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Gluten-Free Diet Plan – Healthy Meals That are Free From Gluten

Food intolerances are an increasingly common health problem affecting the daily life and eating habits of many individuals and families. One of them is coeliac disease – its sufferers are unable to break down gluten, resulting in having to cut out wheat, rye, oats and barley from their diet.

Importance of Gluten-Free Food for Coeliacs

Following a gluten-free diet plan is absolutely crucial for those suffering from coeliac disease. This is due to the fact that when coeliacs eat food containing gluten, damage is done to the lining of the small intestine, which may result in a leaky gut. As identified by Hazel Courteney et al., a leaky gut involves food particles leaking through the intestinal wall, eventually causing other health problems.

However, it is thought that many people affected by coeliac disease are unaware that they have the condition, with a greater possibility of damaging the lining of the gut and minimal absorption of essential nutrients.

Choosing Healthy Meals Free From Gluten

In recent years, more supermarkets have chosen to stock free from gluten meals, specifically made for those suffering from gluten intolerance. However, it is important to be cautious when selecting gluten-free food products, as some may contain unhealthy amounts of sugar. Always take time to check the product labels in order to avoid ending up with unhealthy meals.

Courteney et al. recommend looking out for the gluten-free Orgran or Barkat range and suggest the following foods for those affected by this condition:

  • breads/flours from quinoa, buckwheat, corn, rice, lentils
  • milk from rice, oats, coconut, almonds
  • plenty of fish – helps provide vitamin D
  • free range, low fat meats – venison, pork, turkey with rice
  • avocado with seeds, leafy greens for healthy lunch
  • cabbage stews/soups – helps gut
  • fresh vegetable juices – packed with nutrients
  • papaya/pineapple for dessert or starter to aid digestion
  • cook with organic sunflower oil, sesame oil
  • try olive oil and walnut oil as salad dressing

When out shopping, try to opt for organic foods and products which are labelled low in fat as much as possible, in order to maintain a healthy diet. It is also well worth taking the time to notify restaurants before meals out and especially when booking hotels. These days, with coeliac disease becoming more well-known, most restaurants are happy to provide healthy gluten-free meals.

As highlighted above, finding gluten-free foods for those suffering from gluten intolerance is less taxing, with many supermarkets now providing a range of such foods. Before making significant changes to one's diet, it is important to speak to a nutritionist or doctor and always remember to check the sugar content of pre-prepared gluten-free meals.

Source:

Hazel Courteney et al. 500 of the Most Important Health Tips You'll Ever Need. London: Cico Books

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