Health benefits of a Gluten-free diet

“Gluten free” …is one of the world’s fastest growing nutritional movements in the world today.

Let us use the term “lifestyle” instead of “diet” because living gluten-free is a lifestyle change you will love to make once you understand what damage it does to your body.glutenfree

What is “Gluten”?

Gluten is a naturally occurring protein found in wheat,rye,barley etc. Oats generally have no gluten but are mostly contaminated with gluten. Gluten is what gives elasticity to the wheat dough. Foods that are “wheat-free” are not necessarily “gluten-free”. We are going to use the term wheat-free and gluten-free interchangeably .

Wheat….is the culprit to many health problems !

Once upon a time an obese body with a well rounded stomach was considered a sign of a happy,wealthy and successful heritage…the domain of the privileged… but not any more. Today it definitely is the mark of an unhealthy,aging and sedentary lifestyle.

It is all in your head…Wheat is my staple food…How can I give it up?

I have heard this a lot from people. I don’t blame them. I grew up in India and without “Roti” or “Chapatti” there is no meal. It was filling and tasted amazing .There were no known wheat or gluten allergies then.chapati-489254__180 Wheat was practically everything. It dominated our diets ,so to say our lifestyle. Wheat is and always was the most consumed grain on earth. Wheat was grown more than ten thousand years ago and harvested by hand from different regions of wild fields. I remember the wheat flour that came into our home was freshly ground wheat grains that had a very rich,subtle and complex flavor. Today’s modern industrial wheat tastes more like a cardboard…




What happened to our wheat?

Geneticists got hold of it and our poor wheat is now a product of breeding experiments ,nitrate fertilization primarily to generate greater yield. Different varieties of wheat are now produced in the laboratories through cross-breeding of wheats and grasses thereby creating different strains of wheat. I am a big critic of genetic modification of plants because I think the potential health problems that our century faces today is mainly because of genetically modified crops.

But… I love “Wheat” !

I love wheat too.. I have no sensitivity to gluten and by no means have celiac disease( a disease where you are hypersensitive to gluten which causes difficulty in digesting food) ..but to go on a gluten-free diet I had to give up wheat. I know it is not easy. It is not just gluten you are giving up..you are getting rid of one or all of the symptoms caused by wheat.

When on a diet rich in wheat you could be experiencing one of the below..tiredbody

  • headaches
  • digestive issues
  • joint pain
  • extreme to mild fatigue
  • weight gain
  • depression
  • Skin condition

It has been proven that a gluten-free diet has helped improve behaviors of people with

  • Autism
  • Schizophrenia
  • ADD/ADHD

Almost everything about how you look and feel is directly related to the food you eat. My personal experience going gluten-free has been worth it. It has been almost 2 years since I started my gluten-free lifestyle and I have more energy than ever. My GI tract thanks me each day. My weight is in control and I feel great emotionally. I would highly suggest everybody who is reading this post to go on a Two-week Wheat-free challenge and please do comment below on how you felt before and after.

What not-to-eat during this two-week challenge !

  • Bagels
  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • Roti/Naan
  • cookies
  • crackers
  • donuts
  • pizza
  • pasta
  • frozen meals

What do I eat during this two-week wheat free/gluten free challenge?



Here is what we are going to do …There is a reason I put a two-week challenge and not a one-week…The first week I want you to slowly get rid of this ubiquitous food from your lifestyle. You don’t have to worry about a sudden transformation and panic about changing the contents in your pantry and the refrigerator. Do focus on the word “slow” in transforming your eating habits. This way there will be no withdrawal symptoms or any insatiable cravings.

Day 1: Check your weight and chart it down. Write down any of the symptoms listed above that you are currently experiencing including your sleep pattern. Eliminate wheat from one of your meals.

Day 2: Eliminate wheat from 2 meals and so on….

Find suitable replacement to fill the gap because you are easily going to consume 300-400 fewer calories per day. Here are a few options that I would suggest that helped me have a balanced meal that was wheat-free/gluten-freeveges

  1. Bake with rice flour and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  2. Use Rice wraps or make Dosa (Gluten-free Indian pancakes)
  3. Rice cakes, Idli (Indian rice cake )
  4. Tapioca noodles
  5. White rice/brown rice
  6. Lentils
  7. Legumes
  8. Quinoa
  9. Millet
  10. Amaranth

Fill the gap left by wheat with real food like the list above and also include vegetables,eggs,nuts,meat,avocados.

Let us together banish wheat from our life and embrace gluten-free lifestyle.

Cheers !

 

4 Comments

    • Meera, I suggest don’t go 100% gluten free if you don’t want to..follow gluten-free diet 90% of the time ! I know it is difficult especially when we travel, sandwiches are available everywhere ! If you are eating roti or bread eat it for lunch and avoid gluten for dinner.

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