Living a gluten-free life can be challenging, but also rewarding. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats. It can cause digestive problems, inflammation, headaches, fatigue and other symptoms in people who are sensitive or allergic to it. Some people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Others have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which means they experience unpleasant reactions to gluten without having celiac disease. And some people choose to avoid gluten for personal or health reasons, such as following a paleo or keto diet.
Whatever the reason, going gluten-free requires some planning, research and creativity. You need to read food labels carefully, avoid cross-contamination, find gluten-free alternatives to your favorite foods and learn how to cook and bake without gluten. You also need to be aware of the nutritional implications of a gluten-free diet, as some gluten-free products may be low in fiber, iron, calcium and other nutrients. You may need to supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals and probiotics to support your gut health and immune system.
But don’t worry, living a gluten-free life doesn’t mean you have to give up on taste, variety or enjoyment. There are many delicious and nutritious foods that are naturally gluten-free, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, fish, dairy, rice, quinoa, corn and more. You can also find gluten-free versions of bread, pasta, cereal, cookies, cakes and other baked goods at most grocery stores or online. And you can experiment with different flours, such as almond, coconut, buckwheat or chickpea flour, to make your own gluten-free creations at home.
Living a gluten-free life can be a rewarding journey of discovering new foods, flavors and recipes. It can also help you improve your health, reduce inflammation and feel more energetic. You may even find that you enjoy eating gluten-free more than you ever did eating gluten.
Definition. A gluten-free diet is an eating plan that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).