Going gluten-free might be a fad for some people, but for those with Celiac disease, it is a means to a better quality of life.
For Celiacs, a gluten-free diet can be the difference between a fun day out or an awfully sick day at home.
When a person has Celiac disease, gluten does not react well with the digestive system. It causes stomach pain, nausea, headaches, and severe skin rashes.
Celiac disease is genetic, so if someone in your family has had it, you are likely to have it as well.
Symptoms of Celiac disease don’t always pop up right away. They can occur in children or not present themselves until later in adulthood.
Finding out you need to go gluten-free might seem scary at first, but it isn’t always a bad thing.
The five secrets below prove that a gluten-free diet for Celiacs is good for their health, doesn’t have to be inconvenient and won’t cause them to miss out on much.
- You don’t have to give up all the flavors you love
Sure, you can no longer enjoy Italian bread or wheat-based pasta, but you can still satisfy your cravings with gluten-free alternatives to all of your favorite foods.
Baking, in particular, can be difficult for Celiacs because so many baked goods rely on wheat flour. The usual all-purpose flour is a big no-no for those on a gluten-free diet.
Thankfully, you can make your favorite cookies or cakes with gluten-free alternatives, like almond or tapioca flour.
Many other gluten-packed foods can be replaced with remarkably similar products.
You can easily substitute rice or corn noodles for semolina pasta, or fall in love with quinoa rather than gluten-filled couscous.
Don’t settle for boring foods when there are still so many products that taste like all your favorite items. Keep an open mind and try new products when you have a dietary restriction.
- You can still drink alcohol
Many Celiacs think that their diagnosis is basically an alcohol-free death sentence. It is not!
It might take a little more searching to find a gluten-free drink, but many options are available to satisfy Celiacs if they’re willing to look.
Plain liquors like rum and most vodkas are typically made without any wheat products. To be safe it is always smart to read labels to make sure the brand you choose is truly gluten-free.
It is important to note that the labels ‘gluten-free’ and ‘gluten-removed’ on alcoholic beverages do not mean the same thing. Gluten-removed still contains gluten, just less of it.
Wine is another great alcohol that typically doesn’t contain gluten. As long as it is 100% made with grapes, Celiacs can enjoy a glass with dinner or with friends. It is advisable to check with the concerned winery to make sure that the wine has never come in contact with gluten.
Alcohol is one thing that Celiacs do not have to give up for good.
- Eating gluten-free can prevent other health issues
Although it isn’t always the best option for non-Celiacs to follow a gluten-free diet, doing it the right way has many added benefits.
Many food products that contain gluten are also high in sugar and fat. When people eat gluten-packed foods, they are also causing their blood sugar level to spike, which is not healthy.
By avoiding foods that are high in gluten, one is also avoiding more sugars and fats which improves energy and can help with weight loss.
Without eating foods with gluten, people are actually more motivated to make healthier decisions. Vegetables and fruits are always a safe gluten-free choice, as are nut mixes and beans.
Dietary restrictions can be challenging, but there are so many healthier ways to eat if you are gluten-free. Even if you do not have Celiac disease, regulating your gluten intake does help you live a healthy lifestyle.
- You can supplement lost nutrients with other health foods
While going gluten-free does help Celiacs avoid some harmful additives, there are other nutrients and vitamins that are harder to obtain without gluten-containing products.
Having Celiac disease can often be associated with vitamin deficiencies when the diet is not adequately supplemented. Wheat flour is high in vitamins and minerals, so it is important to find other foods that contain the same benefits.
Luckily, there are many healthy options to turn to that ensure Celiacs get enough of the vitamins and minerals that they need.
Meat, fish, and potatoes are all great alternatives that are gluten-free and contain all the necessary nutrients.Fruits and vegetables make great snacks that the body craves, too.
Don’t be worried thinking that being gluten-free will have harmful effects on your health. Make good decisions about the alternative foods you can eat to keep your body happy.
- More gluten-free products are hitting the market
Celiac disease is common, and more diagnoses require more of a need for change. Companies are recognizing the necessity for gluten-free products and are creating more options for Celiacs.
Restaurants are likely to have gluten-free options, and some even have completely gluten-free menus from which Celiacs can order.
Supermarkets also tend to carry specially made gluten-free products that are safe for Celiacs to ingest.
It is always a good idea to read labels, however, to make sure the products that claim to be gluten-free won’t cause any symptoms. There are some gluten-free products that contain slight amounts of gluten, which could cause reactions in some patients.
Gluten-free pizza and pasta are available, so Celiacs can still splurge on their favorite carbs without the headaches or stomach pains.
Browsing supermarket aisles and looking closely at restaurant menus are great ways to find new gluten-free products. You might even find you like the substitutes better!
Don’t know if you have Celiac disease?
Many people in the United States are living with Celiac disease and don’t realize it. It can be dangerous to go on too long without a diagnosis, though. Severe damage to the small intestine could result from continuously eating gluten when you have Celiac disease.
If you have any of the symptoms of Celiac disease, it is a good idea to find out if you are likely to have it.
Tests like the imawareTM at-home test are a great way to check if you have Celiac disease. They are able to recognize specific biomarkers that could mean Celiac is present in your body.
Waiting too long could cause more health problems down the line. Take a simple test and talk to your doctor about whether your body needs a gluten-free diet.