Living Healthy with a Gluten-free Diet

March 3, 2012

Living Healthy with a Gluten-free diet is not difficult as long as you understand which foods are safe and which foods you must avoid. At the beginning you need to do some research and understand what celiac disease is about and how the protein gluten can damage the villi which are located inside the small intestines. It took me and my wife some time to understand what a gluten-free diet meant in order for us to help our son Cesar Michael.

As you may a person with celiac disease can’t digest gluten which is a protein and is found in wheat, rye and barley. The only treatment to celiac disease is to avoid products that contain gluten. Going with a gluten-free diet is the only treatment to celiac disease.

Some advisable steps to follow to living a healthy gluten-free are:

  • Consult a registered Dietitian. At the beginning might be difficult to understand what foods to avoid. A registered dietitian can coach you and help you plan for meals are safe at home and meals that are safe for eating out. Once thing you have to keep in mind is that you need to get the recommended nutrients from the selected foods that you will be digesting.
  • Follow up with your physician. It is important to make sure you get all vitamins you need. A simple blood test will detect any abnormalities in your body if there is any. Once you eliminate gluten from your everyday diet, there are nutrients that your body will miss. Your physician will monitor your levels of iron, fiber, calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients.
  • Learn to read packaged foods. If buying a packaged food without the “gluten-free” marking you have to really be careful. Even if a product doesn’t contain gluten, they could be packaged with the same machines used to package items with gluten. The product will be gluten-cross contaminated.  A word of advice, look for “gluten-free” claims on packaged foods.
  • Purchase your foods from reputable gluten-free vendors. They carry hundred of approved gluten-free products.
  • Buy a good book or gluten-free diet eBooks written by people that are coping with celiac. They are the best source of information. There are many books recipe books that will provide you with a listing of great tasting meals. 

SOME FOOD INGREDIENTES TO AVOID THAT CONTAIN GLUTEN:

  • Among products made of wheat are: white flour, enriched flour, phosphated flour which is a flour made from soft wheat and used in baking, farina, wheat starch, wheat germ, plain flour, wheat bran, cracked wheat, durum flour, bromated flour, self-rising flour, graham flour.
  • Avoid all foods that contain barley such as beer, coffee substitutes, some soups, stews. There are gluten-free vendors that sell foods made of alternate ingredients that are safe.
  • Avoid foods that contain Rye. Some products that contain Rye are: breakfast cereals, whole grain rye, rye bread, rye rolls, and four-grain flakes among others.
  • Avoid Oats as well. There is controversy whether oats are safe or not. Some researchers have found out that oats are safe as long as oats have not been gluten cross-contaminated.  It is difficult to guarantee that foods made with oats have been handled properly. That is a simple reason why you should avoid oats.

I summary, once you have learned what foods you should avoid you will be living healthy with a gluten-free diet.

Source:

  • Celiac Sprue association
  • National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – eatright.
     

2 thoughts on “Living Healthy with a Gluten-free Diet

  1. Pingback: My Son’s Low Bone Density Improvement Update | Celiac disease

  2. Pingback: A Dedicated Gluten-free Bread Station

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>