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Gluten intolerance is the body’s failure to break down and digest the gluten protein which is found in wheat. Those suffering from celiac disease are especially vulnerable and experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and stomach upset when they take gluten which leads to the inflammation of the lining of the intestine and damaging it in the process. Ultimately the body is unable to absorb nutrients resulting in weight loss and malnutrition.
Even otherwise, many people experience discomfort after taking gluten-rich food. Tossing out gluten from your diet may sound impossible. But, there are many naturally healthy and appetizing foods that will help you to take-up a gluten-free diet and allow you to lead a healthy life even without the presence of gluten.
Incorporate natural gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, beans, legumes and nuts, dairy and fish and sea food into your diet. Though pure barley grass and wheat grass are gluten-free products, but their seeds contain gluten, and if not harvested properly, will lead to infection.
Grains with gluten are of course out but, you have also many other grains to choose from which are naturally gluten-free. They are easily available in your local grocery store although the lesser known grains will have to be picked up from health stores. Rice, maize, potato, soy, quinoa, millet, tapioca, cassava, beans, sorghum, kasha, flax, amaranth, arrowroot, chia, gluten-free oats, nut flours, teff, and yucca are starch containing grains that are free from gluten and can be added to your gluten-free diet.
Although most cereals contain either gluten or the wheat-based ingredients in them, you will also find gluten-free products. Check the labels to see if the products are free from gluten and also, double check the list of ingredients. Foods containing malt flavors or their extracts, like cornflakes and puffed rice, are to be avoided as malt contains gluten.
Sauces and Soups
These foods are the richest gluten containing products since they use wheat as the thickening agent, and soups and sauces that contain wheat flour invariably contain gluten. A lot of pasta sauces, stocks, gravies, and condiments are gluten products and therefore not good for your health. Instead, make your own sauces with corn flour and potato starch as thickening agents for a gluten-free diet.
Oats are liable to be contaminated as the equipments which are used for harvesting wheat are also used for harvesting oats. Chances of the naturally gluten-free products getting contaminated from cross-contact with gluten containing foods during harvesting or processing are high. So read the labels carefully and chose oats, including granolas and granola bars which have been labeled gluten-free.
Beverages and Alcohols
Beverages are often gluten-free including sodas, sports drinks and juices. Avoid alcohol with gluten. This includes beer, lagers, ales, stouts, malt beverages and also grain-based spirits. But your evenings need not be dry; hard liquor, distilled liquors, hard ciders and wine do not contain gluten. So switch over to gluten-free alcohol like cider, spirits, sherry, wine, port and liqueurs.
Read the labels of medicines and vitamins before you buy them. Not all of these products are gluten-free and hence, one has to exercise care before taking vitamins and supplements.
Following a gluten-free diet does not mean you are left with no choices. Substitute your gluten-containing ingredients with gluten-free substitutes from the many choices that are available at your doorstep. Incorporate a gluten-free diet into your lifestyle and take charge of your health.