A gluten free diet involves not ingesting grains and is advisable for people with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
But for other people, going gluten free is not always healthy. So the risks and benefits of a gluten free diet must be carefully weighed, especially if the person who wants to start this new diet doesn't really need to avoid gluten.
What's Gluten Anyway?
Gluten is a type of protein derived from some grains such as barley, rye and wheat. Gluten is what gives gluten free bread products an elastic, chewy quality - it is an important ingredient for making baked products.
According to the professionals of Mayo Clinic, gluten is the only indigestible protein found in food - the molecules it is composed of is able to slip through the intestinal linings of people suffering from celiac disease causing them to inflame.
Still Going Gluten Free? What To Eat And Not To Eat
Some grains such as brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, millet, corn, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, and sorghum are naturally gluten free. Oats are also gluten free by nature, but are often polluted with wheat at the mill or in the field - so before buying make sure it's certified gluten-free especially if you're someone who needs a gluten free diet.
Other foods which are naturally gluten free and/or suggested by Mayo Clinic are fresh eggs, unmarinated, soy, breaded or batter coated meat poultry and fish, flax, tapioca, arrowroot, fruits and vegetables, most dairy products and unprocessed beans, nuts, and seeds.
Mayo Clinic also suggests avoiding all food and beverage with barley, rye, wheat and triticale in it. Be extra careful as wheat flour also goes by various names such as kamut, farina, spelt, semolina, durum flour and graham flour.
And unless these food are properly labeled gluten free, they should all be avoided: communion wafers, French fries, beer, breads, candies, cakes and pies, croutons, cereals, salad dressings, gravies, imitation meat or seafood, matzo, sauces including soy sauce, processed luncheon meats, pastas, soups and soup bases, vegetables in sauce, self-basting poultry, and seasoned snack foods such as potato and tortilla chips. Indeed, here are gluten free beer in the market today.
More Tips From Mayo Clinic
Keep an eye out for cross contamination. This can happen during food production, so you should carefully read labels - such as 'may also contain' statements. Be picky as to which restaurant to eat out from. Ask restaurant staff if they provide gluten-free entrees on their menu and if they are prepared in such a way that cross contamination was avoided.
By having a gluten free diet, you will not only eliminate your digestive problems, you also have better mood, increased energy levels, your ability to think clearly and ability to focus will also improve.