If you’ve followed my blog for a while now you know that starting August first I cut out gluten and dairy from my diet. Today I wanted to touch base with you on what gluten is, what it does to your body and the benefits of going gluten free.
I decided to go gluten free in August when I was shown a book called “Wheat Belly” by William Davis MD. The book is quick and to the point with facts on the havoc gluten can ensue on your body when it’s ingested. Gluten is a protein found in wheat based products as well as rye, barley, durum, einkorn, graham, semolina, bulgur wheat, spelt, farro, kamut, and triticale. Celiac Disease is a condition where an individuals body is allergic to gluten will completely reject the digestion of this protein.
Luckily I do not suffer from Celiac Disease but the benefits of being gluten free make it worth while for me to say sayonara to gluten for good. If fact since I’ve stopped eating gluten I’ve lost 7 lbs of that last bit of stubborn fat. However, since August I’ve also eliminated all dairy and taken up running every morning. I do strongly feel that going gluten free has had a major role in my weight loss and my overall feeling of well being. After virtually completely eliminating it for 4 months now when I do ingest gluten I feel as if my digestive system slows down almost to a complete stop. I feel bloated, heavy, gassy and as if the food is just sitting in my intestines.
There are many grain alternatives that you can turn to that are gluten free however during processing many of these products can me cross contaminated with gluten so unless the package says “Gluten Free” there are probably trace amounts of gluten in the food. Because I don’t suffer from Celiac Disease I don’t get too particular whether my oats specifically say “Gluten Free” but if you are very serious about it, or do have celiac disease, definitely look for these labels when buying these products:
Corn, grits, polenta and cornmeal
Buckwheat, buckwheat cereal, kasha and buckwheat flour
Rice- white, brown, risotto, basmati, jasmine, sticky rice, rice cereal
Rice flour- white rice, sweet (glutinous) rice and brown rice flour
Quinoa, quinoa cereal flakes, and quinoa flour
Millet and millet flour
Amaranth and amaranth flour
Oats and oatmeal
Nut meals and flours- almond, chestnut, pecan, cashew
Chick pea, garbanzo, soy (soya) and bean flour
Tapioca (whole) and tapioca starch (manioc)
Sweet potato and yam flour
There are so many gluten free options now for pastas, breads, wraps and cereals. Most grocery stores now will have a whole gluten free section or will place gluten free tags next to their gluten free products. There are unlimited resources online for gluten free tips and recipes. Here are a few of my favorite blogs, websites and articles for gluten free diets.