It makes sense if you are allergic to gluten. There are many factors to consider if you’re considering a gluten-free diet for other reasons, though.
What foods should you stay away from? Is eating out while avoiding gluten problematic? How will eliminating gluten impact your health?
There are many benefits to eating a gluten-free diet, but when you first start this lifestyle change, it may seem overwhelming and scary. However, this article is here to help, so don’t worry.
These are some of my top suggestions for transitioning to a gluten-free diet, along with some additional bonus suggestions for eating out (or ordering in) gluten-free as well.
Although I am not a doctor but developed these recommendations based on my own experience, extensive research, and visits to medical specialists.
1. Request medical guidance
It is challenging to switch to a gluten-free diet. It is extremely vital to obtain advice from a nutritionist, physician, or naturopath before ever starting down this path.
Medical counseling is crucial in ensuring that you are receiving all of the nutrients you require.
2. Start off with a detox
In addition to gluten, you might also be sensitive to other foods, which could complicate the process. I advise starting the procedure with a cleanse.
When used in this context, the term “detox” refers to a four to six-week diet free of all gluten, dairy, and added sugar.
This is so because foods rich in inflammation include dairy, sugar, and gluten. It will be quite challenging to pinpoint the precise cause of your digestive problems if you continue to eat inflammatory foods.
Reintroduce meals one at a time after the four to six-week detox, waiting four to seven days between each introduction.
It can take your body anywhere between 30 seconds and four days to exhibit food sensitivity symptoms, therefore it’s crucial to reintroduce foods one at a time.
3. Always Read Food Labels When Shopping
You must always read the label on every product you purchase if you want to be assured that you are consuming gluten-free foods. Pre-packaged goods have a potential of having slightly different ingredients.
I’ve personally seen that the components in the things I buy each week change. If a manufacturer is having problems obtaining a certain ingredient, they may move to a workable equivalent to maintain output.
It is crucial to always check labels when shopping because the new substance may include gluten.
4. Beware of Added Sugar
Fortunately, there is a vast selection of prepackaged goods that are gluten-free. You can get gluten-free crackers, cookies, spaghetti, bread, wraps, cereals, and more. But many of these foods have a lot of added sugar.
In order to make gluten-free products taste good, manufacturers are literally turning to sugar. Not all sugar is evil. The only reason I bring this up is that I was shocked by how much sugar was added to some foods.
Additionally, you should read the labels of these foods carefully if you are in the middle of the detox process and eliminating sugar.
5. Refrain from Cross-Contamination
You may need to be cautious about cross-contamination depending on how sensitive you are to gluten. Some people, particularly those who have celiac disease, are intolerant to even very little amounts of gluten.
Following are some guidelines for keeping cross-contamination at bay in your kitchen:
- Have a toaster you just use for gluten-free items.
Use cookware made of stainless steel (non-stick items absorb gluten)
Use parchment paper or buy fresh bakingware
Purchase fresh dishware to avoid using anything that has come into contact with gluten.
- Get a non-porous cutting board and use it just to prepare gluten-free food.
6. Make a plan and research issues.
Planning beforehand is one of the most important aspects of dining out gluten-free. If you are certain of your destination, make sure to check the restaurant’s menu online or give them a call to see if they can accommodate you.
Do not be hesitant to inquire about their handling procedures. This is particularly crucial if you’re traveling.
Before I even leave the house, I usually decide where I’m going to eat while I’m out of town and examine all of their menus. As a result, I can carry along additional snacks or supplies as necessary.
7. View the menu
It is still possible for you to dine there even if the establishment doesn’t have a separate gluten-free menu.
Make sure the restaurant can safely serve you a meal without cross-contamination if you have celiac disease, though.
Here are some essential items to search for on the menu:
- Soups and stews that aren’t thickened with flour
- Vegetables that are steamed, stir-fried, or roasted
- Grains devoid of gluten
- Meats or seafood prepared with a sauce or spice that is gluten-free.
- Burgers or sandwiches without buns or with buns produced without gluten (but be sure to ask if the burgers are made with breadcrumbs)
- Salads without croutons, with grilled meat, and with a gluten-free dressing.
8. Select a Cuisine
There are some ethnic meals that by their very nature are safer than others.
For instance, Mexican food is safer than most as long as you use corn tortillas rather than flour ones. Additionally, a wide range of naturally gluten-free choices is available in Indian cuisine. Just be certain to exclude the naan bread.
Grilled meat or fish is frequently served with salad and/or rice in Middle Eastern and Greek cuisines.
If you select a meal with plain rice or rice noodles, Asian food can be considered safe. Make sure that your dish is free of soy sauce, or any other gluten-containing sauces, and that the restaurant carries soy sauce that is gluten-free.