What exactly is a Gluten Intolerance Diet? It is gluten free eating for 60 to 90 days to see if you have a problem with Gluten Sensitivity so that you can decide if your health improves.
Gluten is a protein that is present in many grains common to western countries. For more information, start from the main Gluten Sensitivity page and follow the arrows at the bottom of the text to keep reading.
In short, many people are gluten intolerant and a gluten intolerance diet is the best way to determine if you have a gluten sensitivity. There are other ways, see Diagnosing Gluten Allergy, but they are not as good as just trying out gluten free eating for 60 to 90 days.
Foods with gluten are very prevalent in western countries with Asian countries and more primitive cultures having much fewer foods with gluten.
You should avoid these foods on the Gluten Intolerance Diet:
Hidden gluten is EVERYWHERE. If you are going to try a gluten intolerance diet or do gluten free eating for the rest of your life, youMUST BE VIGILANT about hidden gluten or all of your efforts will be in vain. Make sure that you read the Hidden Gluten page before attempting The Gluten Intolerance Diet.
The best strategy for gluten free eating is to follow the guidelines in The Healthy Urban Kitchen, an amazingly healthy way to eat that goes back to 'traditional' eating.
There are very few gluten free diet books that provides a SENSIBLE and HEALTHY approach to gluten free eating. Most other gluten free eating books simply focus on replacing gluten grains with poor quality refined gluten free grains. That is NOT a plan to help you to get better in the long run.
1) Write down every symptom that you are experiencing at this point in time - place each one on a separate line. Don’t worry about deciding whether it is related to gluten sensitivity or not. You may THINK that your chronic neck aches are from the whiplash injury you got in a car accident, but write it down anyway.
Think about: aches and pains, gastrointestinal problems, digestion, emotional state, energy level, sexual desire, skin luster, eyesight, concentration – anything and everything that bothers you.
2) Put a column at the top marked BEFORE. In that column, rate each symptom 1 to 10 for how much it bothers you or interferes with your life.
A ONE means that you hardly even think about it.
A TEN means that it is disabling or nearly so.
3) Put this list in a safe place. You will refer to it again in a few weeks.
4) Print out the Gluten Free Shopping List and find some gluten free recipes on line and pick out a few that you would like to try.
5) Each week, plan ahead for breakfast, lunches to take to work and dinners for the next 4 to 5 days. The EASIEST way to stay gluten free is to not buy processed or packaged foods! Simple, fresh meals are the way to go.
A piece of lean meat, steamed vegetables and a side of brown rice with a piece of fruit for dessert is easy, quick, fresh, healthy and gluten free.
6) Read any and all labels for HIDDEN GLUTEN. But the best way to avoid hidden gluten is to NOT buy things that have labels in the first place. Meat, rice, fruits and vegetables don’t have labels. You can’t go wrong.
7) AVOID JUNK FOODS AND SUGAR FILLED FOODS. Sure, sodas and Coffee are gluten free, but these should also be eliminated from your diet as well – eliminate them slowly so that you don’t get withdrawal symptoms from the caffeine.
8) After 60 to 90 days, go back to your symptom list. Make a column marked DURING, and rate your symptoms again. Note whether your symptoms have improved, worsened or stayed the same. Save the list for after your challenge.
9) The Gluten Challenge: Now, you can go back to eating your normal foods with gluten for 2 days. Have anything you want, but it's better to stay away from caffeinated and sugary foods because these can also be the cause of worsening symptoms.
You want to ISOLATE whether you have a gluten sensitivity problem and not a sugar or caffeine problem.
10) After 2 days of eating foods with gluten, go back to your list, put a column marked CHALLENGE and rate your symptoms again.
Determine whether you have a gluten allergy by comparing your before, during and challenge symptoms.
A) IF YOUR SYMPTOMS WENT AWAY during The Gluten Intolerance Diet, but returned during the challenge, then you have gluten sensitivity and its likely that you should avoid gluten for 6 months to a year.
Gluten intolerance can decrease if gluten is eliminated for long periods of time. The damaged intestine can heal and it may not be necessary to eliminate all gluten forever.
Retest yourself every 6 months to 1 year to see if you still need to remain gluten free. Most likely you will always be sensitive to gluten, but you may not need to remain completely gluten free forever. Although, some people will. Let your symptoms guide you.
B) IF YOU FELT NO DIFFERENCE, it's likely you do not have gluten sensitivity and you can continue to eat gluten - unless you accidentally had Hidden Gluten in your diet throughout The Gluten Intolerance diet period.
If you think that is the case, go back and read the Hidden Gluten page again and repeat the gluten free eating period.
C) IF YOU WERE UNABLE TO STAY on the gluten intolerance diet no matter how hard you tried, then you most likely have moderate to severe gluten sensitivity and you are addicted to gluten as explained in the gluten sensitivity page. This is VERY common for those who truly do have gluten sensitivity. It is imperative that you stop eating gluten immediately.
Those who have the hardest time not eating gluten are the ones who need to stop eating it as much as possible. Most likely it is severely damaging your intestines and many of your problems may be directly related to eating gluten.
Try again, but this time enlist the help of family and friends or a gluten support group such as those you can find on:
D) If you are not sure either way, you may want to try another 60 to 90 days of gluten free eating and try again.
Do you have a question about the Gluten Intolerance Diet? Or any question about Gluten Sensitivity? Ask it here.
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