Many people across the world are switching to a gluten-free diet for a number of reasons. For some, it is a necessary dietary choice, as about 1% of the world’s population have Celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is consumed. For others, they are simply making a conscious dietary decision to reduce or eliminate the amount of gluten in their diet, often to lose weight or help control other ailments like diabetes.
Here is a simple guide to some of the changes anyone will need to make to their lifestyle in order to switch to a gluten-free diet successfully.
Involve a Registered Dietitian
It is important to involve a registered dietitian or your doctor when you are making a change to your diet as large as cutting out gluten.
Gluten is in many foods and it will be difficult to avoid without some advice. It is also important that you continue to receive a steady supply of the other nutrients and vitamins your body needs other than gluten, and you will need some help making sure you still get everything you need while cutting out the gluten.
Change to Gluten-Free Products
In the last few years, the number of gluten-free products has sky-rocketed, making switching to a gluten-free diet much simpler and easier than it used to be.
Thanks to this expansion in gluten-free offerings, it is no longer prohibitively expensive to switch to gluten-free products. Products like gluten free cereals used to be hard to find and often had a large price premium on regular cereal, but now the new competitors in the market have driven the price down to make them accessible to everyone.
Find the Hidden Gluten
Gluten can often be found in the most unlikely places, even instant coffee. You may be shocked to find that some of your favorite foods and drinks may contain ‘hidden’ gluten This is an amount of gluten that is so small it doesn’t appear on an ingredients list, or gluten is a part of an ingredient and not noted on the packaging.
Start Planning Ahead When Vacationing or Visiting Restaurants
Many restaurants and vacation destinations are much more aware of the demands of Celiac sufferers and gluten-free dieters than they used to be. When you are booking a table in a restaurant or choosing a resort for a vacation, it is definitely worth checking that they can accommodate someone on a gluten-free diet.
Have Some ‘Go-To’ Gluten Free Snacks with You Always
Having some snacks around that you know are gluten-free is a must. If you are in a store looking for a quick snack, you may often find your choices limited, so it is best to plan ahead and provide for yourself. If you are on a long road trip, you may have hundreds of miles between you and a healthy gluten-free meal.
Hopefully, this guide has given you enough information to make the change to a gluten-free diet for yourself.