The gluten-free lifestyle has become an increasingly popular dietary trend – but what are the origins of this trend? In addition to those diagnosed with Celiac disease, a large number of people are turning to gluten-free diets in response to research and suggestions of gluten being detrimental to wellness.
Gluten is a kind of protein present in some cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rye; especially wheat, which is responsible for the elastic texture of dough.
Celiac disease is a digestive and autoimmune disorder where gluten causes damage to the linings of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is to take precautions and eat a strict, gluten-free diet. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
Some people who don’t have celiac disease may have symptoms when they eat gluten; known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
What is a Gluten-Free Diet?
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.
Here are some food items you should avoid eating under a gluten-free diet:
- Cereals containing gluten – Avoid wheat flour, barley, oats, rye
- Fast food – No more pizzas or burgers, noodles, pasta
- Highly processed food items – Stay away from breads, cakes, pastries, and muffins
Replace these items with the following options:
- Choose flour obtained from corn, ragi, chana, and bajra
- Opt for healthy snacks, nuts, seeds, smoothies, and salads (options mentioned below) in place of fast food
- Wheat bread or cakes can be replaced with gluten-free breads available in the market. For example, breads made from millet, sorghum or brown rice flour can be used.
Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Food Options
Here are some healthy and delicious gluten-free food options:
- All fruits – All fruits are gluten free and you can eat any fruit of your choice.
- All veggies – Vegetables in the form of soup, salad, boiled, smoothies, or other can be eaten.
- All nuts, seeds and butters – Nuts and nut butters are a healthy and delicious choice for anyone including those who want to avoid gluten.
- Flour obtained from brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, corn and millet – All these cereals and millets can be used in various food recipes to replace wheat flour. Make rolls, sandwiches, chilla, etc. Also, eat quinoa instead of oats.
- Dairy products – All kind of dairy products including milk, cheese, yoghurt, and butter can be eaten.
In addition to these, there are multiple gluten-free food items available in the market. It is also important to eat food at home more frequently than outside from an overall health perspective.
Most of us have diets dominated by bread, cookies, pizza, pasta, noodles so on and so forth. Therefore, going gluten-free means stopping yourself from eating wheat and its variants and adopting a diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, and many other health food options. Certainly, this change will have a great impact on your health!
Sweta Srivastava is Devang’s Health Care Research Expert. Sweta has received her Graduate degree in Biological Sciences & Post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Allahabad. She is studying, working and researching into the field of herbs and healthcare science since more than twelve years. She strongly believes in herbal science of healing and follows the same in her life.
- Cappello, Maria, Gaetano C. Morreale, and Anna Licata. “Elderly Onset Celiac Disease: A Narrative Review.”Clinical Medicine Insights. Gastroenterology 9 (2016): 41–49. PMC. Web. 30 Nov. 2016. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4965017/
- Celiac Disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestion and Kidney Diseases. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease/Pages/overview.aspx
- What is Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease Foundation. Available at: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/what-is-celiac-disease/
- Celiac Disease. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/celiac-disease#1