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You have probably noticed that more and more people are going gluten free. If you are planning on joining the gluten-free craze—because of celiac disease, autoimmune disease or a goal to eat better—there are some things that you should know. Many people who go gluten free make one or more of the following big mistakes:

Not Going 100% Gluten Free

Going gluten free without actually removing 100 percent of the gluten from your diet means that you will not reap the full benefits. This is especially the case if you suffer from an autoimmune disease. If there are trace amounts of gluten in your diet, you may continue to experience symptoms.

Not Learning What Foods Other Than Wheat Contain Gluten

Most people know that gluten is found in wheat, but did you know that it is also found in rye and barley? Oats may also contain gluten because they are often harvested with the same equipment as grains that contain gluten. A great way to remember which grains contain gluten is the acronym “BROW,” which stands for barley, rye, oats and wheat.

Using Gluten-Free, Processed Foods to Fill Up

Gluten-free products are easy to find in this day and age. This makes transitioning to a gluten-free diet simpler for some. Keep in mind, however, that these foods can be less nutritious than the gluten-containing alternatives. Things like gluten-free bread, crackers and cookies contain lots of starch and sugar that can promote inflammation and raise your blood sugar and provide little nutrition in return. These products may also contain trace amounts of gluten. If you are eating large amounts of these “gluten-free foods,” you may be ingesting enough to impair the benefits of a gluten-free diet.

Not Eating High-Quality, Gluten-Free Foods

Instead of replacing processed foods that contain gluten with processed foods that don’t contain gluten, focus on eating whole foods that are naturally gluten free. These high-quality, whole foods include things like meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fish, seeds and nuts. These foods help reduce inflammation and when added to a gluten-free diet, can have a great impact on how you feel.

Forgetting About Vitamins, Supplements, Cosmetics & Personal Care Products

You have likely never thought about it, but these products are a common source of accidental gluten. These products can enter the body, even if you aren’t eating them. Be sure to read the labels on your vitamins and supplements. With personal care, take particular care with eye and lip products, as they may contain vitamin E that comes from wheat germ.

Not Being Aware of Cross Contamination

You may be surprised at how little gluten it takes to trigger a reaction. Cross contamination is a risk if gluten-free foods are made on the same production lines or are made in the same kitchen as gluten-containing foods. If you have celiac disease, a reaction can be triggered from as little as 50 ppm of gluten. That’s about the size of one-one-hundredth of a piece of bread. Food needs to be stored and prepared separately to truly be gluten free.

We encourage you to contact Andolino Orthodontics PC at (212) 753 - 5575 today to learn more about living a gluten-free lifestyle and to schedule a visit with our orthodontist in New York, New York. Dr. Andolino and our team look forward to serving you!