Going gluten free can mean giving up many different types of food, but luckily there are still plenty of options available to you. Your biggest culprit will be prepackaged foods that are made with items that contain gluten in them. It’s safe to assume that unless it’s listed as Gluten Free it likely contains gluten. There are many products hitting the market that are specifically gluten-free, but you’ll want to start off with these whole food sources as a foundation to nutritional eating.
Beans don’t contain any gluten, and are a great food to use for weight management as well as blood sugar management. They are digested slowly by the body, provide fiber, and contain antioxidants, making them a great choice while following a gluten-free diet. Beans are a hearty way to make a meal more satisfying, while at the same time adding a bunch of nutrition to the equation. Mexican food is a great cuisine to enjoy, as long as you replace flour tortillas with corn. It’s easy to go gluten-free, as long as you have a strong understanding of what has gluten and what doesn’t.
Eggs are a GF food that can be prepared any number of ways, and provide plenty of protein and minerals to help round out your diet. Since eggs show up in so many different dishes it’s easy to make your favorite foods, by just making a few slight adjustments to the way it’s made. For example, you could make a quiche, you’ll just have to replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative. Going gluten-free usually doesn’t mean going without, it just means you’ll have to make certain substitutions to make sure the gluten stay behind.
Beef as well as any other meat will contain no gluten, although you may want to go with grass-fed beef to avoid any concern about eating grain-fed beef. This means you can enjoy hamburgers and other beef-heavy dishes, you just have to be sure to pass on the bun with that burger, and cut out items like bread crumbs from dishes like meatloaf. Many find that when they take on a gluten-free diet they automatically lose weight. This is a combination of ceasing the intake of foods that their bodies don’t process well, as well as being more conscious of food in general.
Chicken is a meat that you can enjoy while eating gluten-free, and this is a good thing since it’s the most commonly found meat in America. We always recommend going organic when selecting your chicken, as it helps to cut out the impurities found in conventional chicken, namely all of the antibiotics and growth hormones. Consider that a perfectly portioned gluten-free meal is as easy as cooking up a chicken breast, serving it with a side of beans and another side of steamed veggies. Avoid fried chicken and any other type of breaded chicken, as it most definitely will contain gluten in the coating.
Considering that you can eat any vegetable under the sun while on a gluten-free diet you won’t be hard-pressed to find something to eat. You can partake in the phytonutrient-rich leafy greens like spinach and collard greens, or the many health benefits of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Be on the look out for vegetable casseroles or any other vegetable dish that contains other ingredients besides plain vegetables, as it could contain ingredients that have gluten in them, even though it’s listed as a vegetable dish. Many casseroles will contain bread crumbs or flour as a thickener.
Fruit can provide your body with plenty of antioxidants, but it will never contain any gluten. Some of the best bets when it comes to fruit are those rich in antioxidants like blueberries and raspberries, or fruits high in potassium and fiber like bananas and avocados. Avocadoes also provide plenty of healthy fat, making them a great choice as an add-on to any meal. It’s nice to be able to enjoy fresh fruit, just don’t be lured in by fruit pies and other fruit-based desserts that may be served on a wheat-based crust. Always check the additional ingredients if you are considering anything but fresh, raw fruit.
7. All Types of Nuts
Many nuts are an excellent source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, fats your body needs to actually help it burn fat. Some of the best nut choices are almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios as all of these are loaded with nutrients and healthy fats. These nuts consistently make the list of healthiest foods on the planet, and they’ve been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. Of course, if you also have a nut allergy you’ll want to avoid these, or at least test for a sensitivity before adding them as a mainstay to your diet.
8. All Types of Seeds
Seeds make a great snack, and keep you on the gluten-free side of the equation. They have a nice crunch to them, and many will provide you with additional nutrients. Take chia seeds for example, they contain omega-3s in them. Pumpkin seeds are another great choice for their nutritional value, as well as sunflower seeds. The great feature of seeds is that they can be eaten directly as a crunchy snack, or they can be used as part of a recipe and will still provide their nutrition and flavor.
Flax is a seed, and therefore doesn’t contain any gluten, but it does contain an impressive amount of omega-3s, which you’ll want to consume while leading a gluten-free life. The beauty of flaxseed is its small size, allowing you to sprinkle it on anything you’re eating for added nutrition. You can also easily add it to any soup or smoothie and you won’t even know it’s there. Many gluten-free followers have a bad ratio between the amount of omega-3s and the amount of omega-6s they consume, so something like flaxseed can help to balance that out.
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