Learning to Relish a Gluten-Free Diet
One of the top health trends in the past three years, gluten-free diets are growing in popularity and recognition. Doctors and patients alike are becoming more aware of the benefits of eliminating wheat, oats, barley, and other glutinous grains. Although it is worthwhile, transitioning to a gluten-free diet can be challenging at first. Dieters who give their bodies time to adjust, explore substitutes for glutinous grains, and immediately eliminate all gluten products will enjoy healthier bodies and learn to relish gluten-free eating.
When transitioning to a gluten-free diet it is crucial that dieters give themselves time to adjust to the new way of eating. It can be difficult to eliminate any type of carbohydrate and tempting to reintroduce gluten once a dieter has eliminated it, so dieters must be disciplined at first. With time it will be easier to eat only gluten-free foods, but it is best for a gluten-free dieter to completely cleanse his or her house of gluten products when first beginning this new way of eating. Throwing away or donating all glutinous foods at the same time will not only reduce the temptation of eating an unhealthy food, it will allow a dieter to completely focus on a new diet. In addition, some people can have unpleasant reactions to gluten products even if they do not eat them. Those who suffer from Celiac Disease are particularly vulnerable to skin irritation even if they do not ingest gluten.
If a dieter lives with family members who will continue to eat gluten, keeping food separated can be somewhat challenging. Other family members, however, are often considerate of each otherís health concerns and willing to keep their glutinous foods in separate cupboards or drawers of the refrigerator. Glutinous foods should be clearly labeled so that dieters do not accidentally eat them, and dieters should always be sure to keep ingredient lists available. Many companies add gluten to their foods for flavor or thickness, and it is often difficult to tell whether a food has had gluten added to it. For this reason it is crucial that dieters check the ingredients of everything they ingest, and that they be particularly cautious about eating sauces, dressings, and cereals.
Although many pre-prepared and processed foods contain gluten, growing awareness has created a market for convenient, gluten-free foods. Many health food stores now offer an enormous variety of products, and entire sections of these stores are devoted to customers who want to eat only gluten-free foods. Increased awareness has also brought about the creation of numerous substitutes for gluten products, especially breads, cereals, and desserts. There are several readily available and delicious substitutes for wheat, including tapioca, rice, peas, and millet. Dieters can also easily obtain gluten-free oats from health food stores. Although oats themselves do not contain gluten, they are usually grown with wheat and are therefore often contaminated by gluten. Almond or walnut flour is a particularly delicious substitute for glutinous grains. Nut flour sticks together just as well as wheat, so it is an excellent choice for making gluten-free muffins, cakes, and pie crusts. Dieters who explore the numerous substitutes for gluten products will enjoy discovering delicious flavors and new twists on their favorite foods.
Whatever the reason for their elimination of gluten products, dieters will love their newfound energy and the satisfaction of knowing they are eating healthily. Dieters will also more easily make the transition to gluten-free eating if they eliminate all glutinous foods at the same time, explore gluten-free options at their local health food stores, and experiment with gluten substitutes. These techniques will enable any gluten-free dieter to relish this innovative new diet.
Aviva carries a selection of gluten-free foods in our Winnipeg retail store, located at 1224 St James St.
More: Gluten-Free Pasta
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