If you’re researching information online about gluten free diets and celiac disease, then be sure to read this article about the potentially harmful effects of one of the most wholesome and basic foods on the planet — wheat.
Wheat is a staple food all over the world, breads of different descriptions, pasta and noodles are all made from wheat and can make up a large part of our daily diets. For a lot of us, however, we often discover that wheat is the cause of much of our health miseries, ranging from celiac disease where sufferers are unable to eat gluten, which is found in many other grains as well as wheat, to a range of symptoms that are not life threatening but can still interfere with our general health and wellbeing.
Whilst a true allergy to wheat is quite rare the affects can be very serious with coughing, eczema, asthma, breathing difficulties and vomiting amongst immediate symptoms. Thankfully, most people suffer from a less serious intolerance to wheat. Intolerance to wheat can make life miserable for sufferers, with side effects such as sinusitis, headaches, skin rashes, hay fever type symptoms, digestive problems, bloating, tiredness and constipation. Eliminating wheat from our diets will see a rapid improvement in these symptoms, but navigating a food world without wheat takes some skill and practice.
Changing Your Eating Habits
If you are used to having toast or bagel for breakfast, grabbing a sandwich at lunch and popping out for pizza or pasta for your evening meal then you are going to have to seriously rethink your diet. Likewise, those who love to bake cakes and cookies at home will have to investigate all the different options available to them to replace their regular flour with wheat-free versions.
Here are some examples of wheat-free flour alternatives, please note that they will not taste exactly the same, nor will they have the same consistency and texture, you will need to experiment to find the products that best suit your needs and personal taste buds.
Alternatives for wheat flour include:
Garbanzo (chick-pea) Flour
Potato Starch & Potato Flour
Corn Flour & Corn Starch
Rye Flour (not suitable for those on a gluten free diet)
Barley Flour (not suitable for those on a gluten free diet)
For those of us who don’t tend to do much home cooking and baking then thankfully there are many alternative foods that are wheat-free, along with fairly easy ways to change your eating habits. Some simple ideas include choosing breakfast cereals that are rice or oat based instead of wheat, having sandwich fillings or pasta sauces on a baked potato or with fries, eating corn tortillas or nachos instead of bread (although check that the brand doesn’t contain wheat) with your soup.
Gluten-Free Food Products
Because of the increase of celiac disease there is now much better labelling on food stuffs, and there has also been a big rise in the amount of gluten-free foods available. Thankfully you don’t need to be a celiac to take advantage of these products and if you have a wheat intolerance then you will find them most helpful in your quest to become wheat-free. Scouring the internet for gluten-free recipes will also provide you with a host of delicious recipes and cookery ideas along with ways to replace your regular wheat products with non-wheat products.