Gluten-free foods are trending at the moment. Originally intended for people who suffer from Celiac disease, or gluten-intolerance/allergy (they are different things), the gluten-free fad has now swept up a larger portion of the population who are looking to cut back on processed wheat and other grains.
Even if you aren’t gluten intolerant, eating a diet high in glutinous foods can be highly inflammatory. Gluten is the sticky protein found in the mature seed of cereal grasses or grains. It can easily aggravate the digestive process and may crowd out other, more nutritious foods, from the plate.
If you do make the choice to reduce or eliminate gluten in your diet, don’t make the mistake of replacing it with “gluten-free” versions of the original. In most cases, gluten free breads, cereals and pizza bases are even worse for the body – containing many more ingredients, sugars and other nasties to bulk up the flavour.
When going gluten free, enjoy a variety of real, whole foods. Here is an easy to follow list of gluten free foods you can enjoy, and a list of those to avoid:
- Oats (*must be labeled gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination)
- Corn/ maize
- Nuts and nut butters
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Herbs and spices
- Meats and fish purchased without sauce or seasonings
- Home-made soups (avoid bouillon cubes, barley malt, and all types of pasta)
Foods to avoid
- Oats are generally avoided because they are almost always processed in mills that process grains containing gluten
- Modified food starch
- Barley enzymes (found in majority of breakfast cereals), soy sauce, and distilled vinegar (malt vinegar)
Go gluten-free the easy way and fill your plate with a mainly plant-based, whole foods diet. This way, you will never have to worry about hidden gluten lurking in the background.