How to manage a gluten allergy
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. It’s in a lot of common foods and drinks, including pasta, cereal, and beer. Gluten can also be in things like vitamins, cosmetics, and even certain medications.
Living with a gluten allergy can be very difficult. There are many foods and drinks with gluten in them that the average person takes for granted. Gluten is often used as an ingredient in processed foods because it acts like glue to help hold food together. When you have a gluten allergy, it means your body cannot process gluten properly, and having it in your system can cause terrible reactions.
Symptoms Of Gluten Allergy
The symptoms of gluten allergy include;
- Abdominal pain.
- Bloating or gas
- Brain fog, or trouble concentrating.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Joint pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Skin rash
Examples of foods that may contain gluten include:
- Canned soups
- Salad dressings
- Ice cream
- Candy bars
- Instant coffee
- Luncheon meats and processed or canned meats
- Mustard and ketchup
- Wheat and Wheat flour
- Graham flour
Here are some simple ways to live with a gluten allergy:
- Talk to your friends and family about your allergy.
This will help them understand what you can eat and drink when you go out or visit their homes. Always keep some snacks on hand just in case there are no gluten-free options available. If you are not sure if something has gluten in it or not, always ask the waiter or waitress before eating it.
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This can help you maintain a healthy diet while keeping away from foods that contain gluten. You can also buy frozen fruits and vegetables to keep at home if you do not have access to fresh ones often enough.
- Remember cross-contamination
A dish might not contain gluten, but it may have been prepared with equipment or utensils that were used to prepare a meal that does contain gluten. Let your server know about this concern if you have a gluten allergy so they can prepare your meal in a safe area of the kitchen.
- Order simple meals when eating out
Steer clear of complex dishes and sauces when you dine out with a food allergy. Ask for your meal to be served without sauce or ask what ingredients are included in the sauce so you can avoid any that might cause an allergic reaction.
- Choose gluten-free grains
Wheat, barley, and rye are popular gluten-containing grains. However, there are plenty of gluten-free grain alternatives. Examples of gluten-free grains include; quinoa, brown rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, oats
- Avoid gluten-containing beverages
Beer is a common source of gluten because it’s produced by fermenting gluten-containing grains like wheat or barley. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, choose distilled liquors like vodka or gin. Wine is also typically gluten-free, though some wine coolers may contain malt barley, a gluten-containing grain. Most non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee, tea, and sparkling water products are gluten-free. Nonetheless, some drinks like smoothies or milkshakes may contain gluten, so check the label.
- Nut and Seed
Nuts and seeds are naturally gluten-free and are great sources of zinc, calcium, and fiber, all of which are nutrients that gluten-free diets may lack.
Nuts and seeds to add to your diet include almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
Most people can eat gluten without any side effects. However, certain individuals, including those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, need to avoid it, as it can cause harmful symptoms. Along with carefully reading nutrition labels, you can also eliminate gluten from your diet by eating more whole foods, increasing your intake of gluten-free grains, and cooking more meals at home