The Beginner’s Guide to Going Gluten Free

A gluten-free diet is pretty common these days, and not just among people with celiac disease. Going gluten-free can help reduce inflammation, joint pain, and digestive problems if you’re sensitive to gluten, which is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Other popular diets, such as the Paleo diet, also avoid all gluten. Therefore, if you practice CrossFit or have adopted a more ancestral way of eating, you will probably also go gluten-free.

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A gluten-free diet can be very nutritious and filling. There are many healthy foods that are naturally gluten-free, and centering your diet around these foods should provide your body with the energy and nutrients you need. That said, there are potential nutritional deficiencies and a somewhat dizzying abundance of gluten-free products, so it can be difficult to know what to eat and what to avoid when switching to gluten-free. We have what you need ; read on for a beginner’s guide to the gluten-free diet to make the transition to gluten-free easier.

What is a gluten-free diet?

a bowl of gluten-free muesli.
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A gluten-free diet eliminates all gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and triticale, which is a hybrid of wheat and rye. However, while it may appear that gluten is only found in grains and high carbohydrate foods like pasta, bread, crackers, and flour, it is also used as a thickener and nutritional additive for others. processed foods like condiments, sauces and meats for lunch. .

A gluten-free diet is not necessarily grain-free, as there are whole grains that are naturally gluten-free, such as brown rice, millet, and oats.

What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet?

Gluten-free lunch bowl with egg and tofu.
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There are several reasons why men may choose to follow a gluten-free diet, and the potential benefits of doing so include:

  • Curing Celiac Disease – Requires A Lifetime Commitment To The Gluten Free Diet
  • Reduce inflammation: Gluten can be inflammatory in the body, so following a gluten-free diet can reduce inflammation.
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Improve inflammatory skin conditions and allergies
  • Losing weight
  • Decreased bloating
  • Improve digestion
  • Increase energy
  • Reduction of headaches
  • Improve sports performance

Foods to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet

The lox and cream cheese bagel contains gluten.
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It is important to eliminate all sources of gluten when adopting a gluten-free diet, especially if you have celiac disease. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, malt, triticale and brewer’s yeast. Note that there are many forms, types, and names for wheat, and all of them contain gluten. Examples include durum wheat, spelled, couscous, semolina, flour, farro, kamut, small spelled, wheat berries, bulgur, wheat bran, and wheat germ. Unless a product is specifically labeled as gluten-free and the ingredient label is actually free of gluten-containing ingredients, foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet include:

  • Bread products: All-purpose flour, wheat flour, white flour, bread, crackers, English muffins, filo pastry, pitas, bagels, waffles, pancakes, breadcrumbs, pasta, lasagna, couscous, croutons, buns, hot dog and hamburger buns , breadsticks, canned and prepared cookies and croissants, pies, donuts, muffins, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, danishes, tortillas, many breakfast cereals and granolas, etc.
  • Fast food: Burgers with a bun, anything fried, fries, breakfast sandwiches, donuts, chicken nuggets, pizza, Chinese fast food, tacos, onion rings, anything in breadcrumbs, etc.
  • Snacks: Breaded snacks, crackers, granola bars, pork rinds, pita chips, wrapped popcorn, pretzels, combos, flavored chips, tater tots, wrapped cookies, toaster pastries, cheese dip, etc.
  • Processed meats: Cold cuts and cold cuts, hot dogs, imitation crab, breaded meat, etc.
  • Frozen meals: Frozen pizza, many frozen main dishes, frozen prepared lasagna, frozen Chinese dishes, frozen pies, etc.
  • Dairy products: Ice cream or yogurt containing cookies or supplements with gluten, pudding, processed grated cheese, etc.
  • Sides: Instant mashed potatoes and processed potato products, some packaged rice side dishes, pilaf, etc.
  • Sauces and condiments: Dressing, soy sauce, tamari, teriyaki sauce, sauces, many Asian sauces and marinades, MSG, gold cubes, etc.
  • Soups: Chicken noodle soup, any soup with noodles, spaghetti, most condensed soups like cream of mushroom, sauces, ingot cubes, etc.
  • Restaurant food: Anything but labeled gluten-free because even though the food is naturally gluten-free, it is likely prepared on equipment that comes in contact with gluten.
  • Vegetable meats: Seitan, which is used as a vegan meat substitute, is made entirely from vital wheat gluten and should be avoided at all costs. Many other plant-based meats like vegan chicken and vegan burgers contain gluten. Always read the label.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Beers, ales and lagers often contain wheat, rye or barley. Most malt drinks contain gluten, although there are now gluten-free beers that even people with celiac disease can enjoy. It is often best to avoid alcoholic cereal-based drinks that contain gluten as well.

Foods to eat on a gluten-free diet

bowl of gluten free yogurt with fruit.
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A gluten-free diet should include as many healthy whole, unprocessed foods as possible, including vegetables, fruits, lean protein, legumes, low-fat dairy products, eggs, healthy fats, nuts, and nuts. seeds. While there are many products now formulated to be gluten-free, such as breads, cookies, cakes, and chips, these are still considered processed foods and are almost always inherently less nutritious than natural foods. unprocessed. They can also be expensive. Here are the foods to eat on a gluten-free diet:

  • Vegetables: All vegetables are naturally gluten free. Enjoy all the veggies like kale, spinach, carrots, lettuce, Swiss chard, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, cauliflower, asparagus, beets, sweet potatoes , beets, squash, onions, etc. Avoid canned vegetables in creams like creamed spinach or cream corn.
  • Fruits: All fruits are naturally gluten free. Taste pears, apples, melons, oranges, grapefruits, plums, apricots, peaches, berries, bananas, pomegranates, kiwis, tomatoes, kumquats, and more. Avoid canned fruit pie fillings.
  • Whole grain and bread products: Unprocessed whole brown rice, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, tapioca, sorghum, corn, millet, amaranth and arrowroot. Note that oats are naturally gluten-free but may contain traces of gluten if processed on equipment that comes in contact with wheat. Look for oats marked gluten free.
  • Eggs
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish: Fresh or frozen lean beef, bison, venison, chicken, turkey, salmon, scallops, tofu, halibut, cod, as long as it is not breaded or fried, etc.
  • Low fat dairy products: Skim milk, 1% milk, low fat yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese (but few processed cheese products), etc.
  • Legumes: Dried or canned beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, soybeans, etc. Avoid canned chili peppers and refried beans.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, etc.
  • Fats and oils: Olive oil, avocados, coconut, linseed oil, etc.
  • Herbs and spices: Basil, thyme, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, rosemary, cumin, chili powder, etc.
  • Beverages: Water, tea (herbal tea, green tea, black tea, etc.), red wine, milk, coffee.

Do you need supplements for a gluten-free diet?

vitamins for those who go gluten-free.
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In general, following a gluten-free diet can provide your body with all the nutrients you need as long as you eat a diet that is varied with all of the major food groups. That said, if you have celiac disease, you are often more susceptible to deficiencies due to absorption issues. Fiber, iron, calcium, folate, zinc, vitamin B12, and fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, E, D, and K) are the most common nutritional deficiencies associated with celiac disease. It is recommended that you discuss your needs and concerns with your health care provider.

Sample Gluten Free Diet Meal Plan

bowl of quinoa for lunch.
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Curious what a meal day on a gluten-free diet might look like? Below, we share an example of a gluten-free diet meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Protein and green smoothie made with banana, spinach, almond butter, fat-free Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries, raspberries and chia seeds.
  • Breakfast: Bowl of kale and quinoa salad with avocado slices, roasted chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, snow peas and peanuts.
  • Nibble: Hummus with carrots, cucumbers, pepper strips and celery.
  • Having dinner: Grilled sesame-crusted salmon with Brussels sprouts and rabe broccoli, over brown rice. Side salad.
  • Nibble: Apple with almond butter and dark chocolate.

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