12 Foods to Eat for a Healthy Gluten-Free Diet
Adopting a gluten-free diet is important if diagnosed with celiac disease. These 12 gluten-free foods (and then some) will ease and simplify your next grocery store trip!
Adopting a gluten-free diet and lifestyle is absolutely imperative for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease. And with gluten found in a wide-variety of products, tackling a gluten-free diet may seem intimidating and overwhelming.
However, eating gluten-free can be achievable and simple with this gluten-free food list that are rich in nutrients.
How to Eat Gluten-Free
When it comes to eating gluten-free, whole grains are mostly of concern. Gluten-containing whole grains include:
• Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, kamut, farro, and durum; and products like bulgur and semolina
In addition to avoiding these gluten-free grains in their whole form, steer clear of their byproducts, including wheat pastas, breads, and cereals.
Aside from the recognizable sources of gluten, sauces, dressings, marinades, and other products may be contain hidden gluten. Cosmetics and medications are also unlikely culprits.
Ultimately, it is important to verify whether or not gluten is present by taking advantage of food product labels and asking the servers about gluten-free options when eating out. If skeptical of a food, skip out on it.
A Registered Dietitian can also help create an individualized plan to ensure nutritional needs are being met identify which foods are gluten-free, which are likely to include choices in this gluten-free food list.
Though the grains wheat, barley, rye, and their products should be avoided, the following are naturally gluten-free:
1. Gluten-Free Grains - Rice Options
All plain rice is gluten-free including white, brown, wild, long-grained, and basmati rice. However, most flavored rice and vinegar-based sushi rice contains gluten ingredients.
2. Gluten-Free Grains - Oats
Though oats are naturally gluten-free, oats are commonly manufactured with the same equipment as gluten-containing cereals. Prevent cross-contamination risk by identifying a "gluten-free" label on the product.
3. Gluten-Free Grains – Corn
This whole grain in all forms are absent of gluten - corn meal, corn flour, corn starch, etc. It is most important to be mindful of the ingredients added with corn.
4. Gluten-Free Grains – Additional Selections
There are a number of whole grains that are naturally free of gluten, including amaranth, buckwheat, and millet.
Along with including more gluten-free grains in the diet, the food sources identified below are considered to be safe on a gluten-free diet and nutritious components of a well-balanced diet.
5. Gluten-Free Fruits & Vegetables
Fresh fruits and veggies are encouraged not only for optimizing health, but on a gluten-free diet. So enjoy all the nutritious, colorful produce the market has to offer… apples, bananas, pears, oranges, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, etc.
Just be cautious of packaged veggies and fruits prepared with a sauce or other ingredients, as gluten may be present.
6. Beans and Legumes
Beans, lentils, peanuts and other legumes are free of gluten while offering plant-based protein and fiber.
7. Meat and Poultry
Chicken, turkey, lean beef, and eggs are not only esteemed products on the gluten-free diet list, but are rich protein sources to foster a lean body mass.
Breaded chicken breasts and similar products may contain gluten, so be sure to look at the label in detail.
8. Fish and Seafood
From tuna to shrimp, fish and seafood varieties are naturally free of gluten while being a rich source of protein and healthy fats.
Like meat and poultry products, be cautious of battered and breaded fish that may contain gluten.
9. Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, pecans, flax seeds, and other nut and seed assortments are free of gluten.
Additionally, nut meals make a great alternative to gluten-based flours.
10. Safe Dairy Products
Milk, butter, and real cheese are free of gluten. Flavored dairy products, including yogurts and ice creams, should be yielded with caution.
Soy and soybean products are naturally gluten-free and an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.
Produced from the cassava root, tapioca is actually not a grain at all and coined as naturally gluten-free. But like oats, tapioca has a high risk of cross-contamination so should be used with caution.
A Gluten-Free Diet Made Simple and Delicious
While eating a gluten-free diet can certainly be achieved, following one may come with substantial pressures.
Ordering gluten-free meals from a meal delivery service can ease the mind and take out the guesswork of safe and healthy eating.
All meals are tested to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gluten-free standard (20 ppm or less) and do not contain wheat, rye, barley, or their constitutes.
Meals are also crafted with fresh, all natural ingredients and expertly combine the nutritional requirements of a gluten-free diet while scientifically-proven to facilitate weight loss and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
From jerk spiced chicken with mango chutney and spinach, to hickory smoked BBQ beef with Yukon gold potatoes, you will never feel limited of gluten-free options, robbed of flavor, or deprived of nutrients!