Gluten-Free Diet Basics, Foods and Benefits
What is a Gluten-Free Diet?
Gluten is a certain type of protein composite found in particular sorts of grain such as: wheat, barley, rye and all their species and hybrids and cereals. However interestingly – oats remain controversial so far. Individuals with celiac disease (the digestive disorder) and dermatitis (skin rash or irritation) are gluten-sensitive and a gluten-free diet is the only strict treatment for their condition. “Intake of gluten in those patients causes a severe reaction that damages intestinal cells and trigger adverse health problems,” says Michael Greger, M.D. and internationally recognized speaker and lecturer of important public health issues. A lead dietitian and M.D. Christy Shatlock describes gluten-free diet this way: “when someone follows gluten-free diet - they eliminate various sorts of foods from their diets that are unhealthy.” Gluten-free diet may seem limiting and difficult however – you have tons of delicious and healthy recipes which are 100% natural and contain no gluten!
Natural and Gluten-Free Food Groups
Continue reading and be familiar with the gluten-free food sources approved by Celiac Disease Foundation:
- Healthy fat: sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed/organic or pasture-fed butter, almond milk, avocados, olives, ghee, nuts and nut butters, cheese (however not the blue ones), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and chia seeds.
- Protein: whole eggs, salmon, sardines, shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters, grass-fed meat, poultry, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, beef, lamb, liver black cod and more!
- Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, kale, lettuce, onions, cabbage, asparagus, garlic, collards, leafy greens mushrooms, green beans, celery, ginger, water chestnuts, fennel, radishes, pak choi, cauliflower and shallots among many more!
- Low-Sugar Fruits: cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, avocado, eggplant, limes and lemons, squash and zucchini.
- Condiments, Seasonings and Herbs: gluten-free salsa, mustard, tapenade, horseradish. In majority of cases – herbs and seasonings are free of gluten, however – do not forget to double check it!
Food Sources to Avoid
- Wheat, barley, rye, cereal, triticale, breads, beer, bagels, crackers, cakes and candies, dressing, pizza, pasta, ice cream cones, sauces, soy sauce, pancakes and waffles, rolls, licorice, pretzels, malts, veggie burgers, vegetarian chicken/bacon patties and more.
- Also – avoid foods that contain bulgur, semolina, spelt, kamut, durum and barley.
Gluten-Free Diet Benefits
As we have mentioned earlier, gluten-free diet has become a trending form of diet lately. Gluten-free diet benefits include:
- Treatment of celiac disorder (the digestive disorder) and dermatitis (skin rash or irritation)
- Better digestion and gastrointestinal function
- Absence of acid reflux
- Generally healthier eating-habit and lifestyle
- Stronger system
- Better sleep
- Relief of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome
- Healthy weight-loss.
Brian Bosworth, M.D., is a gluten-free doctor and patient points out: “gluten-free diet has long list of food options to offer.” Gluten-free food market has rapidly expanded in the past couple of years and now it is worth nearly USD 300 millions. Note that - even a small amounts of gluten found in foods can cause severe discomfort and pains.