Gluten is a protein found in several types of grain. Barley, wheat, and rye are a few of the grains that contain gluten. Some people have celiac disease, a condition where ingesting gluten causes an immune response. This response damages the intestines and makes it harder for nutrients to be absorbed properly. People with celiac have to be careful what grains they eat to avoid ingesting gluten. Gluten-free diets have become more popular lately, partially because more people are being diagnosed with celiac, but also because some people believe it offers health benefits. Whatever your reason for cutting gluten out of your diet, here are some tips for following a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free Versions of Foods

You don’t have to completely cut grains out of your life to avoid gluten. There are several grains that don’t contain gluten. These grains are used as a substitute for the grains that do contain gluten. Rice flour, amaranth flour, or a similar flour is used instead of wheat flour to create gluten-free bread. Rice and corn can be used to create noodles. There are even gluten-free beers. Gluten-free foods will taste different than foods with gluten in them because they use different grains. Try to keep an open mind about the difference. You may find you like the taste of gluten-free food.

Gluten-free Ingredients

If you like to make your own food, you can find gluten-free substitutes for most ingredients. Amaranth flour can be used instead of wheat flour. It has a bit of a peppery taste, which can lead to interesting results. Instead of using graham crackers for a pie crust, get creative and find something else. The sky is the limit in this case.

Changing What You Eat

If you find you don’t like the taste of gluten-free food, you can just cut grain-based products out of your diet. Instead of eating cereal for breakfast, have an omelet. Eat rice or corn instead of pasta. Take the ingredients you would’ve put on a sandwich and make a salad with them. Have fruit as a sweet treat instead of cookies or cake.

Living gluten-free can seem like a difficult task, but it really isn’t. Hit up a health food store for gluten-free versions of your favorite food, grab a bowl of strawberries instead of a plate of cookies, and make sure you have some  amaranth flour in your cupboards. You just have to think about what you’re eating and keeping gluten out of your diet is simple.

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