Photo Credit: @9hornbills
You may think gluten free is only for those who have gluten allergies or celiac disease, a condition which causes intestinal damage when gluten is eaten. I've got news for you! A gluten free diet has many benefits you may not yet know about but once you finish reading this one, trust me you'll probably go gluten free as well.
What is a gluten free diet? In simple terms, gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. You see it most often in cereals, breads, and grains.
Here are top 10 benefits of eating a gluten free diet by Dr. Jeff Sanders:
Improves cholesterol levels
Promotes digestive health
Increases energy levels - This is the number one reason that I constantly experience and something you may call a "food coma". Eating heavy foods, such as pastas, sandwiches or anything with full carbs will definitely lower your energy levels.
Eliminates unhealthy and processed foods from your diet (oils, fried food, breads, and desserts to name a few)
More likely to eat fruits and vegetables because they are all gluten-free
Reduces your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes
Helps ward off viruses and germs as many foods you will now eat will contain more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Promotes healthy weight-loss
Improves health of people with irritable bowl syndrome and arthritis
Distinctly improves awareness of foods that can have an adverse effect on your health
If you do not suffer from eating gluten and you decide you want to try this gluten free lifestyle, keep in mind that you don't want to go overboard with the diet. Keep it safe and simple by allowing yourself a cheat meal every once in a while. Remember that it's also important to enjoy the goodies life brings forth so having a pizza or sushi every once in a while is perfectly fine and normal.
Here are some healthy alternatives:
Pasta → rice, buckwheat, millet or corn noodles
Semolina → polenta
Bulgur → rice
Couscous → quinoa
Wheat bran → gluten-free oat bran
Bread → gluten-free bread
Cereal → corn flakes
Granola → gluten-free granola mix
Ovaltine → cocoa
Alternatives to flour Chestnut flour, lupine flour, guar gum, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, banana flour, coconut flour, hemp flour, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, amaranth flour
Keep in mind! Having a gluten free diet should be done smartly. Do NOT risk cutting off all gluten without having something else to replace it. You always want to have an alternative instead of losing out on proteins that your body needs to function properly.