Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s often used to thicken food or make it chewy. Gluten can also be found in other foods like soy sauce, salad dressing, and ice cream. Some people have an intolerance to gluten which causes their immune system to attack the lining of their small intestine when they ingest gluten-containing food products. The effects of this are inflammation, swelling, abdominal pain, and diarrhea that can last for up to two weeks after ingestion. This condition is called celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
Here are 10 tips for living without gluten:
- Read food labels carefully – if the label says “wheat” or “barley” there is likely going to be traces of gluten in the product.
- Read the labels of every food item before buying them – even if they’re labeled “gluten-free,” there may still be traces of gluten.
- Check your ingredients list carefully and avoid anything containing wheat, rye, barley, or any other grain containing gluten.
- Limit processed foods – these often have hidden sources of gluten
- Always read the label on medications to make sure it’s safe for someone who is avoiding gluten
- Don’t forget about cross-contamination risks when preparing food at home
- Be careful when eating out at restaurants that serve any type of food because the chef could have used flour with gluten in it.
- If you have a craving for bread, try rice cakes instead of whole grain breads or muffins.
- Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy snacks that don’t contain wheat or dairy products.
- Find recipes that don’t use flour as an ingredient.