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Your Guide to Going Gluten Free

In recent years, gluten-free living has become increasingly popular. A gluten-free lifestyle can benefit more people than just those diagnosed with celiac disease. If you find yourself suffering from such symptoms as abdominal bloating or pain, irritability, constipation, diarrhea or fatigue after eating, sensitivity to gluten-rich foods may be to blame. The best way to find out if a gluten-free diet is for you is to try the five tips below. They’ll help you examine your eating habits, and give you a guide on how to effectively explore a gluten-free lifestyle.

  1. Investigating the food you eat: Most of us fail to pay close attention to what we are putting into our mouths. To go gluten-free, all food containing wheat, barley, rye or triticale must be avoided. That’s more than just bread; it includes crackers, soups, flavored potato chips, cold cuts, and beer, among other foods. In fact any food label that includes the words wheat starch, modified food starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, bulgur, couscous, farina, malt and malt flavoring, graham flour, durum flour, semolina, einkorn, emmer, farro, kamut, or spelt means that the item contains wheat.
  2. Planning a gluten-free menu: When you decide to go gluten-free, it is important that you welcome wholesome replacements to complete your diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and gluten-free whole grains for a healthy gluten-free transition. Rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, wild rice, and amaranth are not only delicious, but are also good gluten-free whole grain options.
  3. Eating Out Awareness: The more gluten-free meals you plan, the more you’ll realize how much gluten has become ingrained in our diets. By preparing your own food at home, you’ll be informed when it comes to dining out. Breading and marinades often contain gluten, so it is best to choose basic menu items and alert your server of your gluten intolerance. You may also be pleasantly surprised at the number of restaurants that now feature gluten-free options, making the transition easier.
  4. Thinking Beyond food: As you examine sources of gluten in your life, you’ll start to realize that going gluten-free requires more than dietary changes, and that you will need to think beyond food. Surprisingly, gluten can be found in certain cosmetic products, as well as several medications and over-the-counter supplements.  And don’t forget porous cutting boards that you’ve used for bread. Even the slightest gluten remnants can cause a flare-up for people with severe gluten-intolerance.
  5. Being Open-Minded: Going gluten-free may require you to give up your favorite snack or go-to weeknight meal. But now, more than ever, there are a variety of gluten-free options that are great substitutes for old favorites. Keep a good attitude and an open mind by giving your taste buds the opportunity to adjust to the new flavors of gluten-free flours and food.


The abundance of gluten-free products on the store shelves, and the increase in gluten-free living literature, makes choosing this alternate eating style more accessible and effortless than ever. The open discussion on gluten-free living has also made the public more aware of the diet’s requirements, so it’s easier to find menu options at your favorite restaurant, and friends and family are more likely to be aware of your dietary situation. If you are interested in exploring the benefits of a gluten-free diet, try these tips to jumpstart your change in diet. It might allow you to fully enjoy a meal for the first time in a long time—and that’s reason enough to find out if this diet is for you.