The new fad spreading around the world is the gluten-free diet. Some scientists claim that avoiding products with gluten reduces oxidative processes in cells. Others praise it as a natural "antidote" to stress and its effects.
When you decide to eliminate gluten from your diet, it is not an easy task. It is contained in wheat, rye, barley, oats, bulgur, malt and therefore in all foods that contain them. This particular protein is normally found in bread, pasta, sponge cakes, biscuits and a long list of everyone's favorite foods.
The gluten-free diet mainly emphasizes filling foods, such as potatoes and rice. Also on the list are beans, peas, chickpeas, buckwheat, quinoa - superfoods, which independently are among the priorities for healthy nutrition.
Fresh meats are allowed, while sausages and purchased pre-marinated meats are not. This is because gluten is often used for thickening and binding and may have been added additionally.
Presumably fruit and vegetables are allowed. They do not contain whey protein, like most dairy products.
People following such a diet should have a good eye for labels. Some of the gluten-containing ingredients are obvious, but some are disguised as malt (made from barley) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (often contains wheat). When preparing your own food, choose gluten-free flours.
Oats, on the other hand, do not contain gluten, but can increase symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea.
There are a few other things to keep in mind when following a gluten-free diet. Like, for example, that many breakfast cereals also contain gluten. Many of them contain wheat starch or malt additives.
A good alternative are corn or rice snacks. Also know that almost all types of pasta are made from wheat - choose your spaghetti, macaroni and spirals carefully when on such a diet.
People switching to a gluten-free diet usually follow this diet for life. When you decide to change your eating habits in this direction, it is best to consult a doctor or nutritionist in advance, who will prepare a program tailored to your body's needs.
Check out our gluten-free recipes.