Review - Are Gluten Free Products Really Better for You?

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Udi's Gluten Free FoodsI'll have to admit that until recently, I was pretty ignorant about gluten free products.  Actually, I had no idea what gluten even was.  It wasn't until I happened across the Udi's Gluten Free booth at BlogHer'12 this August, that I decided once and for all to solve the mystery.

Turns out, I was absolutely blown away by the delicious grilled cheese sandwiches Udi's was making using all gluten free products.  So when I was presented with the chance to take part in the Udi's Gluten Free 14-Day Challenge, I couldn't refuse, mostly because I knew the food I would be eating would taste amazing.

Follow this link to receive a coupon for $1.00 off your choice of Udi's Gluten Free Foods.

Gluten Free Products

Udi's Gluten Free Products ~ Full of Taste, Free of Gluten

So let's start with the basics: what the heck is gluten?   :i don\'t know:  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that gives bread its texture and binds it together.  It's most commonly found in bread, pasta, cereal, cake, cookies and beer and can also be hidden in wheat-based ingredients.

Udi's Double Chocolate Muffins Now, if you happen to have celiac disease, you're already familiar with gluten because celiac's disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten which affects the small intestine.  The only known "cure" for celiac's disease at this time is to eat a gluten-free diet.  But what's interesting is that everyone can benefit from a gluten-free diet since gluten is not easily digested by the human body.

This inability to digest gluten can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss/gain, GI distress, infertility, inability to concentrate and tingling/numbness in the legs.  Recent medical studies have also shown that eating gluten free may positively affect people with ADD/ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

I've recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune condition of the thyroid, and so I was especially intrigued to see if a gluten-free diet might improve my overall health.  So how do you go gluten free?  Be sure to check for the following foods known to contain hidden gluten:

Foods Known to Contain Hidden Gluten

Sausages Brown Rice Syrup Marinades
 Luncheon Meat  Chocolate  Candy
 Blue Cheese  Potato Chips  Breath Mints
Gravy and Gravy Powder  Soy Sauce Oats
 Baked Beans  Hot Chocolate  Self-Basting Turkeys
Licorice  Sauces  Pickles
 Soups  Salad Dressings  Seasoning Mixes
 Curry Powder Mustards White Pepper
 Instant Coffee Malt Vinegar

 

Personally, I had no idea that gluten was contained in so many of the foods I ate everyday.  I decided to take on the Udi's 14-Day Gluten Free challenge at full speed and gave my usual grocery shopping list an overhaul.  The great thing is that Udi's does a wonderful job of setting you up for success with their wide variety of helpful gluten free recipes located on their website.  If you're thinking about taking the plunge too, be sure to check out these helpful gluten free tips:

  • Check for hidden ingredients
  • Look for the certified gluten free stamp on products and familiarize yourself with gluten-free brands
  • Think better ~ Don't think of what you can't have...try to be creative and plan a brand new gluten free meal
  • Broaden your palate ~ Try new varieties of old "wheat-based" favorites like buckwheat or quinoa noodles
  • Get connected ~ Join the Udi's online community to connect, learn and share
  • Just ask ~ don't be afraid to ask your restaurant whether the meal you are eating is gluten free.  You can even check out the restaurant locator on Udi's website for a list of restaurants in your area that's gone gluten free.

Udi's Cinnamon Raisin Bagels After 14 days, I can honestly say that I felt better than I did two weeks prior.  My energy levels were up and I found that I was no longer falling asleep in the recliner for a "quick catnap" at the end of the day.  I also felt slimmer overall and less sludgy.  Just knowing that a gluten-free diet could help slow the progress of my Hashimoto's disease is another perfect reason for continuing this lifestyle beyond the 14 days.

My husband was a little leery at first about changing over completely to gluten free products, but after sampling some of the delicious foods from Udi's, like their double chocolate muffins and whole-grain bread, he's on board for the change too.  If you're tired of feeling tired and sluggish, having the inability to focus and feeling bloated and full, then perhaps your diet is to blame.  I highly recommend giving the Udi's 14-Day Gluten Free Challenge a try.  Who's knows?  You just might feel better than you ever imagined possible!

4 Star Product Review
Disclosure:  I received a selection of foods from Udi's Gluten Free Foods in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my own personal experiences with this item and is completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa
Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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6 Responses to Are Gluten Free Products Really Better for You?

    Paul Says:

    1

    Wow, that was very informative and well written. Now that I know more about gluten, I think I will give this a try!

    Bojan Djordjevic Says:

    2

    I’ve learned new things. I didn’t know that gluten was hard to digest. Maybe I should start avoiding it in my diet, as I have slight ADHD.

    Michele Welch Says:

    3

    I guess I’ll have to give up the Chips and Chocolate, LOL. From one mommy to another, thank you!! I too have been resistant to learning more about gluten. Thanks for the simple breakdown. I just may take that challenge. Now if only I can get the kids on board. :-)

    Robin Says:

    4

    We just did several months of gluten-free here. While we are not going on with it, the process did help us identify a few other ingredients which were causing problems, so it was certainly worth the experience.
    Robin recently posted..“Sweet Potato Pie” Oatmeal MuffinsMy Profile

    Andrea Says:

    5

    Hey, I just did the same challenge. I haven’t written my blog post yet as I’m only just finished with the two weeks. I’m not sure it was as positive an experience, but I enjoyed your post and am glad it worked for you!
    Andrea recently posted..Forgotten, by Catherine McKenzie ~ Book reviewMy Profile

      Melissa Says:

      6

      Thanks Andrea! Can’t wait to read more about your experiences with the challenge and hope you saw some benefit from the making the switch. Thanks so much for stopping by…have a great day! :-)

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