Not everyone should go gluten free. However, if you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, gluten free foods can help you return to good health. Unfortunately, gluten is often hidden in products you might not suspect, like ketchup or soy. Gluten is a protein in grains like wheat. While the higher amount of protein makes it a good option for some, it’s not for those whose body struggles with gluten. The problems that occur can include diarrhea, exhaustion, skin conditions, anemia, auto-immune disorders, depression, headaches, stomach pain and more. Today, almost 80% of wheat is a variety that’s high in gluten.
Gluten free options may not be your best choice if you’re not gluten intolerant.
If manufacturers remove something from food, such as fat from yogurt, they replace it with something to make up for the loss of flavor, in this case sugar. That also happens if companies remove gluten from an option. Gluten doesn’t give a product flavor, like sugar does, but it does give it texture. Gluten makes bread denser and less crumbly. Opt for products naturally gluten free, like quinoa, corn, brown rice and oats.
Are you baking at home?
There are many wheat flour substitutes for people who are gluten free, but one of the best is almond flour. You can make it at home by blanching and grinding your own almonds. It takes about 90 almonds processed that way to make a cup of almond flour. If you opt to purchase almond flour, which many people do, check the label. If it’s made at a company that also processes products containing gluten, the label should give a warning about the potential of cross contamination.
Choose whole foods as a gluten free choice.
Grains contain gluten, but other healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, fish, seafood, meat, poultry, dairy, beans, legumes and nuts don’t. It sounds like you have a lot of options that are gluten-free and you do. However, bread products and even commercially made soups and processed food, even if it’s not a bread product, may contain gluten. Soups are often thickened with gluten containing products. Ketchup may contain gluten, depending on the type of vinegar used. Some vinegar is gluten free, such as apple cider vinegar. Others may start with a gluten containing product or be exposed to cross contamination.
- Try using buckwheat or amaranth flour when baking. Buckwheat may have wheat in its name, but it’s not a wheat. Just like amaranth, it’s a pseudo cereal.
- If you aren’t gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, be aware that cutting your intake of grains can also increase the risk of heart disease. It takes good planning to ensure you get all the nutrients necessary.
- If you’re wondering what to choose for breakfast, try oatmeal. It’s naturally gluten free. Read the label to make sure there’s no cross contamination.
- If you like to stop for a beer after work or other alcoholic beverages, be aware that many contain gluten. Beer, lagers, and malt beverages definitely contain gluten. Some wines may have gluten due to the paste used to seal the barrels where they ferment.
For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness