A gluten-free diet is a type of diet which strictly enforces the exclusion of ‘gluten’ in an individual’s daily food intake.
Gluten is the name of a certain group of proteins commonly found in the grains that we usually eat every day like corn and rice. However, there are types of grains and other foods in which the gluten content is a no-no for people with certain health conditions.
This type of diet is usually recommended to people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. When people with celiac disease take in food with gluten, this can cause inflammation in their small intestines.
Being in a gluten-free diet is not an easy undertaking. Most of the food-products that we include in our everyday consumption may contain gluten, which is why care and vigilance in your food intake is necessary.
Food known to contain gluten in them that should not be eaten by people suffering from celiac disease are wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. This may seem a few but you can be easily tricked as these grains can come in many forms and are used as ingredients for other food products.
Wheat for example, is widely known and distributed around the world as flour, and it has many varieties like plain, bromated, enriched, self-rising and more. And flour is used for breads, pastries, crackers, gravies and the likes. Barley, on the other hand, is one known component of beer and other products.
You must not worry however, since there are still other foods and drinks free of gluten. These include fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, eggs, dairy products, fish, meat, and poultry. However it is important to ensure that these foods should be consumed unprocessed and in their natural form.
Also, there are still other types of grains that are safe to eat, like rice, tapioca, and corn among others.
Cross-contamination must also be taken in account. Some food products, especially if processed in the same equipment as the said prohibited foods, can be a source of gluten contamination. Even in the home, this can also occur. You should make sure that other foods and beverages are not cooked or prepared in the same place or using the same utensils as the gluten-containing products.
In addition, remember to look for products with a gluten-free sign in the packaging to really make sure that your food does not have gluten in it. Even in oats, you should look for the sign, as they are also known to sometimes be contaminated with gluten-containing grains.
It is also advisable to consult your doctor regarding the specifications for your diet. This is to make sure that you will still get the right amount of nutrients, which is a problem in a gluten-free diet.