A gluten-free diet requires a balanced plan that does not cause metabolic disorders or other side effects. In addition, it must be easy to maintain and does not cause deficiencies of essential nutrients.
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Why should you follow a gluten-free diet?
Celiac disease, as well as gluten intolerances, require making the decision to follow a diet without this protein. However, the consumption of cereals is one of the bases of the food pyramid, so the search for healthy and gluten-free substitutes is required.
This type of diet is mainly based on the combination of natural gluten-free products, which have a more balanced composition of micro and macronutrients. For example, foods such as lean meats, fish, vegetables, and pseudocereals are suggested.
Because it limits the consumption of processed foods as much as possible, a gluten-free diet also has benefits over healthy eating habits. In this way, we will be able to control celiac disease and its symptoms such as abdominal inflammation and impaired absorption of nutrients. In detail, a gluten-free diet helps:
- Strengthen the immune system and increase defenses.
- Reduce inflammation and control irritable bowel syndrome.
- Promote the control of type I diabetes.
- Control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Support the treatment of thyroiditis.
- Prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases.
- Control skin diseases.
Steps to keep in mind when making a gluten-free diet
When making a gluten-free diet, it is good to have the opinion of a doctor or nutritionist. Although it is an accepted and safe model of nutrition, it should not be ignored that it must be adapted to the needs of the age, health, and weight.
Now there are a few simple steps that can support your adoption by those who have recently made the decision to follow it. Are you interested in getting to know them? Discover the main 7!
1. Eliminate cereals that contain gluten
The basis of a gluten-free diet is the elimination of cereals that contain this protein. While some are part of the lists of healthy foods common diets, it is necessary to remove them and find gluten-free alternatives.
The listing includes:
- Semolina flour
- Derivatives like breads, pastas, cookies, etc.
2. Check food labels
People who decide to follow this form of food are required to carefully review the labels of food products. Some companies now use the “gluten-free” brand to facilitate identification.
3. Cook at home
It is easier to control what is on the plate when preparing meals at home. In this way, the use of organic foods, free of this protein, is ensured. Unfortunately, many restaurants brew meats or use flours in much of their preparations.
4. Identify “gluten in disguise”
Watch out! Gluten can also be disguised in products, making it difficult to identify. Check the labels for components such as: gluten, cereals, flour, modified starches, or starches. It must also not contain malt extracts or thickeners.
5. Review breakfast foods
Much of the gluten-containing products are usually those that are eaten for breakfast. Therefore, to avoid ruining the gluten-free diet, you should avoid box cereals, energy bars, and any product with starch and flour content.
6. Substitute with other cereals
Pseudocereals are available on the market to serve as a replacement for regular consumer products such as wheat. Options such as quinoa, millet, and buckwheat have become popular for their high-value nutrient content. Corn and rice also do not include gluten in their composition.
7. Drinks may also contain gluten
Beverages that are made from cereals or that contain malt, such as barley water, beer, and some machine coffees are also sources of gluten. This detail should not be ignored, as many only care about solid foods.
Are you thinking of following a gluten-free diet? Take care of all these recommendations and enjoy their benefits. However, make sure that all the menus are balanced since it is not about having a restrictive or low-calorie plan.