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Living the Gluten Free Life


Along with carbohydrate intolerance, many people are afflicted with an intolerance for gluten. How might you know if you are someone who needs to pay attention to their intake of gluten? If you are one of the many unfortunate people who has suffered the inability to lose weight, no matter which diet or how much exercise you have tried. If you haven’t tried the gluten-free diet it just might be the next, and hopefully last, diet you need to try.

What is gluten and where do you find it? Simply put, gluten is a protein found in certain grains, such as barley, wheat, and oats that helps flours form the structure of the bread dough. Gluten provides many important qualities to breads and bread products. One example is that gluten helps keep the gases that are released during fermentation in the dough, so bread is able to rise before being put in the over.

Now that we know what gluten is, why would we want to live a gluten free life? For many people, eating gluten will cause a range of unhealthy responses in their body. For example, eating gluten might cause an inflammation in the mucous membranes of your intestinal lining which triggers a systemic immune response. Because of this immune reaction, you may experience, for what appears to be an unknown reason, such symptoms as rashes, fatigue, mental fog or confusion, gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea, and chronic headaches. Hyperactivity disorders in children have also been linked to excess dietary gluten.

What can you do about this? If you suspect you are one of the many people who may be sensitive to dietary gluten some simple dietary changes can start you on the road to recovery. You can do an Internet search for more complete information but here are some steps you can take including foods that you can avoid.

Do not eat any foods that contain wheat, rye, or barley. For many people this will seem an impossible task since bread makes up such a large part of our diets. It is not just bread that contains glutens but grains are processed and used in many other processed food items. For example, soy sauce contains wheat. Food stabilizers, found in many of the processed foods we eat, contain glutens, as do many types of flavorings and emulsifiers. The simple version, so you don’t become neurotic, is to stop eating bread.

What should you eat? There are some grains that are 100% gluten free and safe to eat. For example, brown rice, quinoa (also very high in protein) as well as buckwheat. Eating some of these foods will require you to reeducate your taste buds but it can be done! Also, vegetables and fruits are safe and should be eaten in abundance no matter which diet you are on.

Is this going to be simple? Nope, it will not. But with a sense of definiteness of purpose, a desire to lose weight and improve your general state of health, and some persistence, I know you can do it! Happy Gluten Free living!

Ken Hassman is the owner of the back-of-book indexing service, Hassman Indexing Services, dedicated to providing high quality academic/scholarly indexing, biography indexing, trade book indexing, economics indexing, encyclopedia indexing, journal indexing, and embedded indexing.