When I was first diagnosed as gluten intolerant I was thrilled to finally be able to eat cakes and biscuits safe in the knowledge that my gut wouldn’t make me regret it. For a few weeks I almost emptied the ‘free from’ section in my local supermarket! Bread, pastries, cakes, cookies, breakfast cereal – if it was labelled ‘gluten-free’ then I ate it.
After a few weeks I realised that my diet consisted mostly of refined sugars and processed food, and contrary to popular belief, just because something is gluten-free that doesn’t mean it’s any better for you.
Anyway, I realised I needed to do some research to find out what healthy gluten-free foods there were…because I had hardly found any in the ‘free from’ section.
It may sound crazy to you now, but there wasn’t anywhere near as much information about being gluten-free when I was diagnosed as there is now…and that was only a few years ago. I genuinely had no idea that most meats, fruits and vegetables (when not tampered with) were naturally gluten-free! Anyway, after some research I realised that there are loads of foods that are naturally gluten-free so my diet instantly improved and I started experimenting with food much more than I had before.
After my diagnosis I initially spent every food shop trip carefully checking the ingredients on food packages and searching for the ‘gluten-free’ label that would reassure me I was safe from any horrible food reactions. Now I hardly read labels because, although I still have my usual favourites that I grab from the ‘free from’ section, my diet mostly consists of meat, fish, fruit, veg and nuts…and Greek yoghurt (I’m slightly addicted).
There really is more to being gluten-free than the ‘free from’ section. Yes, it’s a great place to go for treats or things like Bounce balls and Nakd bars, but don’t for one minute think that you’re restricted to that section of the supermarket.
If you are still concerned about picking up the wrong things and getting glutened, check out Coeliac UK. They have a fantastic new app which actually allows you to scan barcodes on food products to see if they’re gluten-free!
Now, go and run wild in the aisles! 😉
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