What started as a solution to a rarely diagnosed problem has become quite the craze! No, we’re not talking about barefoot running, juicing, going vegan, or yoga. It’s the gluten-free diet, which was once reserved as a treatment for those with celiac disease. We’ve talked about Celiac disease before, and learned about ways we can help, but now, we’re turning to the “g-free” diet itself. A typical prescribed g-free diet is high in protein, low in carbs, and recommends plenty of fruits and vegetables, so it’s easy to see why this might appeal to the increasingly health-conscious population, as well as men and women who are trying to lose weight. And it’s working: According to Nielsen, sales on gluten-free products increased 16 percent in 2010 alone! With as much as 10 percent of the population suffering from some degree of gluten intolerance, it’s no wonder this diet has caught on. Here are a few hard and fast facts about the diet and ways that you can stay healthy on it:
- Avoid food and drinks containing barley, rye and wheat (most breads, pastas, cereals, and beers)
- Watch out for condiments! Many brands of ketchup, mayo, mustard, and soy sauce can contain gluten
- It’s easy to become deficient in Vitamins B and D if you’re on a g-free diet, so be sure to take your supplements
- G-free eating can be beneficial even if you don’t have Celiac disease, but it is currently the only treatment if you do
If you’re interested in starting a new diet (g-free or otherwise), changing you lifestyle and eating habits can be a daunting task (really, who wants to give up cheese? Or bread?) and requires making many sacrifices. But now there’s no reason why G-free eating has to be a hardship, or a life-sentence to bland, unexciting foods, and a whole host of new cookbooks are proving just that.
One new cookbook, Deliciously G-Free by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, is all about making flavorful, fun food that just happens to be gluten free. She includes kid-friendly recipes, g-free versions of the comfort foods she grew up with, as well as celiac-friendly twists on several delectable desserts. She also dedicates an entire chapter to “Get Fit” g-free recipes. If you’re feeling adventurous (and a little hungry), try out her Pulled Pork recipe below:
Do you have any favorite gluten free recipes? Let us know in the comments!