How To Eat Gluten Free Naturally
Eating “gluten free” started years ago as a dietary necessity for those suffering from celiac disease and other gastrointestinal ailments. Well, truthfully, gluten-free eating dates back hundreds of years to when our ancestors ate a paleo style diet. With today’s gluten-free individuals having such great success, it didn’t take long for it to turn into a weight loss craze! In fact, gluten-free eating has taken the world by storm. Gluten-free products line supermarket shelves, and restaurants tout dishes that are safe; some with specialized menus dedicated to the cause. In reality, gluten-free food is an exploding industry and one that is highly profitable for manufacturers. While sometimes helpful, there are ways to avoid breaking the bank on specialty food items by eating gluten-free naturally!
The truth is, avoiding gluten is much simpler than we are led to believe. Manufactured gluten-free products can range from cereals, breads and pastas; to cookies, cakes and candy bars. The list goes on, and on, and on. Purchasing these specialty foods can be quite expensive and hard to maintain! It also isn’t entirely necessary. Many foods are naturally gluten-free and don’t stretch our waistlines or our wallets!
Most protein sources (poultry, beef, pork, seafood, eggs, dairy, etc) are naturally free of gluten. The problem tends to arise when we choose processed meats such as sausage, some types of burger patties, pre-marinated meats, cured meats, and certain deli meats. These can contain gluten as binding agents and in the form of marinades and spices. Sticking to pure, whole protein sources is a sure way to avoid gluten.
Good ol’ fashioned veggies contain no gluten and are packed full of fiber and vitamins! These guys are a gluten-free-eater’s dream. Beware of any fried vegetables (e.g., tempura zucchini) as these are surely coated in a gluten-containing batter or breading.
Every fruit in the book is free of gluten and full of flavor! Stick to natural fruits with no added sweeteners or preservatives.
One things about fats is that there is usually no gluten hiding within them - no matter what the form. Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds are all great options that keep you in the clear if you’re avoiding gluten.
As you can see, the problem with gluten doesn’t lie in the main food categories, most naturally occurring foods are already gluten-free. This is good news! The problem occurs when we focus on a diet rich in carbohydrates and processed foods. Thus the weight loss effect of eating naturally gluten-free is explained; we are cutting out most of the junk food! You will find gluten in most breads, pastas, crackers, baked goods and even in some marinades, spices and condiments. By avoiding these products altogether, you can be sure to avoid gluten in your diet. Notice, we still haven’t needed any of those fancy-shmancy gluten-free products at the grocery store yet ?. So what carbohydrates ARE safe? I’m glad you asked. There are many, and a lot of them are whole grains which is an added bonus! Quinoa, corn (yes, this is a carbohydrate), rice, millet, beans, lentils and potatoes top the list. By simply avoiding most processed carbohydrates, our diet is naturally free of gluten! If you get that occasional craving for bread, pasta, or crackers, feel free to try out some of the store-brought brands! These purchases will likely be few and far between but many of them are absolutely delicious substitutes to their gluten-laden cousins.
Hopefully this post has calmed any fears or misconceptions about avoiding gluten. It is easy, inexpensive, and sometimes you do it without even meaning to! Stick to the main food groups (like those on your MRC menu), foods you already know are smart for weight loss, and you will naturally and effortlessly be choosing gluten-free options!
Happy (gluten-free) eating! ?
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