It may seem daunting, but switching to a gluten free diet might be easier than you think.
Have you been recently diagnosed with coeliac disease and are switching to a gluten free diet but aren’t sure where to start? The good news is that you can easily introduce yourself to gluten-free foods and cooking without having to deal with untold amounts of jargon or stress. Let’s take a look at how you can do just that.
Understand what gluten free meals look like
A good place to start is with a little research. Whether you want to just dip your toes into the world of gluten-free foods to better understand a gluten-free diet for a member of your family, or make the switch entirely, you need to know what gluten-free actually looks like and entails.
In a nutshell, a gluten free diet looks very much like a typical healthy diet. Foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, lean meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables are the staples of a gluten free diet. With a little bit of adjustment, you can still be enjoying a super healthy Mediterranean Diet.
Of course, it is also important to understand what coeliac disease is. As you will see, coeliac disease is not the same as a food allergy or intolerance. Our Gluten Facts article emphasises that switching to a gluten free diet without medical guidance is not recommended as it is important to find the route cause of any digestive issues. What you think may be a gluten allergy and/or a symptom of coeliac disease could potentially be masking other health issues.
Invest in a few gluten-free cookbooks
It’s also a good idea to invest in a few gluten-free cookbooks such as the 30-minute gluten free cookbook featured opposite.
But you’ll find lots of other options to help spark ideas and inspiration when you are first learning. As you become more comfortable with the gluten free meals and choices, you can create your own recipes and little spins on popular dishes, but getting the basics mastered is a great place to start.
Start looking for gluten free menu options
It’s important to understand that gluten free doesn’t mean you can’t go out to eat and enjoy restaurants. In fact, you may discover some new favourite dishes that you hadn’t even been aware of.
Because gluten free meals have become so popular, many restaurants are now offering menu items to fit the diet. They are always labelled to make them easy to find, which means you can start to look for them on the menu at your favourite locations.
What if you’ve been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease?
For those who have been diagnosed with coeliac disease, switching to a gluten free diet straight away is essential. But we’ve got a great tip to get you started: you can actually try a free taster box from Glutafin simply by filling out an online form. This is ideal for those who are eligible to receive gluten free foods by prescription. At the time of writing, all gluten free prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but is variable according to the relevant CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) in England.