Gluten Intolerance: Gluten Free Diet Recommendations for People with Gluten allergy
Gluten is a type of protein that is found in cereals, especially, wheat, barley and rye. A similar protein is also found in oats. All these foods are relatively recent - by evolutionary standards - additions to the human diet, which means that our digestive system did not have enough time to learn how to process gluten. Therefore, it's not surprising that gluten intolerance is a common (although often undiagnosed) problem, as many people have problems digesting it.
Possible Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Inability to digest gluten can manifest itself in many ways. Gluten intolerance is often associated with IBS, depression, difficulties with your weight, aches and pains in bones and joints, and chronic fatigue. If you suffer from some or all of these problems, perhaps you are gluten intolerant.
During our evolution, early humans' diet consisted mainly of fruit, berries, nuts and large seeds, plus leafy greens, vegetables, roots and the occasional piece of meat when the hunt went well. Just about 12,000 years ago grains from grasses were introduced into our diet. Within 10,000 years bread had become known as "the staff of life" in many parts of the world.
Wheat flour is consumed in huge quantities in the West, as wheat products are ubiquitous. Few of us can imagine life without bread, pasta, pizza, cakes and cookies... And an average person is consuming a lot of these foods every single day. It is not surprising that someone who eats a lot of something they can't digest properly will develop health problems. And that is what seems to be happening, although the many doctors are skeptical about the whole concept. If you search the Internet looking for "gluten intolerance", "gluten and depression", "gluten and health", "gluten and obesity", you will find many studies, stories from sufferers.
Plus, a lot of these processed foods contain dangerous genetically modified - GMO ingredients, which lead to a host of additional health issues, on top of the gluten allergies.
Fortunately, if you suddenly discover that you have gluten intolerance, there is no need to despair. Many people - when they are diagnosed - are devastated, not knowing what to do and what to eat - since so many processed foods contain gluten that just studying the labels of everything that you buy will make the simple process of grocery shopping unbearably long and boring.
But there is a better - and ultimately much healthier - way.
Instead of painstakingly trying to re-create your favorite baking recipes and searching for substitutes of processed foods without gluten, re-invent the way you eat by centering it around fresh fruit, vegetable, green and legume dishes that are naturally gluten-free and super-healthy.
Gluten Free Diet: What we should all be eating
An easy way to get rid of gluten in your diet is to eat only unprocessed foods. All unprocessed food (except for the grains which contain gluten) is gluten free. Here is the summary of recommendations for a healthy diet:
- At least 60-80 % of the calories consumed should come from fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens (essential!). The important thing the bulk of your fruits, veggies, and greens should be eaten RAW. Raw foods have a wonderful effect on the body - giving you more energy and supplying essential nutrients in the completely unchanged, unprocessed form - just as nature intended them for us!
You should be eating plenty of salads (no commercial salad dressings, please!) and fresh fruits to give you energy and satisfy cravings for sweets. Many people dislike greens - in fact I only know few people who eat lots of greens - raw lettuce, spinach, kale, collards, etc. - on a regular basis. My advice is to buy a good blender and start making green smoothies. Green smoothies are simply fruit smoothies with some leafy greens added. They are highly nutritious and help stop cravings for junk foods and sugar.
In the morning, prepare a quart of green smoothie and drink it during the course of your day. Consuming green juices made with a juice extractor is also a great idea.
- The rest of of what you eat during the day should be steamed or slightly cooked vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. The following grains and grain-substitutes can be used: rice, quinoa, buckwheat (more closely related to spinach than wheat), corn, amaranth, soy, millet (a good substitute for couscous), potato and tapioca as well as flour made from them.
- Although unprocessed meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk,are all gluten free, for optimum health it's recommended to eliminate completely or limit consumption of animal products to once or twice per week.
- Eliminate all processed foods from your diet - this will save you time studying the labels in the supermarket. If you decide to occasionally have them - read the label carefully. Many foods that may on the first glance seem like gluten free, may still have some quantities of wheat added.
I would like to recommend the following books to you. These are not specifically addressing the gluten allergies, but are resources that recommend mostly raw, plant based - and gluten-free- diet.
- "Eating for Health" and "Fasting and eating for Health" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
- "80/10/10 Diet" by Dr. D. Graham
- "Green For Life" by Victoria Boutenko
- "The Green Smoothies Diet" by Robyn Openshaw.
These books are truly the best education you can get in the area of nutrition. They will help you not just with your wheat intolerance problem, but with overall health of your entire family.
- Gluten Intolerance: Can Gluten Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts and Health?
Gluten is getting a lot of attention these days. We hear about gluten allergies, wheat alergies and health problems that can be associated with gluten. Gluten-free products are showing up everywhere, and as the demand for gluten-free breads, cookies,