As a naturopath, I’ve personally seen the benefits of going gluten free and have guided many patients to do the same. I’d like to share with you 10 tips for gluten free eating which I’ve found helpful and make the transition to a gluten free diet more manageable. If you have any more suggestions feel free to add them in the comments section.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein commonly found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats. Depending on the severity of your gluten sensitivity, you can include rye, spelt and oats on a rotational basis (once every 4-5 days) because they contain lesser amounts of gluten.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include but are not limited to:
- Bloated stomach
- Chest pains
- Depression or mood swings
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Joint and muscle aches and pains
- Nausea or vomiting
- Skin rashes
- Suspected irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)/similar effects
- Swollen throat or tongue
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Unexplained cough
- Unexplained runny nose
- Watery or itchy eyes
*These symptoms can indicate health conditions other than gluten sensitivity therefore it is highly advised that you see a healthcare practitioner to rule out serious causes of disease before assuming you have a gluten sensitivity. After serious causes of disease are ruled out, gluten sensitivity can be ruled in as a cause of your symptoms from an IGG food sensitivity test or based on your symptom picture. Symptom list taken from: http://www.wheat-free.org
Avoiding gluten in your diet can be challenging but if you accomplish it and experience improvements in your health it is well worth it!
Here are 10 tips to make the process easier:
- Replace cereal with oatmeal or quinoa porridge.
- Replace wheat pasta with rice pasta.
- Replace other wheat noodles with Asian rice noodles.
- Purchase gluten-free bread or rice bread. Rye and spelt bread are alternative options that contain less gluten than whole wheat. These breads can be rotated into your diet every 4-5 days.
- Bake with rice flour instead of wheat flour.
- Check the freezer section for gluten-free waffles, pizza crusts and tortilla wraps.
- Use alternative grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, tapioca, amaranth and teff. Cereals and pastas made from these grains are acceptable.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods containing ingredients like flour, starch, malt, and gluten containing grains.
- Many supermarkets now have a `health food` section where you can find gluten-free products. Or you can shop at a health food store like the Natural Food Pantry (www.naturalfoodpantry.ca) or Kardish Bulk Food and Nutrition Centre (www.kardishfoods.com).
- Planning your meals for the week can also help make shopping and cooking easier.
Wheat Free Recipes
Feel free to share your tips and gluten free recipes and resources in the comments section below!