Beyond Fitness: Your Gluten-Free Lifestyle – No doubt about it: maintaining an exercise regimen is important for your health. Going hand in hand with your exercise program is a healthy diet and for some people that means eliminating gluten, what is contained in wheat products. Indeed, if you have celiac disease, eliminating gluten is a must. For everyone else, maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle may provide benefits from simply feeling better to eliminating cramping related to our diets. Here’s what you should know about a gluten-free lifestyle.
Beyond Fitness: Your Gluten-Free Lifestyle
- It is a lifestyle, not a diet. How many times have we heard the term “diet” used to describe a weight loss program? Answer: as many times as such programs have been pushed. Going gluten-free is a lifestyle decision, one that may or may not result in weight loss. Don’t confuse the two — if you need to lose weight, additional measurements may need to be taken, including limiting your food intake altogether.
- Grains are good, except when they’re not. Wheat is the culprit for gluten, but it is often mixed in with other grains. Of course, read labels, but that may not do you as much good if you eat out. If you want grains, then consider quinoa, almond, and coconut, what contain high protein and are good for you.
- Check the labels. Did you know that foods that still have trace amount of gluten may be labeled as gluten free? The FDA allows use of the label for foods containing less than 20 ppm gluten. Even that higher number may be too much for some people, including those with celiac disease.
- Fresh foods are best. Packaged food contains who knows what? On the other hand, if you deal mostly with fresh foods, you’ll have better control over what you consume. Sure, preparing meals from fresh foods takes more time, but it is healthful. Fruits, vegetables, meats and anything else you can get that isn’t packaged will be better for you.
Still, going gluten-free isn’t for everyone and it isn’t a cheaper way to eat. Here’s what to keep in mind about making that shift:
- Your grocery bill may increase. Stores are carrying more gluten-free products than ever before as food companies meet the increased demand. On closer scrutiny you will find that such foods cost more than what you have been paying, so be prepared to budget accordingly.
- You may not get enough fiber. Grains supply fiber and if you’re not getting enough fiber to compensate, you may find your stomach begins to bother you. It is important to know where your sources of fiber come from. If you cut back on grains, then increase your dietary fiber by consuming more celery, squash, berries, broccoli, and oranges.
- Your meat intake may soar. Proponents of gluten-free or paleo diets eat more meat than the average person. But eating too much meat can give you more protein than you need and increase your risk of consuming the growth hormone IGF-1, which can lead to cancer cell growth. If you want more protein, then look for plant-based sources to supply it.
- Your mood may improve. If you suffer from gastronomic problems, a shift to a gluten-free diet will help you feel better. It should also improve your outlook on life, enabling you to have a more positive outlook on life. That’s a win-win result for eliminating gluten from your diet.
When starting any exercise regimen or making a change with your diet, it is important to discuss your thoughts with a physician. Your doctor may offer tips on how to go about your routine and provide a baseline moving forward to assist you notes Fitness 19.