Whether you have to eliminate gluten from your diet because you medically need to, or simply want to try it out, going gluten free is not as easy as picking up the items marked as gluten free in your grocery store. Here are some key tips to consider and implement to make the process easier.
There are many packaged products out there for things typically containing gluten. This includes cookies, pasta, granola bars, and even bread. However, you should not rely on these packaged goods if you are going gluten free, especially if you want to manage your weight effectively. This is because companies replace gluten with other ingredients and preservatives that can actually make you gain weight. Not too mention, you might be missing out on nutrients if you rely on these products exclusively. They are a good addition to your diet, so long as it’s in moderation (how else will you have spaghetti).
Whether you are in a restaurant or talking to a registered dietician, make sure you ask questions when you are going gluten free! There may be gluten free substitutions on the menu at your favourite restaurant. You may also wish to ask about their cooking methods—this is not so much a concern if you are going gluten free because you want to, but cooking gluten free options alongside traces of gluten can cause an issue if you are actually allergic to it.
Meal planning is a good idea even if you do not have any dietary restrictions, but when you do—such as if you need to go gluten free—it becomes all the more important. It will help during the transition, and help you keep track of what you are able to eat so you make fewer mistakes and do not run out of ideas.