Creating a Gluten-Free Diet: What You Need to Know

Eliminating gluten from your diet is a major decision that requires careful consideration. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains, and a gluten-free diet means consuming only whole foods that are gluten-free, such as fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs, as well as processed gluten-free foods. It is essential to be aware of cross-contact, which happens when foods or products containing gluten come into contact with gluten-free foods. Additionally, the FDA's gluten-free labeling regulation states that foods with the terms “gluten-free”, “gluten-free”, “gluten-free” or “gluten-free” on the label must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

When transitioning to a gluten-free diet, it is important to be aware of potential side effects. Some people may experience dizziness, nausea, extreme hunger, anxiety and depression when they suddenly go from eating a lot of gluten to not eating. Furthermore, packaged gluten-free foods tend to be more expensive than the same foods that contain gluten, and restaurants may charge more for gluten-free types of foods. Additionally, some gluten-free packaged foods may be higher in fat and sugar than the same foods that contain gluten. It is important to understand the differences between a regular diet and a gluten-free diet.

People with celiac disease cannot tolerate any form of gluten and must follow a strict gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives. Following a gluten-free diet can alleviate the symptoms of celiac disease and heal damage to the small intestine. There is also an urgent need to develop nutritionally complete and economical gluten-free products.