyle. And cheating isn’t an option!
Risks of Gluten Free Diets
People who follow a gluten free diet may have low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Many grains are enriched with vitamins, and avoiding grains on a gluten free diet may imply eating fewer of these enriched products. Ask your dietitian to review your diet to see if you’re getting enough of these key nutrients: iron, calcium, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
A Balanced Gluten Free Diet
Getting a well-balanced gluten free diet is important. To keep calories down and nutrition up consider a naturally gluten free diet. This is less costly and possibly healthier than using a lot of packaged gluten free foods and highly refined desserts.
Get creative: use corn tortillas to make a sandwich, buy Asian rice noodles to make spaghetti or try a lettuce-wrapped hamburger. For a sweet treat, instead of cookies or cake, try fresh fruit, pudding or a gelatin cup, or a small piece of chocolate.
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