Starting a Gluten Free Diet
By Melanie Weir A diagnosis of Gluten Intolerance, Celiac Disease or Food Allergy can leave you feelinglike a deer in headlights. Before doing anything else, take a few deep breaths andcount from 5 to 1. For the weeks and months ahead of you, the first and most importanttechnique to learn is breathing.The average length of time for a diagnosis of Celiac Disease is 10 years. By the timeyou’re diagnosed, you might have a large number of health problems, ailments and con-cerns. No matter how sick you are, learning to eat Gluten Free is a process, and youare likely to make mistakes along the way. The goal is to learn as much as possible, sothe mistakes you make are minimal.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the outer casing of wheat, rye and barley. (see article: What is Gluten?)
What about Oats?
For Celiacs, all commercial oats should also be avoided and gluten-free oats shouldonly be added with the assistance of a doctor knowledgeable regarding the controversyof oats beyond just whether they are or are not contaminated with gluten. Only 4 out of 5 Celiacs, can handle oats, and most doctors recommend no more than a 1/2 cup of oats 3 times a week. (see article: The Controversy of Oats)
Taking Gluten Out of the Diet is Easy, Right?
Yes and no. In 2012, there are many gluten free products available on the market. Theproblem lies in understanding what gluten is. Gluten has many names* including:wheat, rye and barley. Additionally, gluten can be introduced during storage, shipment,manufacturing and packaging of a product. (see article: Taking Gluten Out of Your Diet‘for Reals’)
What is the Simplest Way to Start Eating Gluten Free?Eat at Home:
Eating out at restaurants and at other people’s houses will be possible in the future, butbeginners should prepare all foods at home, as much as possible. If you need to travelor visit other spaces and places, pack it up and brown bag it or take an ice chest.
Naturally Gluten Free Foods:Fresh Foods:
Fresh Foods usually come from the earth and include fruits, vegetables and oils. It ispossible for fresh foods to become contaminated with gluten, but the likelihood of con-tamination is low.