If you have a gluten allergy or you’re suffering from celiac disease, then following a gluten-free diet is mandatory. Here are the foods you can and can’t eat when trying to stay away from gluten.
Choosing a gluten-free diet is vital for those who have gluten allergies or celiac disease, a condition that can cause digestive problems. So if you find yourself in this category, you should try to stay away from gluten.
To better understand what you need to avoid on this diet, you need to know what exactly gluten is and in which foods you can find it.
Gluten And Gluten-Free Products
Gluten is a certain type of protein that you can find in barley, rye, or wheat. Don’t worry, you can still get your protein during a gluten-free diet from eggs and meats.
If you are following a gluten-free diet, then your main focus should be reading the labels.
You can easily identify ingredients that are a no-go on this diet like wheat and rye. But you can find other ingredients that can confuse you.
There are two terms you need to look out for when reading the label: hydrolyzed vegetable protein and malt.
If you read hydrolyzed vegetable protein on the product label, that means that your item can contain wheat.
Finding malt inscribed on your label means that your product is made from barley.
You should know that oats don’t contain gluten but they can increase symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and even diarrhea.
When you are on a gluten-free diet, you need to forget about eating bread. This is because they are mostly made out of wheat.
In this category, you need to include croissants, bagels, muffins you know where I’m going with this.
Don’t panic if you can’t say no to bread. There are alternatives that are gluten-free.
You can find gluten-free products in big supermarkets and healthy food stores. All you have to do is a label check so you can be sure that is 100% gluten-free.
What Does A Gluten-Free Diet Involve?
There are certain things you need to cut out of your diet to make it free of gluten. I’m talking about pasta, cereals, bread, and even most of the biscuits and crackers.
But everything nowadays can have a gluten-free alternative.
To make everything easier for you, here you can find a list of foods that you can enjoy during a gluten-free diet:
1. Fruits And Vegetables
All fresh vegetables and fruits are gluten-free. You need to keep your eyes on the label when it comes to the processed fruits though. They usually contain gluten that is added to flavor the products.
You can eat bananas, berries, citrus fruits, pears, apples, peaches, and vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, green beans, everything that is fresh.
Keep your eyes on the labels when you are buying canned fruits and vegetables. They usually contain sauces that have gluten in them. Just buy the ones that are made with water or natural juices to avoid gluten.
Frozen vegetables and fruits are in the same category. You need to do a label check before you purchase them. They can contain gluten that is added in for flavoring.
Make sure that you are checking the labels of the dried fruits and vegetables too. Some of the products can contain traces of gluten. So opt for those that are plain and unsweetened.
2. Whole Grains
There are some whole grains that can contain gluten, but the rest of them can be included in your diet. If you are purchasing whole grains, just do a quick label check.
The whole grains that are gluten-free are wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, and tapioca.
You should avoid grains like wheat, barley, or rye. These are the gluten-containing wheat that is used to make crackers, bread, cereals, pasta, and other snack foods.
3. Dairy Products
Almost all dairy products are free of gluten. But those that contain additives and flavorings need to be label checked.
You are able to consume milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, and sour cream.
Ice cream, processed cheese, and flavored milk can contain gluten so you should avoid them.
4. Gluten-Free Drinks
There are a lot of drinks, beverages, that you are allowed to enjoy when on a gluten-free diet.
The safe options include water, coffee, tea, 100% fruit juices, sports drinks, sodas, and energy drinks.
You can even have some alcoholic beverages like wine, hard ciders, and even beer made from gluten-free grains.
Just make sure that you are not overdoing it with the energy drinks and sodas. They may be gluten-free but are full of added sugars, so consume them in moderation.
To stay away from gluten, you need to avoid drinking beer, wine, and lagers made from gluten-containing grains.
Almost all animal and plant-based proteins are gluten-free. So there is a long list of protein-packed foods you can eat on the gluten-free diet.
You can get your protein source from nuts, seeds, legumes like peas, beans, lentils, and soy, or even foods like tofu, edamame, and tempeh.
Gluten-free protein can also be found in red meats such as beef, bison, lamb, and pork.
On your shopping list, you can also ad poultry and seafood like shellfish, fresh fish, and scallops.
There are also some cases where you need to double-check the label if you want to make sure to avoid gluten.
When you’re looking to buy processed meat like hotdogs, pepperoni, or salami, you need to look closely at the label.
A label check is also mandatory while purchasing cold cuts or lunch meat, ground meats, or even ready to eat dinner such as microwaveable dinners.
Certain types of proteins are a no-go when it comes to choosing a gluten-free diet. These are the poultry meats or fish that are breaded or any protein that is mixed with wheat-based soy sauce.
Life Without Gluten Is Possible!
You can find a lot of food options when choosing to go gluten-free. It’s not that hard as you might probably think.
Just try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and eggs to keep you on a gluten-free track.
When you go shopping and you are not certain if some foods are for you, just check the labels. This is the easiest way to avoid gluten.
Following a gluten-free diet is easy if you pay attention to your foods’ labels. This is the only and hardest rule to follow to stay away from gluten.
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