4 Ways to Reduce Your Gluten Intake

By Amy Krasner

Zucchini vegan noodles with fresh pesto and lemon
Amy Krasner

Gluten can be found hiding in many common foods in the Standard American Diet. While you might not have a gluten allergy, known as Celiac Disease, it is possible that you have a nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). This condition, NCGS, is often overlooked as a potential root cause for conditions such as inflammation, IBS, joint pain, multiple sclerosis, eczema, and fatigue.

What Is Gluten?

In case you are new to learning about gluten-containing foods, a good place to start is by understanding what gluten is and where it is commonly found. Gluten is a protein molecule that is found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and semolina. Unless otherwise specified, oats are also considered a gluten-containing ingredient because it is usually processed on the same machinery as gluten-containing cereal and grains.

The truth is that most products that contain gluten are some form of a processed food. Think about it: bread, pasta, crackers, cereal, cookies, and cakes are typically made up of some type of processed flour and sugar combination. If your goal is to eat a more nutritious diet for optimal health, then you could benefit from at least reducing your processed carbohydrate intake, which would also reduce your gluten intake. Keep in mind that there are some places that you might not expect to find gluten such as in sauces, soups, and some dips.

Contrary to what some mainstream nutritionists and dieticians might say, there is no risk to removing gluten from your diet. So why not try it?

Here are four ways to cut back on your gluten intake this year.

1. Ask for a Gluten-Free Menu at Restaurants

Most restaurants nowadays have a gluten-free menu or at least a few items on their regular menu that are marked as “gluten-free” (it will have a *GF symbol). The gluten-free menu is usually very similar to the regular menu except there are modifications for the ingredients that contain gluten. If you ask for a gluten-free menu, the work has already been done for you and you don’t have to worry about asking the waiter for substitutions when you order. Asking for a gluten-free menu takes the guess work out of the process at restaurants.

2. Focus on Increasing Your Vegetable Intake

I like to call this the “crowding out” method. When you add more nutrient-rich foods like vegetables to your diet, …read more

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