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What To Eat On A Gluten Free Diet

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The #1 Mistake People Make When Starting A Gluten

Nutrition Tips : How to Eat a Gluten-Free Diet

Pictured Recipe:Dark Chocolate Trail Mix

If you don’t plan out this new way of eating, it’s easy to default to gluten-free packaged foods. “I see people go on this diet and eat three meals and snacks from these foods,” says Begun. You know-the gluten-free muffins or brownies or cereals or pizza. These are often made with refined grains and heavy in sugar and often contain more calories than their traditional counterparts. The result: you may start to gain weight if this is the main change you make to your diet. So think of these as “on occasion” foods. It’s just like with any diet. A candy bar is just a candy bargluten-free or not.

Don’t Miss: Homemade & Healthy Gluten-Free Snacks

Risk Of A Nutritional Deficiency

People who have celiac disease are at risk of several nutritional deficiencies.

These include deficiencies in fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, folate, zinc, vitamins A, D, E and K and more (

30 ).

If you experience constipation on a gluten-free diet, aim to eat more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, beans, lentils, Brussels sprouts and berries.

People With Gluten Sensitivity

Another condition that may prompt someone to cut gluten from their diets is a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, sometimes called gluten intolerance. We dont have a clear definition for gluten intolerance or a clear way to explain it, says Rajagopal. We know that some people eat something that contains gluten and then they dont feel well.

Its important not to assume that gastrointestinal irritation is the result of gluten. If you think you may have a gluten intolerance, Rajagopal recommends working with a physician and a registered dietitian to get to the bottom of your symptoms.

There isnt a test for gluten intolerance, so we might try a process of elimination such as the low FODMAP diet, says Rajagopal. This is a temporary eating plan that eliminates lots of foods that can irritate the gut, including wheat-based products. If gluten is the source of the irritation, you may notice an improvement in symptoms such as:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain

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The Gluten Free Diet All You Need To Know About The Diet That Will Make You Well Again

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  • If you have coeliac disease you will have to avoid gluten for life.
  • A gluten free diet is the only treatment for the condition.
  • Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
  • On the gluten free diet you can eat many foods including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, rice and potatoes.
  • You can also eat gluten free substitute foods and processed foods that don’t contain gluten.
  • You can tell whether gluten is in a food by learning about allergen labelling – it sounds scary, but you get used to it once you know how.

If you have been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease then your immune system has been reacting to gluten and damaging your gut. To get better, you must remove gluten from your diet, which is the only treatment for coeliac disease. Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.

You may have heard the term ‘gluten free diet’ before. This can be a bit confusing to some people because it isn’t a diet in the way that most people understand it – it’s not designed to help people lose weight. It’s just a way of eating that helps you heal your gut so you can start absorbing all the nutrients you need from your diet.

Read Also: Is Einkorn Flour Gluten Free

Tips For Eating A Gluten

Before we dive in, let me remind you that ALL recipes on Downshiftology are gluten-free. So really, that means you have hundreds of recipes to choose from. But Ive rounded up 40 or so of my favorites in this post for you today.

Starting a gluten-free diet may seem tricky, but it doesnt have to be. The key is to focus on all the things you can eat, and nourish your body with simple, wholesome, and nutritious ingredients. Thats the best way to make your gut happy!

Proteins That Need A Second Look:

  • Processed meats: Including hot dogs, pepperoni, sausage, etc. These may have gluten added, so be sure to check the ingredient list and avoid those with wheat gluten, wheat starch or wheat dextrin.
  • Cold cuts: It’s rare, but cold cuts may have gluten-containing ingredients added cross-contamination can also happen at the deli on the meat slicer.
  • Ground meat: Ground beef or ground turkey can have gluten added in as filler. Be sure to check the ingredients carefully.
  • Veggie burgers and other meat substitutes: Some flavors and brands are made with ingredients that contain gluten-check the labels.

Read Also: Are Ezekiel English Muffins Gluten-free

Is Gluten Sensitivity Real

Many countries recognize that nonceliac gluten sensitivity is a problem. However, this is a new area of study, and researchers do not yet understand the condition, its risk factors, or how common it is.

Some have suggested that, rather than reacting to gluten in foods, people are sensitive to fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols , which are other non-gluten proteins found in wheat.

FODMAPs are present in gluten-containing grains. This could explain why people with IBS show improvement in symptoms when on a gluten-free diet.

While there are many documented cases of possible nonceliac gluten sensitivity, more research is needed before scientists understand the causes, symptoms, and effects of gluten sensitivities.

There is little scientific evidence that a gluten-free diet has health benefits for anyone without celiac disease or a nonceliac gluten sensitivity.

Despite this, a report from the states that around 2.7 million people without celiac disease were following a gluten-free diet between 2009 and 2014.

The authors of this report suggest the following reasons for the wider population adopting a gluten-free diet:

While doctors can diagnose celiac disease using blood tests, breath tests, and biopsies, there are no specific diagnostic tests for gluten sensitivity. Many people may have a gluten intolerance without knowing it.

What You Can Eat

How to Eat Gluten-Free the Healthy Way – A Day of Meals

There are many naturally wheat and gluten-free foods that are part of a healthy balanced diet. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends that for good health we eat a range of fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products, oils and proteins , all of which are safe for celiacs and people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Grains half of which should be whole grain should also be part of a healthy diet. And though it’s trickier if you have to avoid wheat and gluten, there are plenty of safe choices.

Check out this list of gluten-free grains as recommended by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Amaranth
  • Teff


Oats arent straightforward. According to the Gluten Free Watchdog, if you have celiac disease, you may want to avoid them altogether. They don’t naturally contain gluten, but may be contaminated with traces of wheat or barley during processing. Oats should be OK with a mild intolerance though, especially if the food carries a gluten-free statement.

Read more:List of Wheat-Free Bread and Cereal

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Things That Happen To Your Body When You Go Gluten

It might get worse before it gets better.

For most people, gluten isn’t the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad protein it’s made out to be, and doctors insist you shouldn’t avoid it just to follow a trend. But if you’re sensitive to gluten about 1 in every 133 Americans cutting it out of your diet is a necessity. Like with any other major change you make to what you’re putting in your body, there could be side effects. Here are some things you might want to prep for.

Top Foods To Avoid On A Gluten Free Diet

Our blog post will explain why gluten is so bad for those with celiac disease. For those just getting started on a gluten-free diet, the task can be very daunting. Identifying what to and what not to avoid is where most people get stuck or frustrated. Below we have put together a video and a list of some of the most common foods that will get you into trouble while following a gluten-free diet

Also Check: Gluten Free Pizza Crust Publix

Where To Find Gluten

There are a lot of gluten-free recipe websites, such as Milk & Honey Nutrition, Gluten Free Dietitian, Gluten-Free Living, and youll find a wealth of recipes on other sites, including Cooking Light and Eating Well, by typing the words gluten free into the search bar.

Additionally, any strict paleo diet books and blogs are gluten free because being gluten free is a component of a paleo diet, Phipps says.

Anytime youre seeking nutrition or health advice, make sure the person you consult is an accredited registered dietitian nutritionist , or healthcare provider with professional training.

The Gluten Intolerance Group, National Celiac Association, Beyond Celiac, Todays Dietitian, and Celiac Disease Foundation are all valuable online sources for people who want to get started on gluten-free diets. You can also find information and referral sources to registered dietitian nutritionists on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

Additional reporting by Anna Brooks.

Condiments Baking Spices And Sauces

Can A Gluten Free Diet Make You Fat

You can enjoy all sorts of wonderful spices and condiments to add flavor to your gluten-free meals.

  • Agave syrup
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Yeast
  • Spices: Fresh spices, like fresh basil and cilantro, are a-okay and 100 percent free from gluten. You might run into issues with dried and jarred spices that may contain fillers, or may have been processed on the same equipment used to process gluten. There are dedicated gluten-free spice brands such as Spicely. For a full list of safe spices, and how the major brands like McCormick and Spice Hunter fare when it comes to gluten, read my detailed article on gluten-free spices.

    Soy Sauce: Avoid soy sauce as its made from wheat. You can use coconut aminos or tamari instead.

    Salad Dressings, BBQ Sauces, Tomato Sauces: You can find salad dressings, BBQs sauces and tomato sauces that are gluten free, but not all are free from the protein, gluten. Read labels carefully.

    Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce is not typically gluten free, but Lea & Perrins typically brand is check labels to verify.

    Read Also: Jason Deli Gluten Free

    Who Is Living Gluten

    Anecdotally, the gluten-free diet benefits many people with various medical reasons to avoid gluten. More research is needed to best understand the relationship between certain conditions and the gluten-free diet.

    Currently, people who are eating gluten-free include those living with:

    • Celiac disease, a serious genetic autoimmune disease that affects 1% of the US population or 3 million Americans.
    • Gluten sensitivity , which has been estimated to affect up to 18 million Americans. Other foods may play a role in gluten sensitivity.
    • Wheat allergies, which can range from a mild reaction , or a more serious reaction .

    Lots Of Cereals Have Gluten

    Traditional breakfast cereals are another casualty for people on a gluten-free diet. Cream of Wheat is obviously out, but so are many other favorites. Cheerios contains wheat starch, while Frosted Flakes uses malt flavoring. Read the list of ingredients and avoid any cereal containing wheat, barley, rye, or malt.

    Also Check: Jason’s Deli Gluten Free Bread Ingredients

    Will I Go Through Gluten Withdrawal If I Start Eating Gluten

    Theres no scientific evidence to suggest that people actually go through withdrawal when they stop eating gluten. Some people report feeling dizziness, nausea, extreme hunger and even anxiety and depression when they suddenly go from eating a lot of gluten to being gluten-free. These symptoms usually go away after a few weeks on a gluten-free diet, but talk to your health care provider if they persist.

    What Is A Gluten

    Getting Started on a Gluten-free Diet

    Pictured Recipe: Charred Vegetable & Bean Tostadas with Lime Crema

    Surprisingly, it’s similar to a traditionally healthy dietfew fancy foods required. Fill up your plate with naturally wholesome gluten-free foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meat, says Begun. “This is what dietitians recommend makes up the majority of your diet whether you’re gluten-free or not,” she says.

    And if you love your grains, you can still eat them. “So many people think that gluten-free means no grains at all, but there are so many great gluten-free options out there,” says Begun. Rice, millet, quinoa and buckwheat are just a few examples. Today, you can easily find gluten-free pasta made from corn, quinoa or beans.

    Be sure to check out The Ultimate Gluten-Free Foods List for more specifics.

    If you eat this way, you likely won’t have to worry about nutritional deficiencies, says Begun. “The exception is if you suffer from celiac disease, since your body does not absorb all of the nutrients from food,” she says. Commonly, newly diagnosed celiac sufferers are deficient in fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin D and even protein, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. In that case Begun recommends speaking with a registered dietitian, who may recommend supplements or other necessary dietary changes.

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