Some food products that are sold are not often written "gluten-free" on the label. However, do you know what is meant by gluten? And, why should there be special foods labeled "gluten free"?
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in flour and several other types of wheat. Foods written "gluten free" are specifically for people who are intolerant of gluten. People who experience gluten intolerance will produce an abnormal immune response when the body's digestion of gluten.
The thing that is most often experienced by people who are intolerant of gluten is celiac disease, which is a negative reaction to the digestive system due to consuming gluten. Some of the symptoms that celiac sufferers will experience when consuming gluten include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, constipation, and anemia.
Researchers have also found another form of gluten intolerance, namely non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Usually, people who experience this will experience symptoms similar to celiac disease, such as diarrhea, fatigue, and joint pain. But they did not experience intestinal disorders after consuming gluten. This symptom can occur due to poor digestion.
What is meant by gluten-free?
A gluten-free or free diet is a diet where you only eat foods that don't contain gluten protein. The gluten-free diet aims to treat celiac disease and is useful for people who experience non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
How do you start a gluten-free diet?
Here are some tips for living gluten-free, especially for those of you who have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
1. Find out what foods contain gluten
Before you start living gluten free, you should know what foods contain gluten. You also need to ensure that the food you eat is not processed or mixed with grains, additives, or preservatives containing gluten.
Some gluten-containing foods that you often encounter everyday are bread, noodles, pasta, cake, crackers, biscuits, and all kinds of foods that use flour. Beer should also be avoided because this alcoholic drink is made from wheat (except the gluten-green version).
2. Choose an alternative to gluten free food
Some foods that are naturally gluten free are natural nuts (not yet processed), fresh eggs, fresh meat, vegetables and fruit, and most dairy products.
Some gluten-free grains and starches include spinach, buckwheat, corn and corn flour, gluten-free flour (rice, soybeans, corn, potatoes, beans), millet, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and tapioca.
Similarly, if you want to continue to consume cake, cakes, bread, noodles or pasta, you can replace flour with cornstarch, rice flour, or tapioca flour.
3. Note the label on food
Unfortunately, there is no way to instantly ascertain whether or not a food contains gluten. So, the only way to be sure is to read the label on the food you buy.
If you are in doubt, when you go to the supermarket, you can go to the fruits and vegetables that are naturally gluten free. Because usually, fast food is cooled, snacks, and cereals contain gluten. However, there are currently many supermarkets that have gluten-free products such as bread, biscuits, cereals, and frozen processed foods that are placed in the healthy food section. Or, you can ask supermarket staff to find out if they sell gluten-free food.
4. Don't be afraid to ask restaurant staff to make gluten-free food
If you eat at a restaurant, you need to ask the restaurant staff about the food you are ordering, whether it is gluten or gluten free. Or, you can request a list of gluten-free foods or you order specifically so that gluten contained in the food you ordered is removed.
Most chefs in restaurants are used to accepting requests for gluten-free food so they know what to do, including using separate cookware for gluten-free dishes, which are not mixed with foods that contain gluten.
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