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There are a lot of diet restrictions that come into fashion, only for people to realize they’re not good for their health. Avoiding gluten is one such practice that became famous but soon, people realized that such a restriction is only applicable to those who are allergic or intolerant to it.
For the uninitiated, gluten is a family of storage proteins that are found in some of the most commonly used cereals such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten provides these cereals with the ‘glue-like’ sticky consistency.
However, certain people don’t tolerate the presence of gluten in their diet too well. In fact, gluten intolerance can have a variety of symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches and weight management issues. If you suspect that gluten doesn’t suit you, you can speak to a doctor and even go for a blood test for confirmation. The real challenge, however, is adopting a gluten-free diet that is able to provide you with all the nutrients.
Here are 4 efficient and healthy ways to cut gluten from your diet:
All varieties of fruits are free of gluten. So, by including more fruits in your diet, you would eliminate gluten and optimize your consumption of nutrients that otherwise are not forming part of your diet. Fruit such as blueberries, bananas and oranges are especially recommended as they are low on fructose, making them easier to digest and contain inulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Vegetables are naturally gluten-free and hence, increasing their portion in your meals would help cut down on gluten and give you a feeling of being full for longer durations as well.
For example, consider adding broccoli and spinach to your diet as they pack a solid nutritional punch in the form of antioxidants, fibre, protein, iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, as well as vitamins A, B, C, E and K.
Adding lentils to your meals is a great way to supplement your diet with an ingredient that is naturally gluten-free and high on protein. Lentils are packed with iron, fiber, vitamins and minerals and help to add texture to the meals.
It is common practice for food manufacturers to add gluten to processed foods to improve texture, taste and shelf life. While it’s advisable to only mostly consume whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, in case you find yourself buying packaged foods, remember to always check the back of the packaging to find out its nutrition profile. Read food labels and try to choose low-sodium, unsaturated fats and gluten-free alternatives to the foods and beverages you normally buy.
So, while for many of you, it may not be feasible to completely eliminate gluten from your meals, there are certainly alternatives available to ensure lower consumption of gluten and higher intake of nutritious and wholesome foods.