Worried one of your family members has a gluten-intolerance? Have you been told by your doctor that you have gluten sensitivity? Gluten intolerance or sensitivity is a celiac disease which is a serious autoimmune disorder where your immune system reacts to gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye, barley or any of their derivatives. The only treatment for this disorder is to follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. If you’re looking to buy gluten-free products these top tips will make your grocery shopping a little easier.
1. Read labels when you buy
When shopping for gluten-free foods, always read ingredient lists carefully to determine whether or not an item is gluten-free. Identifying rye, barley, oats, malt and brewer’s yeast is straightforward, however, certain foods also contain derivatives of wheat such as modified starch. Double-check the ingredients label on these items, ale, lager, breads, licorice, flavored coffees and teas, sauces, seasonings, soy sauce and more.
2. Check out for cross-contamination
A food might not contain gluten but it could have been harvested in a facility or processed in an equipment that has been in contact with gluten containing items. For example, oats are naturally gluten-free but often get contaminated when harvested near grains containing gluten or processed in same equipment. So, cross-contamination can easily occur in the food supply chain. When you buy gluten-free products from a health food store or grocery shop, do check how the items have been kept on aisles. Gluten-free products should not be kept in close contact or near products containing wheat, rye, barley or any of their derivatives; this helps to avoid cross-contamination.
3. Watch out for hidden fats and sugars in gluten-free products
When the gluten protein is removed from foods, something is added in its place to combat the loss of flavor and texture. Keep your eyes out for increased levels of sugar and fat in gluten-free foods. Limit these items to a minimum in your diet as excess of sugar and fat are not good for your health.
4. Experiment in the kitchen
Finding the right gluten-free products for your gluten-free diet is a matter of personal taste. Mix some of the naturally gluten-free fruits with gluten-free cacao products and raw maca to prepare healthy smoothies, soups and salad dressings; use raw cacao butter for baking mixes; use raw cacao nibs for snacking; and raw drinking chocolate for boosting energy. All these naturally grown products can be included in your strict gluten-free diet.
Gluten-free products, truly organic and whole foods have received a great deal of media attention lately, along with a massive expansion of product availability. Today, you can easily buy gluten-free products online in Malaysia or in health food stores near your area. The prospect of following a strict gluten-free diet may seem daunting at first to some people, but armed with the right knowledge about reading labels of gluten-free products, cross-contamination problem and other handy tips, the gluten-free diet can be relatively easy to adapt to.