Starting off on a Gluten-Free Lifestyle After a Celiac Diagnosis
Going gluten-free is a challenging, but life-saving requirement after receiving a celiac disease diagnosis. Although performing a dietary overhaul can seem a daunting task, it is not impossible, considering how many foods are naturally gluten-free and how many more products, like baking mixes and cereals, have been adapted to accommodate those living with celiac or a wheat allergy. Furthermore, many dining establishments have caught on to this rising customer demand and now offer gluten-free menu items.
After getting diagnosed with celiac disease, it is necessary to adopt a gluten-free diet, but a complete dietary makeover is not something that can be accomplished in a single day. This is where an allergist or GU specialist comes in. It is important to gain all the necessary information about the foods and beverages one should avoid or incorporate into their daily routine, so there should not be any hesitation in seeking answers from the experts. One of the most cost-effective as well as nutritious ways to start a gluten-free lifestyle is to choose foods that are free of gluten, such as poultry, dairy items, vegetables, legumes, meat, beans, and fruits and berries. There are many other foods an individual can opt for that are gluten-free, like spices, oils that are derived from seeds and plants such as coconut oil or olive oil, and more. You can also go in for natural sweeteners, such as stevia, honey, agave, sugarcane, etc. Grains that are safe to consume include chia seeds, rice, flaxseed, nut flours, quinoa, potato flour, soy flour, teff, millet, and amaranth. Whenever you buy such items in pre-packaged form, be sure to check the labels for any cross-contamination.
It is always important to check the food labels on packaging carefully. There are certain notations an individual should look out for when they go shopping, one of which is the logo for Gluten Free Certification. This certifies that the product contains less than 10 ppm of gluten. Another habit an individual should adopt is to read the ingredients printed on the label.
It is sound advice to always prepare one’s own meals when living with celiac disease, but there are times when an individual will prefer to go out and enjoy a meal at a restaurant. Just as the grocery shopping requires a bit of research, one should also vet out restaurants that offer gluten-free food items. Many places even post their menus online, so it is easier for individuals to cross verify and then choose a place to visit.
At first, the thought of going gluten-free may be overwhelming, but with these handy tips, it is not as difficult a task to accomplish as it first seems. One can always consult a dietician for a detailed guide on the do’s and don’ts of celiac disease, too.