Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

5 Tips for Eating Gluten Free

Bread machine and gluten-free mix
Image by fraise via Flickr

The following article was submitted by Julia Wisniewski who has been living with Fibromyalgia all of her life and works on keeping a less gluten-y diet. She blogs regularly for Bready, the gluten free breadmaker.

To a person afflicted with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it probably seems as if every delicious food contains the dreaded protein known as gluten.

Despite the long and intimidating list of foods that must be avoided, maintaining a gluten-free diet is necessary for those with celiac disease because ultimately, gluten interferes with bodily processes, predominantly the absorption of nutrients.

There are some exploratory treatments going on right now, but currently, the only effective treatment is to strictly maintain a gluten-free diet. Approximately three million Americans are afflicted by celiac disease, which represents almost one percent of the U.S. population.  Knowledge with a masters degree in nutrition can be one of the most valuable tools when working with a gluten intolerance individual.

Maintaining a gluten-free diet can seem intimidating at first, but there are methods of gluten-free eating that have minimal effects on one’s lifestyle and preferred diet.  Here are some helpful tips for upholding your diet:

1)    Eat one-ingredient items. Foods like apples, carrots and cucumbers do not have confusing labels to decipher. Enjoy being able to eat almost any fruit or veggie in its purest form. A general rule of thumb: if there’s no package, it’s safe.
2)    Take advantage of your in-grocery butcher. Meats that are not processed and seasoned are generally safe.
3)    Shop at grocers that have natural, organic sections. Most grocery stores these days have entire sections of the store dedicated to organic foods, including specially marked “gluten free” foods. Find one near you.
4)    Buy a gluten free bread machine. A gluten free bread maker is purposefully designed for those who must avoid gluten or those with gluten intolerance. Many come with ready-made mix bags for all types of bread. This is a great way to eat gluten-free without sacrificing sandwiches and toast.
5)    Don’t be afraid of restaurants. Many restaurants are very willing to work with you on creating a positive dining experience. They can offer suggestions on substitutions or withholding certain ingredients.

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