Before we get to the gluten-free diet plans, we have to explain what gluten is first. It is a protein which can be found in a variety of grains. Rye, barley, and wheat all contain gluten. Some of these grains are used regularly by many people. Gluten can be found in your standard daily diet in bread, pasta, beer etc. The word gluten etymologically comes from the word glue. It is not far from the truth, as it has a consistency similar to glue. It can be harmful to your digestion and overall health.
Gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly popular with all generations. They are a step towards bettering your lifestyle and eating habits. Though some people tolerate it just fine, many can’t process gluten normally. Here is some helpful information about gluten and gluten dieting.
Gluten-free Food List
People live under the impression that dieting and living a gluten-free lifestyle has to be costly and difficult. That is a common misconception and we wish to list some of the foods which are affordable and are a part of a healthy gluten-free diet.
This food group is available worldwide. It is best to be consumed fresh and in the first half of the day. It has natural sugars, or fructose, and can give you energy for the entire day. Make sure you are aware of your daily sugar intake and the sugar levels in your blood before you make a sudden change in your diet.
Vegetables are the most affordable food group. Vegetables are healthy and offer a wide variety of different foods. They are easy to prepare and, in most cases, can be eaten raw. They are full of fibers, nutrients, and vitamins.
With meat, you have to be careful. Try finding organic meat as often as you can as it is much healthier. Don’t avoid red meat because it is really good for you if you eat it moderately.
This is probably the most expensive food group. Seafood can be highly allergenic so you don’t need to focus on eating it too often. With that said, a healthy variety of seafood will keep your body happy and your meals interesting.
Nuts are often underrated and overlooked. They are a great source of protein and energy. A handful of nuts can keep you going for hours – that’s how good they are. You can incorporate them in almost every meal and they will make each dish hearty and delicious. A winning combo is nuts and fruit, so keep that in mind.
This is a tricky one. Dairy can be healthy in the right amount and for the right person. If you are intolerant to lactose, avoid dairy completely. Don’t risk your health by making drastic changes to your diet.
For this food group, you will need to inform yourself or maybe hire a professional nutritionist. There are many grains which are gluten-free. Look for gluten-free grains in a specialty store or get it directly from farmers. Some grains which are naturally gluten-free are rice, corn, potato, beans, soy, quinoa, chia, and flax.
Keep in mind that if you purchase them from bins in regular stores they might have had contact with gluten. If you are highly allergic we would recommend you avoid purchasing it in that manner.
When dealing with a big life change such as switching your diet one needs to be careful. You don’t want to be negligent especially when your health is on the line. Here are some pointers on how to develop a healthy gluten-free diet and prepare meals responsibly.
Meal Delivery Services
If you feel like it is too tiresome to plan your gluten-free diet we have a couple of solutions for you. There are several amazing food deliveries which include gluten-free recipes in their selection.
Sun Basket is a delivery service which offers dishes with naturally gluten-free ingredients. They send you all the ingredients you need and a detailed recipe. Their offer includes: steak with arugula salsa verde and green bean–feta salad, Greek shrimp skewers with artichokes, sweet and spicy chicken meatballs with blueberry-pecan salad and much more. What is more, they also offer vegetarian gluten-free dishes. For more information check out this review of sun basket here.
This service offers a detailed gluten-free weight-loss program. As we mentioned in this review of bistro md, it is designed by physicians which ensures it as a healthy choice for anyone who is looking to lose weight. This service is dedicated to helping you get yourself in shape and providing you with efficient meal plans. They are an affordable and healthy life change.
This is one of the first things people get used to. Reading labels will hopefully become a regular part of your shopping routine. It will help you with your gluten-free meals preparation in the long run. Most labels will specify if there are possible allergens in the food including gluten. They are also obliged to state if the food has been in contact with gluten. All of these labels will be helpful for your diet plans.
Though, the labels might not list gluten specifically, keep an eye out for any ingredients which might contain gluten. These ingredients are wheat, rye, barley, oats etc. Read each label carefully in order not to miss any important information.
If you suffer from coeliac disease and want to keep yourself safe at all times you need to read every label very carefully. Sometimes even that won’t be enough. Keep yourself aware of the danger of cross-contamination which is more hazardous than you know. Cross-contamination means that you consume gluten unknowingly by eating something which has been in contact with it. In order to avoid that, inform every restaurant which you dine at of your disease, read labels, and keep your kitchen clean and sanitized at all times.
There are a lot of useful substitutes for gluten you just need to explore your options. A lot of products which usually contain gluten offer a gluten-free version of the same food. Some such examples are crackers, bread, pasta, cookies, cereal etc. You don’t need to sacrifice any of your guilty pleasures for a gluten-free diet. Just look for gluten substitutes in your local grocery store.
Think about switching from standard breadcrumbs to polenta crumbs. This is a delicious substitute and you won’t know the difference between the two. Change your wheat for buckwheat. You can even swap regular noodles for rice noodles.
Keep It Natural
Don’t forget that a lot of foods are naturally gluten-free as we already listed before. Consider making your shopping list fruit and vegetable-oriented. This way you won’t need to think twice because these foods are naturally gluten-free.
What is more, most meats, fish, seafood, cheese, and eggs are all gluten-free. Some of these foods you can buy and use on a daily basis without worry.
Keep in mind that some grains and cereals are also naturally gluten-free. Grains like teff, quinoa, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet, tapioca all fall into the naturally gluten-free category. Make sure to read each label when buying any of these products. Often enough, grains like this have been in contact with gluten.
Alcohol is usually a no-go for any diet or other healthy ventures. However, if you are determined about just avoiding gluten there are some alternatives. There is alcohol which is gluten-free and can be consumed moderately without negatively affecting your health. Some such examples are liqueurs, spirits, wine, sherry, and cider. You have to admit, this is a decent selection to choose from.
Most beers will contain gluten or traces of gluten. If you are a beer lover and are not ready to give it up just read the labels carefully. Gluten-free beers are available in almost any larger store and you won’t have a problem finding some.
This will be the biggest change you can make. You will have to develop new skills and habits in the kitchen in order to keep up your gluten-free lifestyle.
First of all, consider making your own condiments and bread. Don’t buy condiments as they will never amount to what you want. Try making your own pasta sauce, gravy, even ketchup.
Bake your own bread and make sure you know every single ingredient which goes into it.
This can be an exciting experience for you. You can experiment and find new and creative ways to prepare your meals. You will develop new skills and a new taste. Many people have a misconception about gluten-free diets being dull and bland. That is not the case as the gluten-free diet only increases the natural taste of food. Think of a meal filled with fresh produce, enriched with nuts, with a side of organic salad, sounds good right? Every breakfast will be your favorite daily ritual. Having a bowl of gluten-free cereal and a fruit salad is dream come true.
There are many benefits to switching to a gluten-free diet. For starters, your digestion will be better. You won’t have indigestion, pain, or cramps anymore. You will find yourself having a lot of energy during the day. That is a big upside from excluding gluten completely. Not to mention, you will probably lose a few pounds and have healthier skin and hair. It will be easy on your stomach and reduce your stress levels. That will, in turn, make your sleeping habits better. There is nothing like a good night’s sleep, is there? If you are prone to inflammation a gluten-free diet can also be beneficial for you.
So, going on a gluten-free diet will definitely start a chain reaction that will undoubtedly better your health and your lifestyle in many different ways you are still not aware of.