There are different levels of gluten free dieting. Knowing whether you are gluten intolerant, have a wheat allergy, or have Celiac Disease, will make a difference as to what level you wish to take your diet to. Always seek the advice of your medical professional in determining these factors and planning your diet. For more information check out Wheat Allergy vs Celiac Disease. If you have Celiac disease it is important to remove all gluten from your diet. A great resource is “Wheat Free Worry Free” by Danna Korn. **Sometimes, if your health permits, it is easier to move into major dietary changes slowly.
The first level I undertook was avoiding all gluten containing grains, in their natural, processed, or flour form. Thank goodness there are now so many tasty alternatives (see Product Ratings and Reviews), because of that fact, the transition should not be as difficult as it was years ago. For me this step produced many benefits and I was satisfied with it for six years. Recently I have taken it a step further, avoiding deep fried ostensibly gluten free foods, namely French Fries. I knew that there was cross contamination from things like onion rings, breaded clam strips, etc. that had been cooked in the oil that fries were cooked in, but my need to be able to have these easily accessible warm sources of carbohydrates, far outweighed my desire to eliminate them.
Now I can eliminate these without any sense of regret.
What is it that precipitates changes like this for me? Perhaps the longer I avoid gluten, the more sensitive my body becomes to it, and the happier it is, having even less of it in me (and my diet). Perhaps I am lucky in that I have always been very sensitive. I was aware of the benefits of avoiding gluten immediately, this most likely means that I have a wheat allergy. I have a friend who has Celiac Disease, and he cannot tell when he has consumed gluten. Because of this he cheats all the time. If you understand what gluten does in the body of someone with Celiac Disease,( see Why is Gluten a Problem) you would understand why this is a not a good habit.