Gluten-free meaning

The term gluten-free means eliminating foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This dietary approach is crucial for managing celiac disease, an autoimmune condition where gluten triggers intestinal damage. It can also provide relief for those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity who experience digestive discomfort after consuming gluten. Keep reading to learn more about a gluten-free diet.

Foods to Include in a Gluten-free Diet 

There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods you can consume while following a gluten-free diet, ensuring you don't miss out on essential nutrients.

1. Gluten-free Grains

It includes grains like oats, jowar, kodo millet, ragi (finger millet), bajra (pearl millet), multigrain flour, and other grains that exclude wheat, barley, and rye.

2. Gluten-free Flours

They include alternative flours like buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta), water chestnut flour (singhara atta), amaranth flour, etc. These flours add unique textures and flavours to your gluten-free dishes.

3. Nuts and Seeds

Power up your diet with a variety of nuts and seeds that are naturally gluten-free. Almonds, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. are excellent sources of healthy fats, protein, and fibre.

Who Should Eat a Gluten-free Diet?

There are three main reasons why someone might follow a gluten-free diet:

Celiac Disease: This is an autoimmune disorder where the body mistakenly attacks the small intestine after consuming gluten. This reaction damages the gut, leading to symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, fatigue, and weight loss. 

Wheat Allergy: A wheat allergy means the body's immune system overreacts to wheat proteins, including gluten. Symptoms can range from hives and itching to swelling and even trouble breathing in severe cases.

Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity: While not a full-blown allergy or autoimmune disease, consuming gluten can cause digestive issues like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea for some people. 

The Takeaway

A gluten-free diet excludes foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It's crucial for managing celiac disease, wheat allergy, or gluten sensitivity. However, there are many gluten-free options available like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, certain gluten-free grains, and much more. 

Explore mindful eating products at Amala Earth including a range of gluten-free foods. Get ready to enjoy a healthy and delicious gluten-free journey today.

FAQs on Gluten-free Diet

What exactly does gluten-free mean?

Gluten-free means excluding foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Most people digest gluten without issues. However, for individuals with certain medical conditions, consuming gluten can trigger negative health effects.

What is gluten and why avoid it?

Gluten acts like a glue in grains like wheat, barley, and rye, giving them their texture. It's harmless for many, but for those with celiac disease, wheat allergy, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the body reacts negatively to gluten. This reaction can lead to digestive problems like bloating and diarrhoea, or even fatigue, weight loss, and skin issues.

Why do people go gluten-free?

There are three main reasons for going gluten-free: celiac disease, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity While some choose gluten-free for perceived health benefits or trends, the primary reason remains managing medical conditions.

What do gluten-free people eat?

Gluten-free people eat gluten alternatives like naturally gluten-free grains (oats, millets), fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, meat/fish/eggs, etc. Remember to check labels for hidden gluten and choose certified gluten-free whenever possible.