It is estimated that nearly 1 in 133 Canadians suffers from celiac disease, the autoimmune affection that cannot be treated otherwise except by following a gluten-free diet, meaning no other cure or treatment to control or heal the symptoms has yet been discovered.
But it’s not just people diagnosed with celiac disease who decide to go gluten-free. People who suffer from various other diseases give up gluten, and reasons vary from individual to individual.
Sometimes it’s the doctors who recommend patients a gluten-free diet, and other times it is people themselves who make the decision. From aiding migraines, intestinal pains, vertigo, and skin conditions to relieving heart palpitations, bloating and constipation, it seems a gluten-free diet helps many people who do not have celiac, but other health issues, control their problems, probably even avoid experiencing them altogether.
If you are thinking of going on a gluten-free diet yourself for no medical reasons, or because of gluten intolerance, the following steps might help with transitioning efficiently. However, you should always consult your doctor or a dietitian before going on your own.
No diet is ever too hard to stick to
Self encouragement is always the first procedure of any diet, and a gluten-free diet is no exception. Many people who want to lose weight complain about a diet being “just too hard,” which only adds more stress and pressure to the process. Often times, this is just people having it hard to give up favorite, but unhealthy foods.
When starting a gluten-free diet, the first thing you should tell yourself is that necessary changes will bring about positive outcomes. And don’t forget that gluten-free doesn’t mean your food has to lack flavor or that you’ll never eat delicious desserts again. On the contrary, you’ll be eating desserts for sure, only in a healthier way.
Arrange periodic dietetic counseling
As in the case with every other diet or health issue, you will benefit more from a gluten-free living if you get knowledgeable advice and counseling from dietitians. The web is a great resource for finding relevant and many times high-quality information, but it should always come second to expert, one-on-one advice.
Especially if medically diagnosed with celiac disease you should visit a dietitian regularly because food contents change and, often times, there may be hidden sources of gluten in a product, which you need to identify and a dietitian can help here.
Moreover, those with celiac disease experience various degrees of sensitivity, so according to this, a doctor can prescribe a personalized gluten-free diet, which is also recommended to those who give up gluten for other reasons. A personalized diet always works better because each body is different and bodies respond differently to similar situations.
Always read every ingredient on a label
Among those with celiac disease, there are many for whom reading the list of ingredients on labels is already automatic, at least for people who’ve been treating the disorder for a long time.
Because for them a gluten free diet is for life, and because they know that even a small amount of gluten can damage the tissues, celiacs have developed a keen awareness to product labeling and towards understanding ingredients.
To make sure you don’t unintentionally ingest sources of gluten, develop the habit of reading labels and make sure that the food you’re buying has properly been labeled.