The Top 5 Tips For A Gluten Free Diet

anthia-koullouros

Anthia Koullouros

Naturopath and Holistic Health Expert

Gluten is a simple protein found in certain cereal grains, but with the avid avoiders, you’d be mistaken for thinking it’s something much more sinister. It can certainly prove extremely problematic for the intolerant and allergic, however it is helpful to inform yourself of the facts before filling your kitchen with gluten-free goodies. Many substitutes are worse than the original! Use my 5 tips to navigate ‘gluten free’ with healthy ease.

gluten-free-eatingimage via pinterest

Where is gluten found & why avoid it?

Gluten is found in wheat (also contained in bulgur, semolina, cous cous, farina, wheatgerm, wheat bran), oats, rye, barley, triticale, kamut and spelt. It binds baked goods and acts as ‘glue’ in cooking.

A natural part of these grains, gluten seems to be wrecking increasing havoc in our digestive systems. A multi-faceted result of modern processing, greater toxicity and nutritional deficiencies, gluten sensitivity and allergy are on the rise.

Coeliac disease is true gluten allergy. It is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Essentially, the body attacks itself every time a person with Coeliac consumes gluten. The damage to the intestine makes it ‘leaky’ and researchers now believe that this is one of the primary predisposing factors for conditions like obesity, diabetes and autoimmune disease.

Coeliac disease can be confirmed via blood testing, small intestine biopsy or a gene test (however clients presenting as negative can still sometimes have an intolerance to gluten). An elimination diet is a very useful tool, as well as assessing co-reactions to dairy, all cereal grains (including pseudo cereals such as quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth due to cross contamination at the factory end) coffee and chocolate.

What are the symptoms?

Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body Primal Mind, in her blog called Cereal Killer describes possible gluten reactions: “…exposure to gluten in a sensitive individual essentially shuts down blood flow to the prefrontal cortex—the part of our brains that allow us to focus, manage emotional states, plan, organise and exercise our short term memory”. Gluten can thus interfere with concentration, mood and energy levels.

Other common symptoms include bloating, wind and irritable-bowel-type conditions.

My 5 Tips for going gluten free

1. Avoid ‘gluten free’ or ready-to-eat products such as gluten free biscuits & cereals as they
are highly processed
and usually made from refined gluten free alternatives such as potato, corn, soybean and rice. They are devoid of nutrients due to extensive processing methods, and often loaded with sugar & starch.

2. Be mindful where else gluten is found:

– Commercial soups and vegetables such as baked 
beans.
– Sauces such as soy sauce.
– Thickeners in ice cream, custards, cheeses, creams and yoghurts.
– Tapioca starch and icing sugar.
– Pasta, most cereals, muesli, breads, biscuits, cakes, batters, crumbs and flours (unless specified), farina and thickeners, malt, soba and udon noodles, pumpernickel bread, pastry, pizza, pancakes, waffles, doughnuts, wafers, cones and rusk.
Sausages, burgers, rissoles, frozen dinners and imitation seafood.
– Spreads such as yeasted varieties.
Commercial condiments e.g. chutney, relishes, 
pickles, mustard, stock cubes and gravy mixes.
– Coffee substitutes, drinking chocolate, beer, ale, lager, porter and stout.
– Licorice, flavouring essences and filled chocolates.

3. Even gluten free grains like rice, millet, corn, amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat can set off a sensitive gluten intolerant individual, due to factory cross-contamination. Going completely grain free is often a great relief.

4. Beware of grain free products, such as “High Protein Gluten free Cereals”, which replace grains with nuts, seeds, legumes or beans. Digestible and whole protein only comes from animal sources; these nuts and seeds are not prepared in a way that makes them digestible. See point 5.

5. Embrace the lost art of food preparation. Prepare your gluten free grain, pseudo cereal, nuts/seed or legume alternatives well, as people used to. They were always soaked, sprouted and/or fermented prior to eating. Why? All grains, cereals, nuts, seeds & legumes contain phytic acid that can impede digestion and bind to important minerals in the body. By employing traditional methods of loving preparation, you can reduce these anti-nutrients and improve digestion immeasurably. Gluten free breads, cereals and other products do not consider this and are often loaded with phytic acid.

Eschewing gluten can see your health soar, however it’s wise to check your facts, labels and motivations before declaring your home a gluten-free zone. Do it properly, become informed and refuse to be seduced by highly processed alternatives!

Like what you read? Subscribe to our free newsletter for exclusive content and special offers

Related





  • Insta: Follow @rescu.com.au

    • Skincare boosters to survive winter. Add to cart!
    • ✨❤️
    • School's back and finally I can get sh#*t done! But first coffee ☕️ #mummy #worklifebalance #getshitdone
    • Two years ago today I handed in my manuscript to publishers for my first book Rescu Me.. I think I really wrote it for myself during a crazy time of change and new beginnings in my life. Fast forward to today.. life has certainly changed. For the better 🙌 as it always does. #rescume #author #change #makeover #freshstart #grateful #book
    • Diary of an Insta stalker 👀 nothing good ever comes from this... 😂😂😂 #insta #instastalker
    • In partnership with @Wedgwood and the Vera Wang Elements of Style Collection, we bring you Dannielle Miller's story and inspiration on how to harness your own style.“It's a matter of looking back at the day you've had and finding moments that you want to celebrate and be thankful about." - Dannielle Miller. #Wedgwood #VeraWang #ElementsofStyle Watch here >> http://bit.ly/2tCG5hb
    • In partnership with @Wedgwood and the Vera Wang Elements of Style Collection, we bring you Dannielle Miller's story and inspiration on how to harness your own style. "Through the eyes of a Modernist, the future is now." - Vera Wang. #Wedgwood #VeraWang #ElementsofStyle Watch here >> http://bit.ly/2twak7t
    • Post travel skin saviours.. hydrate.. nourish.. repeat. I'm calling in the big guns.. #moisturesurge #diorlife #renutriv #hydraessentiel
    • Baby it's cold outside ❄️ Came back this morning and have spent the entire day glued to the heater and now in front of the fire. @mbrown_beauty convinced me to swap out my bright summer lipstick for warm nudes. I'm loving Burberry Beauty lip pencils with a Bobbi Brown pinky nude lipstick 💄 #winter #sydney #winterbeauty #burberrybeauty

  • Get your dose of fabulous delivered to your inbox.

    Sign up for Rescu's newsletter to get updates on top stories, horoscopes, trending videos, and inspirational content.

    SUBSCRIBE NOW!

    Get fashion, beauty, finance, health and love advice from our experts.

    Rescu is an online fashion, beauty and premium lifestyle site. Whether you are looking for fashion, beauty, finance, health and love advice you will find a wealth of information from our resident experts. We publish new content daily so don’t be left behind. Log on daily for the latest fashion, beauty and celebrity news as it happens. Subscribe to our newsletter and enter our contests to win fantastic freebies.