So, we might know that gluten isn’t the best thing since sliced bread. But do we actually know what the gluten free foods are?
And how to eat actually eat gluten free without losing our joy for life?!?
I always say that it is better to focus on all the things that you can have. And then the things that you don’t want tend to naturally fall away on their own.
You could call this “crowding out”.
Tips down the bottom, but to start…
Let’s recap, what is gluten?
Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt and barley.
Why don’t I like gluten?
It causes something called “Leaky Gut”.
Which is when the tight junctions in the intestines become loose and “leaky”.
This happens to everybody, whether you are “intolerant” or not. Just depends how long it happens for and how much damage occurs.
You can read more on that in my previous post: “Are All Gluten-free’ers Just Hypochondriacs?”
Why might we want to eat more gluten free foods?
- They may help ease digestive symptoms
- You’ll have more energy
- Can decrease inflammation and pain
- Promotes fat loss
- May help children with autism
What Are The Gluten Free Foods?
I know I just said focus on what you can have. But you do also need to know what you cannot have, so lets start there.
Absolutely avoid these guys:
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Oats (unless specified as gluten-free)
I also recommend to look for “gluten free” on packaged foods. Sometimes foods that shouldn’t technically contain gluten might due to cross contamination.
And check these too:
(gluten is commonly snuck into them)
- Meat & Poultry: hydrolysed wheat protein and/or soy sauce contain gluten
- Chips & Fries: due to the seasoning, not the potato or the corn
- Meat & Fish Substitutes: ie veggie burgers
- Eggs at a restaurant: sometimes omelettes are made with pancake batter
- Flavoured Ice Creams
- Salad Dressings
- Brown Rice Syrup: made using barley enzymes
- Soups & Gravies: gluten may be used as a thickener
The Most Common Mistake I See When People Start a Gluten Free Diet?
Just going for the gluten-free version of packaged foods.
Ie gluten free bread, gluten free biscuits, gluten free cereals etc.
These guys are typically made from refined grains and are often really high in sugar.
Real food shouldn’t have ingredients. Real food is ingredients.
I have a little rule of thumb that if anything has 4 ingredients or more listed I don’t eat it.
So then what are the Gluten Free Foods?
Lets start with the gluten free grains for some easy swaps:
Gluten Free Grains & Starches:
- Rice (all forms, even glutinous)
- Lentil/pea (besan, urid, gram flour)
And then here’s a list of healthy stuff that even if you weren’t trying to go gluten free it’d be a great idea to include more of in your diet.
Fruits & Vegetables:
All naturally gluten free!
“They” say that we should aim for our “5 and 2” per day (5 serves of veggies, 2 serves of fruit). But that actually started out as “5 to 8” serves of veggies per day.
If your digestive system freaks out at the thought of all that fibre, I suggest trying cooked food over raw food until you’re nice and strong again.
And consider supplementing with digestive enzymes.
Little fyi, the darker/richer the colour of your fruits and veggies the more antioxidants they contain. Think blueberries, kale, beetroot etc
Again, all proteins are gluten free. #winning
Make sure you get good quality servings of protein in every day.
Animal sources could include: eggs, ethically sourced fish, grass-fed beef
Plant sources could include: Hemp protein, pea protein, Natto, spirulina, tempeh
Healthy fats are crucial for nearly every system in the body.
The nervous system is a big one! The nerves are encased in something called the Myelin Sheath. This myelin sheath is made of fat. Not enough fat means the nerve impulses suffer (this could show up as low energy and / or depression).
So get it in there!
Good sources of healthy fats include: Coconut oil, ghee, avocado, nuts and seeds, olives, olive oil, flaxseed….
Nuts & Seeds:
Another great source of healthy fats: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, macadamias, walnuts to name a few.
(I recommend soaking your nuts overnight to make them easier to digest. You can either re-dry them out in a dehydrator or super low temp in the oven, or just soak two days worth and keep them in the fridge.)
Gluten Free Flours:
Almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, potato flour, brown rice flour, quinoa flour, chickpea flour and then any other gluten-free blends.
Always buy certified gluten free to be safe.
Gluten Free Alcohol:
There are some gluten free beers, but most are not.
Most spirits are typically gluten free. The safest are gin, vodka and whiskey because they are distilled.
And then most wines should be gluten free too.
…you’ll become a really good label reader the more you get into this..! 🙂
Gluten-free condiments, spices and herbs:
Condiments and spices often hide gluten in there so always double check.
But the common safies are: good quality salt, pure spices, cocoa, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs, honey and stevia.
Watch those marketing tricks!
“Gluten Free” is definitely a big thing at the moment. And companies capitalise on this.
So sometimes you see “Gluten Free!” on things that never actually contained gluten in the first place.
Gluten free doesn’t automatically mean healthy.
Lollies for example (candy). Gummy bears would never usually have gluten in them anyway.
Lucky we’re onto them. 🙂
So What might stop you eating more gluten free foods?
I guess because gluten containing foods are often tasty foods? I’m looking at you almond croissants…
I’ve got you covered though!
Recipes Made with Gluten Free Foods:
Next week’s post is going to be a compilation of Gluten Free Resources.
But to start you off I have put together a little free recipe book, “13 Gut Rejuvenating Recipes Everybody Will Love“, you can download it here. Couple goodies in there from Rebecca Coomes and Elena Wistey too.
You don’t have to be on a gut healing journey to enjoy them, they’re really tasty.
Banana Nut Muffins? Pizza? Hot Chocolate??? They’re in here.
If you knowww that you’re going to be eating gluten I highly, highly recommend taking some digestive enzymes to reduce the damaging effects.
Digestive enzymes help to break down the food and get it out of the digestive tract. Nutrients go into the blood stream. The rest gets shuttled along.
…useful for those special occasions. Or the occasional “ah fek it’s..! 😉
Enjoy! And see you next week for those resources….