by Zemas Madhouse Foods
Jan 2014

Have you recently found out that you have an allergy to gluten? Perhaps you simply want to remove gluten from your diet because it may be causing you to gain unwanted weight and is producing other adverse effects. Transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle may sound easy at first, but in truth, it is much harder than most originally think.

Gluten is in so many different products – some that seem harmless – so you really have to pay attention to ingredients lists to make sure you aren’t consuming anything containing gluten. On top of that, it’s probably necessary for you to give up some of your favorite foods in order to support your new lifestyle.

Yes, transitioning into a new diet may be more difficult than you first thought. However, with some tips, you can make the transition as smooth as possible and make living a gluten-free lifestyle a success.

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Know what to look for.

Educating yourself is the best way to make the transition into a gluten-free lifestyle a success. It is important that you are aware of what products constitute as gluten. You will not be able to eat anything that contains wheat, barley, rye, or triticale. These are all grains that contain the gluten protein and cause adverse effects on your body, which is why you are giving up gluten products in the first place.

Know where to look.

Don’t just assume that gluten is only in food, or that it is very easy to determine what products contain this protein. Yes, there are some products that you will automatically know not to consume, such as bread, but don’t give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you already know and can easily identity other products that contain gluten. Food is sneaky - sometimes the things you least expect can be your worst enemy.

There are many things that do contain some type of derivative of gluten, and you may never even know it. Common places where this ingredient can be lurking include:

·         Beer

·         Croutons

·         Energy bars

·         Matzo

·         Marinades

·         Medications

·         Salad dressings

·         Lunch meat

·         Imitation seafood

·         Sauces

·         Gravies

 

 

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Always read the labels of all products that you buy to ensure that you are buying gluten-free. If you are unsure of the contents of a product, avoid buying it or do further research before you purchase it to make certain it is gluten-free. There are dozens of sites online that offer great resources to help you in determining what does, and does not, fit your lifestyle.

Cook for yourself.

Eating out at restaurants or even at other people’s houses is sometimes a challenge. You don’t want to put other people out because of your inability to consume gluten. Furthermore, restaurants cannot guarantee that the dishes they prepare you won’t contain gluten. The best way to play it safe is to prepare your own meals, this way you can avoid hassle and stress.

If you do have plans to eat out at a restaurant, do some research before you get there. Take a look at the menu and find out if you’ll be able to make substitutions. More and more restaurants are adapting their menus for those with gluten sensitivities.

Be Patient with Yourself.

Such a strict change in diet is difficult to adjust to. You may feel stressed out, or irritable because you have to give up certain foods that you love. Don’t assume that you are going to breeze through this transition with ease. Know that there will be hurdles and allow yourself some space so you can successfully jump over them. Being too hard on yourself only makes matters more difficult to deal with.

Remember - you are not just talking about a diet change, you are talking about an entire lifestyle change when make the decision to go gluten-free. With these tips, the transition will be as smooth and as painless as possible. It is going to take some effort, but you will be able to succeed.

Tara Heath is a freelance writer in Southern California. She enjoys eating healthy and clean foods. You can find more of her work at the blog on www.CandyConceptsInc.com.