Going gluten-free as a result of Celiac Disease can be relieving of the digestive symptoms but bring about a whole new burden. The proteins contained within wheat, barley, rye are prevalent in food sources around the world. It can be tempting to focus on everything that you cannot have but that can lead to feeling confined by disease and diet. Rather, try to shift that focus to what you can have in an attempt to keep an attitude of gratitude with your gluten-free diet.
Luckily gluten-free has become trendy and as a result, many grocery stores have labeled tags of gluten-free items or have created shopping guides. Additionally, restaurants have begun to indicate on the menu what food is gluten-free, are aware of cross-contamination issues, and/or are willing to make substitutions.
The gluten-free labeling law that went into effect in 2014 requires that all foods with a gluten-free label contain less than 20parts per million of gluten. Independent researchers have recently tested gluten-free items and found that only 95-99% of the products contain less than 20 parts per million. (1)
Steering away from processed foods by keeping the focus on whole food can yield a more nutritious diet that can lessen inflammation and also ensure less risk for hidden ingredients. Diets rich in betaine (found in beets, raw mushrooms, and spinach) and choline (found in eggs, soybeans, and broccoli) lowered inflammatory biomarkers by 20%. (2)
Amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, teff, and rice are a variety of delicious whole grains which are equally nutritious to wheat and can provide a great addition to a healthy diet. In regard to rice, look for quick-cooking rice, instant rice, sushi rice, and basmati rice from India, Pakistan, or California. Also, reduce arsenic in rice by boiling with extra water like pasta and draining the excess after. (3)
There are many books and websites that contain a plethora of information about gluten-free eating. The Gluten Intolerance Group and the Celiac Disease Foundation are two great resources to start with for finding guidance regarding label reading and food prep.