Gluten Free Diet

Make a gluten free diet plan

Many people suffer from celiac disease, a reaction toward a protein found in gluten, which can be tough to control when so much of the food in grocery stores relies on gluten and experts agree that a good part of a healthy diet rests on gluten-containing grains. The challenge starts at the base of the USDA's food pyramid—whole grains and breads—where adequate substitutes must be found to replace the fiber and nutrients that traditional, gluten-rich grains provide. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to live an energetic, healthy life without gluten, beginning with some basic knowledge and a good arsenal of gluten-free diet food.

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What is a Gluten-Free Diet?

A wheat-free and gluten-free diet is one that excludes all forms of gluten-containing grains: spelt, wheat, barley, rye, malts and several other cereals that have worked their way into the common North American diet. While these whole grains and products are good sources of nutrients for some people, others experience pain, discomfort, allergic reaction, dermatitis herpetiformis and other forms of physical and emotional distress after consuming them.

Cutting out these grains may seem pretty simple, but it's not always easy to spot the gluten-rich ingredients that are hidden in a variety of dishes. Gluten is used as a thickening agent, so many of the most ordinary and seemingly safe sauces are off-limits. The first step to a gluten-free lifestyle is a diet that replaces the offending grains with tasty and nutritious substitutes so you can continue to enjoy some of your favorite dishes but also improve the nutritional value of every meal.

A Gluten-Free Diet Plan that's Suited to You

When it comes to replacing grains that contain gluten, there are a few readily-available substitutes—corn, quinoa, rice and nuts can all be ground into flour that can in turn be used in a variety of recipes. However, if you're looking for a gluten-free weight-loss diet, you'll want to follow the guidelines of a diabetes diet to avoid high-glycemic foods that can spike your blood sugar and lead to weight gain.

Gluten features in many traditional breakfast foods, including toast, cereal and granola. Instead, focus on high-protein foods like eggs, and work in vegetables when you can. You'll find that this keeps you feeling full for much longer than a scoop of cereal, anyway. Try to prepare your meals yourself; many processed products don't list gluten on the label, and some restaurant kitchens use it liberally. These days, you can find a good selection of gluten-free foods in specialty stores, which means that you can still enjoy bread and flour products, but try to shift the focus to fruits, vegetables and meats. The more whole foods you eat, the easier it will be to sidestep gluten.

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