The G-Free Diet
Elisabeth Hasslebeck's gluten-free diet survival guide.
The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide is a plan that is designed for those suffering from celiac disease, which means for those who have intolerance to wheat, rye and barley. The book, written by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, first well-known for her appearance on Survivor and most recently as co-host on The View, suffers herself from gluten-intolerance.
Aside from the grains that have gluten in them, it can also be found in products such as stamps and glue adhesives, some medicines, toothpaste and even vitamins.
One in every 133 Americans is affected with gluten-intolerance, most commonly referred to as celiac disease. A result for someone with celiac disease who ingests gluten is having their immune system go against the body it’s meant to be protecting. This can lead to the blocking of nutrient absorption, a vital function for our bodies. Additionally, the most common symptoms are depression, malnutrition, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bone or joint pains.
Living gluten-free can have benefits for those who do not suffer with celiac disease as the eating plan outlined encompasses a well-rounded diet. For those currently suffering with the disease the only treatment is avoidance of gluten and any products that contain gluten, which The G-Free Diet will help educate you on and provide guidance on meals.
- Effective for people who need to avoid gluten
- Provides information on where to find products and how to read labels
- Outlines gluten-free shopping lists, recipes and how to live a gluten-free life
- Can be a very healthy eating plan when followed correctly, leading to weight loss and increased energy
- Not all starches are prohibited
- New product labels now clearly list "wheat" as an ingredient
- Small studies show that a gluten-free diet may reduce the symptoms of autism
- Author has personal experience as a celiac, but not professionally
- May be hard to purchase products listed as many are specialized or only available online
- New labeling on products only identifies “wheat” as an ingredient, but not all the grains or ingredients that contain gluten
- No other treatment for celiac disease besides avoidance of all gluten
Gluten is found in many grains, especially barley, wheat and rye. Because many food manufacturers create a variety of foods in their factories there are instances where the possibility with cross-contamination are high, even if the product itself does not contain those ingredients. Becoming well-educated about gluten and learning how to read food labels is imperative to avoid products containing gluten. Some key items to watch on food labels, that usually indicate hidden gluten, are:
- Soy Sauce
- Baking Powder
- Corn Starch
- Grain Alcohol (beer, ale, bourbon, scotch, grain vodka)
While becoming an avid label reader, there are some everyday foods that are good alternatives to some of the grains you will have to exclude from your diet, which include potato and rice, a majority of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and some dairy products; but again check the ingredient listing to be sure. Pre-packaged foods should especially be reviewed carefully as a majority of hidden gluten can be found in those products.
As mentioned above in the hidden gluten list, grain alcohols should be avoided as they contain some form of gluten whether from wheat or barley. Gluten-free beers can be found through specialized retailers as well as online.
Many bakeries, like New York City's Babycakes and new alternative products are popping up across the country to accommodate the growing demand for gluten-free options. Also, many health-food and organic grocers are carrying more gluten-free products.
The G-Free Diet is primarily aimed for those suffering from celiac disease. Both those with the disease and those considering eating a diet free of gluten should consult their physician before beginning.EXERCISE
The G-Free diet does not provide a specific exercise regimen.CONCLUSION
The G-Free Diet provides an overview of what it means to be gluten-free and how to navigate through the everyday, whether it be cooking at home or dining out. The book provides some celiac/gluten 101, and includes chapters on gluten-free shopping, gluten-free cooking and how to entertain at home without having to be a “party pooper,” as Elisabeth comically presents it.
We do want to ensure to include the disclaimer that with all information pertaining to living gluten-free, you should always check with your doctor first regarding the information you are acquiring. If you suspect that you may have gluten intolerance, you should speak with your doctor about having tests done to confirm. It is not a requirement to be diagnosed with celiac disease to follow this diet.Common Misspellings
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