For people struggling with celiac disease, going gluten-free is the only way for them to avoid the pain and struggles after a meal. Those with gluten sensitivity don’t have much of a choice either. It is a miracle that gluten-free dieting hasn’t been this popular around the globe over the years considering the fact that celiac disease affects 1% of the world’s population and up to 7% of humanity has gluten sensitivity. Now, most people assume that kicking wheat after their diet is the only way to go gluten-free and that a gluten-free diet means an easy way to lose weight. You might want to rethink and look at these 10 considerations before you choose to go gluten-free.
Gluten-Free doesn’t mean weight loss
There are many celebrities who claim that going gluten-free has helped them reach their body shape goals by losing weight and maintaining vibrant skin. There is no correlation whatsoever between gluten-free diets and weight loss. Replacing bread, pizza and pasta with gluten-free foods that contain just as much sugar and fat won’t help your weight loss journey. Gluten-free foods including corn, turkey, chicken, fish, seafood and eggs among other high cholesterol and high-fat foods can cause you to gain weight even when you are not eating gluten.
Gluten Hides In Many Places
Being gluten-free means that you have to read all the ingredients on the food packages to ensure that they are actually labelled as gluten-free. The problem comes when you go to restaurants where you may find sauces and gravies that actually contain gluten and you won’t know unless you ask the waiting staff. If you like your sauce, liquorice and gravies as well as some salads and dressings, you might want to check again because many of them still contain gluten. Gluten may also be in your medicines, butter and some spreads as well as items used to prepare gluten-filled products at home.
Gluten-Free Diet May Cause Deficiencies
Research on people that had maintained a gluten-free diet for over 10 years discovered that they were low on fibre, folate, Vitamins B and D, but most importantly, vital micronutrients such as magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. It all comes down to the products used to make most GF products available in the market which are mostly made of refined flour and starches. You should therefore try to include lots of fruits and veggies in your diet and also include gluten-free fortified seeds to ensure that you have enough amino acids and fibre in your body. You should also visit your doctor frequently for check-ups.
Gluten-Free Isn’t Always Tasteless
Some look at a life with no beer, pizza, bread plus all wheat products and everything you have to give up when you go GF and think that they will lose all the delicious food in their lives. There are lots of natural foods that don’t have gluten though so you can still have some of your best treats without gluten contamination. The only foods you need to avoid are those containing wheat, barley, corn, rye and triticale. Wheat and barley products are the most commonly available gluten-containing products. Your choices are still unlimited so you don’t have to worry about missing out on treats.
Gluten Pills Won’t Save You
When you choose to go gluten-free, you have to decide whether that is out of necessity or just a lifestyle choice. If you decide to eat food containing gluten and then assume that gluten pills will help you relieve the symptoms of gluten, then you are not doing your intestines any justice. You should only go for gluten pills if your gluten intake was totally unavoidable or accidental. Otherwise, choosing a gluten-free lifestyle should be a commitment to yourself.
Many Gluten-Free Foods Cause Hyperglycemia
Gluten-free has become trendy over the years thanks to media attention and what celebrities claim about it but you have to be cautious. Most gluten-free foods including bread rely on high-sugar grains such as rice, corn and potatoes. These cause you to become hyperglycemic after meals and that won’t help with your blood sugar problems. It is one of the problems you can’t avoid with gluten-free foods
Wheat-Free Doesn’t Mean Gluten Free
Once you go gluten-free you will have to read the ingredients carefully whenever you are buying your food and medicines. Gluten-free is the label you want to see on all the foods you buy, but wheat-free is a term that some manufacturers use to lie to people. Wheat-free products may still contain liquorice and barley all of which still contain gluten.
Just because you have chosen to live gluten-free doesn’t mean the whole world is doing the same. You may also find it hard to resist your favourite bread and pastries, especially if that is what you had while growing up. When you find yourself having slipped up and eaten gluten, the best action to take is to sit down and think of a way to move forward and not brood about it. Giving up on your GF diet because of one slip up won’t do you any good.
Cross Contamination May Happen
Chopping boards, rolling sticks, ovens, microwaves, toasters and even pans are all places where gluten may linger. Even during food processing, companies sometimes process gluten-free food on surfaces contaminated with gluten. You should be ready to prevent cross-contamination at home but you may not do much about food processing companies.
You May Disappoint Friends And Family
You still have to explain to your aunt why you won’t eat her cupcakes or to your mother why you won’t eat her favourite bread. The bottom line is that your decision may not go well with everyone and may include close family and friends. You may have some serious explaining to do and be ready to step on some toes because some may not understand.
If you know of any other tips for going gluten-free do let us know in the comments below.