Now it’s time for us to look at what a gluten-free diet really is, and whether it could be right for you. Remember, gluten is a very complex ingredient and is far more complex than a lot of people seem to realize. In basic terms, a gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes all foods and beverages containing gluten, or ingredients that may contain gluten. Those affected with Celiac disease will commonly cut gluten out of their diets. However, those with gluten sensitivity issues will also need to do the same. If you have experienced any adverse reactions or side effects when consuming foods or drinks containing gluten, such as those that we have listed previously, it may be time for you to adopt a gluten-free diet. Some people choose to cut gluten out of their diets anyway, even if they aren’t actually suffering from any form of sensitivity to it.
Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid
So, as you can see, a gluten-free diet is very easy to describe, and diagnosing issues pertaining to gluten sensitivity is fairly simple. So, what foods can you eat, and which foods should you avoid if you choose to go gluten-free? Does this mean you can never eat a delicious pizza or bacon double cheeseburger again? No, absolutely not. The good news is that, because more and more people are adopting a gluten-free diet and lifestyle, there are now more delicious gluten substitutions than ever before. You can even purchase gluten-free flour, so you can literally bake your own bread, doughs, and bases using ingredients that are 100% gluten-free. To ensure your gluten-free experience runs as smoothly as possible, we’re now going to list some of the main foods you can eat, and foods you should avoid while following a gluten-free diet. We’ll begin with what you can eat.
Foods You Can Eat
Most Wholegrains – Yes, that’s right. The common belief is that all whole grains contain gluten and are therefore very bad for anybody suffering from gluten sensitivity issues.
The truth is that most whole grains are actually free from this pesky protein. The thing to remember, however, is that a lot of grains are processed in facilities that also process gluten-containing ingredients, so cross-contamination can occur. This is especially true when it comes to oats.
Examples of gluten-free whole grains, however, include the following:
• Wild rice
• Brown rice
Fruits And Vegetables – As long as they are natural, and haven’t been processed in any way, all fruits and vegetables are naturally free from gluten. Fruits and veggies are ideal for any
diet plan pretty much, as they are loaded full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that the body thrives upon. We won’t list each fruit and vegetable that you can eat on this diet as that would take an eternity. Just be wary of canned fruits or veggies, or pre-prepared ones.
Proteins – Again, as long as they are natural and haven’t been processed or tinkered with in any way, all meats and fishes are naturally free from gluten.
Meats and fish, for example, are rich in vitamins, minerals, and even some healthy fats and beneficial amino acids. Processed meats, however, such as sausages, are sometimes bulked out with cereals and ingredients which do contain gluten.
Eggs are another great source of protein that is naturally gluten-free. Nuts, seeds, and most legumes are also perfectly acceptable on a gluten-free diet.
Fats – Fat is a macronutrient that plays a crucial role in our day-to-day lives. It is essential for a number of natural processes within the body and, providing we get it from healthy and natural sources, it is actually extremely healthy. Fats are also naturally free from gluten. Just be wary of cooking sprays, or oils with added seasonings, as they may sometimes contain ingredients that could contain gluten. Examples of healthy fats include:
• Oily fish
• Coconut oil
• Olive oil
• Grass-fed butter
• 100% natural nut butter with nothing added
Beverages – As well as whole foods, you will also no doubt need to consume something to wash everything down. Most beverages are perfectly fine on a gluten-free diet, with drinks like water, fruit juice, tea, and coffee, all proving perfectly acceptable.
Just be wary of smoothies, alcoholic beverages, and malt beverages which are often made with grains and/or ingredients containing gluten.
Dairy – Dairy is another foodstuff that is generally perfectly acceptable on a gluten-free diet, again, as long as it hasn’t been tampered with in any way.
Dairy such as milk, cheese, cream, butter, yogurt, and sour cream, are all perfectly fine as they do not contain gluten.
A lot of people following a gluten-free diet however, often make the mistake of avoiding dairy because of the lactose. Lactose intolerance and a wheat intolerance are two completely different things entirely.
Foods To Avoid
Below we’ll be listing a series of foods and drinks to avoid on a gluten-free diet. We won’t be going into detail about why each one should be avoided because we all know that it’s because they contain gluten, or they have been prepared in an environment where gluten is present, and cross-contamination could have occurred.
Foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet include:
• Spice mixes
• Wheat bran
• Wheat starch
• Wheat germ
• Processed meats
• Some ciders
• Some liquors such as whiskey
• Brewer’s yeast
• Baked and processed goods
• And more…
As you continue through our Gluten Free guide, you’ll find even more detailed information on what to eat so keep reading!