Tips for Going Wheat- or Gluten-Free
Sep 07, 2012 09:43AM
● By Betty Murray
For those that want to rid their diet of wheat and/or gluten for allergic or any other reason, here are a few tips to get started.
Gluten is almost always found in the low-nutrient, processed junk food available today. When done right, going gluten-free may result in a healthier diet if you stay away from gluten-free processed foods.
Gluten and gluten-containing grains do not possess nutrients that you cannot get from other food sources, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, meat, fish and fowl, as well as the other non-gluten grains such as rice, corn, millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
Keep in mind that if you are not diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, in most cases, you will need to be eating gluten to obtain an accurate test.
Start slowly, removing gluten-containing foods over weeks, not hours. It will make the lifestyle change process easier if you think of it as a marathon and not a sprint.
Most of the grocery store is gluten-free if you shop the perimeter of the store, where the vegetables, fruits and meats are located.
Remove foods that are white or can be white: baked goods, crackers, pasta, bread, cookies, pastries, cereal and breaded foods. If you buy any of these, make sure that is says gluten-free on the label.
Get adventurous and try new foods and recipes. Healthy foods and gluten-free foods are tasty but you have to try them to find out.
Get help! If you have digestive, autoimmune, neurological or behavioral symptoms, testing is a good idea to rule out celiac and other, more serious diseases.
At the Dallas chapter of the Gluten Intolerance Group (dfwceliac.org), you can hear expert speakers, get mentoring and connect with others. Attend the Dallas Gluten-Free and Allergy Expo September 8 and 9 (Tinyurl.com/GlutenFreeExpo).
Betty Murray, CN, CHC is a certified nutritionist and health coach, author, speaker and founder of the Living Well Health & Wellness Center, as well as the education director for the Gluten Intolerance Group of Greater Dallas. She specializes in working with digestive disorders, autoimmunity and weight loss. To contact Murray, call 972-930-0260 to make an appointment or visit LivingWellDallas.com.