Foods to eat on a gluten-free diet
A few years ago, the gluten-free diet was a huge buzz among the fitness conscious crowd and celebrities. The diet claimed to help you stay in shape by excluding all foods that had protein known as gluten in them.
But is gluten a villain you need to beware of? Not really. Since most processed food are wheat-based and thus have gluten proteins in them, a gluten-free diet can help get rid of those extra inches by forcing you to choose healthier alternatives.
But going gluten-free is the inevitable choice for people who are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, an autoimmune response triggered by eating food with gluten.
Living a gluten-free lifestyle can seem daunting at first as our diet relies heavily on wheat-based products. But with a little help in choosing the right foods, it becomes much easier.
Here are some foods you must avoid if you are on a gluten-free diet.
All forms of wheat including white refined flour(maida) and semolina(sooji)
Grains like barley and rye
Most processed foods and baked goods made with wheat or refined flour.
Foods You Can Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet
Since wheat is off the table, you need to incorporate other grains into your diet to fulfil the carb and protein intake. Whole grains like rice, quinoa, millets, oats and amaranth are good gluten-free grains that can provide you with a good amount of carbohydrates, minerals and fibre.
Fruits and vegetables
All fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. They also pack in a lot of vitamins and antioxidants to keep you healthy. So pick whatever fruits and vegetables are available locally and currently are in season for those midday hunger cravings or breakfast smoothies.
(If you are buying canned fruits, look for one preserved without malt or has a gluten-free label.)
Missing pasta? They are usually made from whole wheat or refined wheat flour. But if you are on a gluten-free diet, you can look for pasta made with chickpea, lentils or beans.
Nuts and seeds
All nuts and seeds are naturally gluten-free too. So you can replace wheat flour with almond flour or flaxseed flour in all baked food recipes for a gluten-free alternative. Nuts and seeds are also loaded with essential fats, proteins and a high amount of minerals making them a perfect swap.
Condiments and Seasonings
Foods like hummus, pesto, salsa, guacamole, sauerkraut, kimchi and mustard are some good gluten free options to satisfy your taste buds. Most dried herbs and spices too are also gluten-free so use them to season your gluten-free meals and snacks.
Gluten-free packaged foods
While most industrially-processed foods like biscuits, chips, crackers etc. are off limits for a gluten-free diet, there are some gluten-free options as well that you can eat. So check the labels carefully to see if there are any gluten-free options available.
Animal proteins are also naturally gluten-free. So if you follow a non-vegetarian diet you can eat eggs, fish, meat and poultry every day.
Vegetarians can opt for dairy products like cheese, milk, butter and yoghurt.
Fats and Butter
Most cooking oils and other healthy sources of fats are gluten-free. So you enjoy cooking your food with olive oil, coconut oil, nut and seed butters, and ghee.
Note: Gluten-free products may be manufactured in facilities where products with gluten are also processed. So read the product labels carefully if you have gluten sensitivity.