What Does Gluten-Free Even Mean?
A gluten-free diet eliminates gluten which is the protein found in wheat and some grains. It may sound straightforward, but eating gluten-free can feel complicated when everything on the store shelves seems to contain wheat and grains. How do you eliminate gluten when it seems to be in everything? Here's a breakdown of how going gluten-free works and its benefits.
Why Is Gluten Bad for You?
When gluten enters the bloodstream of people who struggle with the protein, it could cause an immune response and damage the small intestine. Research shows that damage could lead to malabsorption of nutrients, lead to osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, and seizures.
Many people can safely consume gluten without any adverse side effects. Or, they may not realize their fatigue and issues with bloating could be linked to gluten. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should completely avoid gluten and replace it with healthier options for their bodies.
Which Foods Have the Most Gluten?
If you're not sure if a product contains gluten, read the ingredients. The FDA food allergen labeling law requires notating if a product has wheat or wheat-related products. If wheat is mentioned, that means it contains gluten. Bread, pasta, baked goods, many processed foods, and crackers all can contain the wheat protein. Some beverages are also made with gluten, including beer, drink mixes, pre-packed coffee drinks, and wine coolers in a bottle.
What Are the Benefits of Going Gluten-Free?
Going gluten-free has many health benefits to anyone with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. However, it could offer some health benefits even if gluten isn't an issue for you. Eating a gluten-free diet is shown to reduce chronic inflammation, ease fatigue, and could help you shed pounds. More research is needed on how going gluten-free impacts people without gluten-related issues. However, reducing the intake of processed foods containing gluten and focusing on whole foods and healthier choices can also improve your health.
What Are Some Gluten-Free Alternatives?
Fortunately, there are gluten-free alternatives for most products, including bread and pasta. However, they don't always taste as satisfying and are not necessarily a healthier eating option. After all, processed food is not a cornerstone of a nutritious diet. Eating more whole foods like fruits, veggies, and wild-caught fish are all ways to improve your diet and avoid gluten.
To create more meals with gluten-free alternatives, there are several options on the market can help. Almond meal flour and coconut flour can replace your traditional flour. Potatoes, quinoa, and brown and white rice are also gluten-free ingredients to help create a healthier meal.
If you're unsure where to start on your gluten-free eating journey, you can enjoy safe, healthy meals with a meal subscription service. FitTrax offers gluten and dairy-free options for meals that are made ready to eat and enjoy. We use 100% USDA organic ingredients and premium meats for delicious, nutritious meals. Check our menu and order here to simplify eating gluten-free.
Going gluten-free can positively impact your health, whether you have celiacs disease or not. Focus on whole foods and improving your daily meals to reduce or eliminate your gluten intake. Remember that going gluten-free can be fun. Enjoy the delicious alternatives and protect your health with the best gluten-free meals and options on the market.