Gluten-Free Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid

The gluten-free diet is the food path to take if your system is sensitive to gluten-based products like white bread or pasta. It’s also a great energy booster and weight loss plan. If you are curious about the gluten-free diet and how it can help you, read on.

Gluten-free bread

The Gluten-free diet is a type of diet that maintains strictness to exclude the gluten protein in daily snacks and meals. Gluten is a protein found mainly in foods such as barley, wheat, oats, rye, and cereals. The word “gluten” is derived from Latin, and means glue. It is the primary protein responsible for keeping ingredients such as dough or pasta stuck together.

For the younger age group, eating plenty of pasta or white bread should not be a cause for concern when eating foods laden with gluten to help with their structure. However, later on, consuming too much of these types of food or beverages peppered with gluten, causes nutritional deficiencies. Important nutrients such as folate, fiber, calcium, thiamin, and iron are essential to keep the body strong and properly functioning, and it is only wise to be selecting the right food. Pasta, conventional bread, cookies, cakes to many other processed foods, including beer, are culprits of containing the gluten protein and must be avoided if you want strictly follow this smart diet plan. Get to learn more about this healthy diet program that has benefited many, as well as the foods or beverages you must prioritize and avoid in this article to begin the path to healthy living.

Gluten-free Diet Foods to Eat and Avoid

What to Eat?

There are plenty of naturally gluten-free options in the food pyramid. Remember to always double-check the label of your food item for gluten-free options. It is a must to eat foods absolutely gluten-free for effectiveness. The following are your top choices:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Plain dairy
  • Herbs and spices
  • Vegetable oils
  • Butter
  • Grains, starches, and flours
    • Rice, oats, corn, quinoa, tapioca, millet, amaranth, teff, arrowroot; ensure label states it is gluten-free
    • Almond meal, soy flour, chickpea flour, coconut flour, potato flour, corn
  • Beverages
    • Wine, spirits, fruit juices, almost all except for beer that is not gluten-free)

What Not to Eat?

Wheat is a strong contender for foods that contain gluten. Moreover, other wheat-based foods such as durum, Kamut, semolina, spelt, and malt, as well as brewer’s yeast, triticale, barley, and rye, should be avoided. The following is a food list to be cautious of while maintaining your gluten-free diet plan:

  • Wheat-based goods like bread and pasta
  • Cereals (unless with a gluten-free label)
  • Broth (unless with a gluten-free label)
  • Baked goods (e.g. pastries, cookies, cakes, pizza, muffins)
  • Snacks (e.g. muesli, flavored chips, crackers, roasted nuts, pretzels)
  • Sauces (e.g. salad dressing, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, marinade)
  • Alcopop and beer (always check that it is gluten-free)

Coeliac Disease and Gluten

The gluten-free diet is the ideal lifetime diet plan for individuals with coeliac disease, a disease in the immune system that reacts negatively to the protein. With a gluten-free diet, your gut lining will not be damaged and symptoms of nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, headache, and bloating will cease. Individuals with coeliac disease must strictly adhere to the rules of eating gluten-free. Top examples of food to avoid are:

  • Squash
  • Barley
  • Beer
  • Ale
  • Lager
  • Stout

Avoiding one-ingredient only and unprocessed food is another good way to help maintain a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free meals to Try Out

Just because you’re going glutenless, it does not mean you are missing out! There are some tasty meal preparations you can enjoy while on the diet. Below are a handful of choices.

Breakfast

  • Oats with unsweetened almond milk and raspberries/ blueberries
  • Bread and two poached eggs
  • Corn tortilla with salsa, avocado, and eggs
  • Bread with peanut butter and pear
  • Oats with slivered almonds and honey
  • Apple and cheddar cheese toast with mixed greens (+1 teaspoon of olive oil)
  • Zucchini and mushroom frittata
  • Omelet with vegetables
  • Banana-berry smoothie

Note: Use gluten-free bread, oats, and tortilla

Lunch or Dinner

  • Tuna, white beans, spinach, and cucumber salad
  • Toasted quesadillas with mashed avocado, cheddar cheese, bell peppers, and salsa
  • Roasted salmon with steamed broccoli and brown rice
  • Rosemary garlic potatoes, pork chop, and steamed broccoli
  • Grilled portobellos, brown rice, and chopped salad
  • Green salad with quinoa and chicken
  • Bowl of black beans and quinoa
  • Seared chicken with spaghetti squash and mango salsa
  • White bean spread with carrot slaw and fennel
  • Veggie egg salad with blueberries and gluten-free crackers
  • Brown rice with pork stir-fry, bell pepper, and bok choy
  • Black bean salad with sweet potato
  • Apple-cheddar cheese and toast
  • Peanut Chicken and cabbage wrap
  • Roasted chicken, quinoa and vegetable salad
  • Grilled lamb and roasted veggies
  • Chicken salad and gluten-free wrap
  • Lentil, chicken and vegetable soup
  • Shrimp skewers and garden salad
  • Garlic + butter shrimp and a side salad
  • Baked salmon with broccoli, green beans, carrots, and baked potatoes
  • Steak, spinach, mushroom in a gluten-free corn tortilla
  • Taco salad

Glutenless is great, but while there is a range of things to thank for the gluten-free diet, there are also downsides to it that you need to be aware of. This includes the cost (pricey food selections), constipation, and nutritional deficiency from B vitamins usually found in fortified bread. However, there is more to be happy about than the negative sides.

Always be mindful to read fool labels to guarantee that all products are free from gluten in this daily food plan. It is also advantageous to read on several recipes for you to create your own lovable gluten-free meals at home. Meal planning is very important with this diet as food choices need to be prepared in advance especially when occasions like holding a party, attending a dinner, or eating out are regular activities. It would not be wise to hit and miss with this diet as it might not be effective for you for the long-term. Go glutenless today. The gluten-free diet holds many benefits from relieving digestive symptoms, boosting bodily energy to weight loss in just a few weeks’ time.

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