Are you thinking about switching to a gluten-free diet? The gluten-free diet has skyrocketed in popularity over the last several years.
A recent study found that one in five Americans now reduce or eliminate gluten from their diet. While avoiding gluten is necessary for people with celiac disease, is it really necessary for everyone else?
There are many reasons why the gluten-free diet is popular for non-celiac sufferers. Check out this guide to learn why so many people are going gluten-free.
Gluten is a protein that’s found in barley, wheat, triticale, and rye. Many foods contain gluten, such as bread, pasta, beer, cake, cookies, cereals, crackers, and pastries.
What is Gluten?
Before we talk about why so many people are switching to a gluten-free diet, we first need to answer the question, “What is gluten?”
Gluten is a protein that’s found in barley, wheat, triticale, and rye. Many everyday foods contain gluten, such as bread, pasta, beer, cake, cookies, cereals, crackers, and pastries. There are also traces of gluten in a lot of salad dressings, soups, and sauces.
Those who suffer from celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder) need to eliminate gluten from their diet in order to protect their small intestine. Those with gluten sensitivity may choose to eliminate gluten from their diet because it causes adverse side effects such as constipation, bloating, headaches, nausea, and fatigue.
Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet
Even if you don’t suffer from celiac’s or have a gluten sensitivity, you still may benefit from a gluten-free diet. Here are some reasons why many people are going gluten-free:
- Eliminates bloating
- Promotes healthy weight gain
- Improves energy levels
- Reduces joint pain
- Reduces the frequency of headaches
- Reduces depression symptoms
- Reduces tolerance to lactose
- Improves bone health and skin health
- Reduces hair loss
Everybody is different, so you may not necessarily experience all of these benefits when switching to a gluten-free diet. But, because gluten is in so many junk foods, you should at least notice a few improvements in your health.
What Can You Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
There’s a myth that the gluten-free diet is very restrictive. However, this is not the case. Here are just a few of the foods you can enjoy on a gluten-free diet:
- Gluten-free whole grains such as brown rice, millet, tapioca, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, arrowroot, and teff
- Fruits and vegetables (just make sure to check that the canned and frozen ones are gluten-free)
- Proteins such as nuts, seeds, legumes, seafood, poultry, and tofu
- Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Butter, olive oil, avocado, and other fats and oils
- Water, coffee, tea, and 100% fruit juice
There’s also a wide variety of spices and sauces you can enjoy on a gluten-free diet. Coconut aminos, vinegar, and tamari are all gluten-free approved. You’ll want to double-check the label on certain sauces such as mayo, ketchup, and salsa.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, you can also enjoy a gluten free sleep gummy.
Are You Ready to Go Gluten-Free?
Now that you know about the benefits of a gluten-free diet, it’s time for you to decide if this diet is right for you. Before going gluten-free, make sure you talk to your doctor.
And, be sure to check back in with our blog for more dieting tips and tricks.
Have you followed the gluten free diet?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.