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Is a Gluten-Free Lifestyle Right for You?
Considering a gluten-free lifestyle? Learn all about gluten, its effects, and discover expert tips to successfully navigate gluten-free living.
Chances are, you've come across the term "gluten-free" on recipe videos, food labels, or even restaurant menus. Maybe you know someone who has embraced a gluten-free diet or is contemplating it. But what exactly is gluten? Why are so many people avoiding it? Should you too? Read on for everything you need to know about a gluten-free lifestyle.
Understanding Gluten and Gluten Intolerance
Gluten is a group of proteins commonly found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It serves various purposes, from adding protein and flavour to binding processed foods.
But is gluten inherently bad for everyone? Not necessarily. For individuals with celiac disease, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine and can affect other body parts. Some people also suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, experiencing similar symptoms without the immune system involvement. According to experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are quite prevalent, affecting nearly 8 million people in India. For these individuals, adopting a gluten-free diet is essential to avoid discomfort and potential long-term health problems.
In simpler terms, if you frequently experience issues like cramps, bloating, or diarrhoea after consuming regular wheat-based foods such as rotis or bread, it is advisable to seek professional advice. These symptoms may be linked to gluten.
Once you've consulted with a healthcare provider and confirmed any gluten-related issues, here are some tips to manage your dietary needs effectively.
Tips for a Successful Gluten-Free Lifestyle
- Read Labels Thoroughly: Gluten can hide in unexpected products like sauces, soups, and pastes. Always scrutinize products for gluten-free certifications
- Scratch-Cook: Preparing your meals and snacks from scratch gives you complete control over ingredients, making it easier to avoid gluten
- Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with gluten-free alternatives and recipes, like Aashirvaad Chakki’s 100% Millet Flour for your rotis
- Communicate with Restaurants: Inform restaurant staff about your dietary requirements when dining out
- Discover Trusted Brands: Identifying reliable gluten-free brands and products, such as Aashirvaad Chakki’s Gluten-Free Flour, can simplify your journey. It is made from traditional Indian grains like ragi, corn, jowar, and rice, and is an excellent alternative to wheat flour, allowing you to enjoy your favourite dishes with no compromise.