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Going Gluten-Free

By Luci Phillips-Fardo

Going gluten-free has become quite popular in recent years, and for good reason. Many people have discovered that they feel better and have more energy when they eliminate gluten from their diet. But what exactly is gluten, and why do some people need to avoid it?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is what gives bread its chewy texture and helps it rise. For most people, gluten is not a problem. However, for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause a range of health problems, from digestive issues to headaches and fatigue.

If you are considering a gluten-free diet, it is important to do it in a healthy way. Here are some tips for following a gluten-free diet that will support your fitness goals:

1. Focus on whole foods

When you eliminate gluten, it can be tempting to rely on processed gluten-free products like bread, pasta, and crackers. While these products can be convenient, they are often high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Instead, focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. These foods will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to support your fitness goals.

2. Choose gluten-free grains

Just because you are avoiding wheat, barley, and rye doesn't mean you can't enjoy grains. There are plenty of gluten-free grains to choose from, including quinoa, brown rice, millet, and buckwheat. These grains are high in fiber and other important nutrients, making them a great choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy diet.

3. Be mindful of hidden sources of gluten

Gluten can be found in unexpected places, like soy sauce, salad dressings, and even some supplements. When following a gluten-free diet, it is important to read labels carefully and be aware of hidden sources of gluten. If you are unsure whether a product contains gluten, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid it.

4. Consider working with a nutritionist

If you are new to a gluten-free diet, it can be helpful to work with a nutritionist who can help you develop a healthy, balanced eating plan. A nutritionist can also help you identify any nutrient deficiencies you may be at risk for and suggest supplements or other dietary changes to address them.

In conclusion, a gluten-free diet can be a healthy and effective way to support your fitness goals. By focusing on whole foods, choosing gluten-free grains, being mindful of hidden sources of gluten, and working with a nutritionist if necessary, you can ensure that your gluten-free diet supports your overall health and fitness.


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