Understanding Gluten-Free Diets | #Food101

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The Basics

Gluten is a protein found primarily in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten also plays a part in helping some foods maintain their shape. For example, you will find a good amount of gluten in bread. It's also used as a plant based source of protein in things like Seitan. 

A gluten-free diet is typically recommended for people who suffer from wheat allergies, celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

You don’t have to be gluten intolerant to go on a gluten-free diet. Some people swear by its weight loss benefits as most gluten foods are carbohydrates, hence taking them out of your diet means consuming fewer processed carbs which tend to be high in calories.

 

Although most foods contain gluten, you don’t have to avoid all the foods you enjoy. There are a number of restaurants, stores and bakeries that sell gluten-free items.

 

To Eat or Not To Eat?

So you’ve taken the bold step and decided to try a gluten-free diet for a few weeks but you have no idea what foods to eat and what foods to stay away from. After a quick trawl on the internet, we found an extensive list of food items that are both safe and unsafe for people interested in the diet. Check out a few of them below.

THUMBS UP
Beans, Peas and Legumes
Eggs
Fresh Vegetables
Vegetable, Canola and Olive oil
Meat and Fish
Potato
Corn
Rice
Seeds
Quinoa

 

THUMBS DOWN
Ramen
Breaded foods (Read the menu before you place an order)
Couscous
Pasta
Oats (Read the labels)
Cake Flour
Vegetable Flour
 Beer


ANYTHING ELSE?
You can still eat delicious meals while you’re on a gluten-free diet. Don’t focus too much on the foods you should avoid, but rather, pay attention to the meals you can eat and research creative gluten-free recipes online.

YUMMY GLUTEN-FREE MEALS:

Citrus grilled shrimp with spring beans

Grilled steak with mushrooms

Cauliflower rice salad

Marinated Grilled Chicken with Zucchini

For more information and easy recipes you can recreate, click here.