The 3 most common gluten-free mistakes and how to avoid them

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Going gluten-free has become a major movement over the past decade.

That’s because more and more people have made the connection between the gluten found in breads, pastas, processed food and more and an array of distressing symptoms…

From cramps, bloating and diarrhea… to mental fog and concentration issues, autoimmune disorders and inflammation, eating foods with gluten in them can lead to a major health crisis for those who are sensitive to the protein.

If you’re like so many people (me included) who have decided to eliminate gluten, you’ve probably found out the hard way that completely ridding yourself of the nasty protein is extremely difficult. And by now you know that even small amounts of hidden gluten in your food (it’s used as an additive in everything from salad dressing to soy sauce) can leave you suffering.

That’s why we’ve put together the three most common gluten-free mistakes people make to help ensure that going gluten-free is easier than ever…

Gluten-Free Mistake #1 — Not reading labels

Thanks to the number of people now clamoring for gluten-free products, you can find them on the shelves of stores across the country, proudly sporting a gluten-free label.

But what about the rest of the food lining those shelves?

Well, the truth is that most of the food in the inner section of the grocery store is very poorly labeled, making it difficult to tell whether you’re putting yourself at risk of a gluten reaction if you eat it.

That means you have to become a careful reader of those labels to ensure you stay far away from the sneaky protein.

Things to look for on labels and avoid at all costs include:

  • Wheat, wheat starch or hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Malt vinegar
  • Oats (unless they say “Certified Gluten-Free”)
  • Barley
  • Miso
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Farina
  • Graham

And many, many more.

So do your research and play it safe.

Gluten-Free Mistake #2 — Eating out too often

When going gluten-free, the only true way to control the gluten in your food is to cook your meals at home. That way you can be sure all the ingredients are gluten-free.

Unfortunately, most of us find ourselves sitting in a restaurant booth far too often.

And that’s a problem, even if your restaurant of choice advertises a gluten-free menu. Often the so-called “gluten-free” food is contaminated with other sources of gluten. In fact, a study by researchers at Columbia University found that a whopping 33 percent of restaurant foods that make the gluten-free claim aren’t truly gluten-free.

The worst offenders? “Supposedly” gluten-free pizza and pastas. Researchers found a full 50 percent of them delivered a huge dose of gluten, mostly likely due to cross-contamination with gluten foods prepared in the same space.

To avoid these issues, really do your homework when it comes to restaurants. Choose restaurants that are certified by the Gluten-Free Intolerance Group or listed in the National Celiac Association Gluten-Free Restaurant Database. These are more likely to practice strict standards that prevent cross-contamination.

Gluten-Free Mistake #3 — Not being prepared

With all of the hidden sources of gluten in the foods around us, the biggest mistake those of us who are gluten-sensitive make is to not be prepared with ways to combat the small amounts of gluten we’re exposed to by accident.

That’s because there are supplements you can take either on a regular basis or when you think you might end up consuming gluten, such as when you eat out.

These supplements contain ingredients that can help your body better process and deal with gluten, including:

Glutalytic® — This potent enzyme is capable of breaking down 10mg of gluten per capsule before it enters your digestive tract and does harm.

OPTI-BIOME® Bacillus subtilis — A nondairy probiotic to encourage gut health and help restore your intestinal microbiome for enhanced digestion.

Bromelain — This protein-digesting enzyme helps to support digestive comfort after consumption of common food irritants, such as gluten and can help calm the inflammation that leads to stomach aches.

Papain — This protein-devouring enzyme found in the papaya plant helps digest gluten peptides to protect you from unwanted after-meal side effects like cramping, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas.

Going gluten-free may not be easy — but it is worth it to preserve your health and feel better.