In the past several years, the gluten-free diet movement has gained much popularity and media attention; both as a legitimate diet, as well as an alternative for those with certain food allergies, such as celiac disease. On a very basic level, if you want to go gluten-free, you will want to avoid foods with ingredients with the protein gluten in them — and gluten is always in foods that are derived from wheat, barley, and rye.
For those thinking about taking up the gluten-free diet and curious about what foods fit the bill, this article will help to set you in the right direction.
Gluten-Free vs. No-Gluten Foods
There are foods that naturally have no gluten in them (“No-Gluten Foods”, such as rice, vegetables, meat, etc.) and food products that traditionally do have gluten/wheat flour in them, but have been processed and manufactured to be wheat-free substitutes (Gluten-Free). This is an important distinction to make, because gluten is generally an important part of the cooking/baking process; wheat gluten is a thickener and heavily contributes to the texture and consistency in many foods, which is why it is so often found in seemingly innocuous ingredients, such as soy sauce and salad dressing (watch out)!
Gluten-free diet foods, then, generally must substitute ingredients to offset the lack of gluten, and those often unfortunately come with an equal or greater calorie content than non-gluten-free foods. Sugar and fat are the main alternative ingredients, as well as other ingredients that mimic the properties of wheat gluten. Because of this, “gluten-free” products may be just as “bad” or worse than their gluten-having counterparts, at least in the goal of losing weight.
So if you want to lose weight following the gluten free diet, the best way to do so would be by sticking to foods that naturally have no gluten in them. This is a bigger list than most people think, so here are basic foods you should avoid while starting on your new diet.
Foods That Contain Gluten/Foods To Avoid
When in doubt, always check the label!
Naturally Gluten-Free Foods
All naturally-growing, unprocessed fruits and vegetables are gluten free, except for, of course for wheat, barley, and rye. If you are eating fresh, natural fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, not only will you be adhering to a gluten-free diet, but you will naturally lose weight!
Many people often think potatoes, rice, corn, or any products that are made from these ingredients contain gluten. In some cases, yes, but in many this is not the case. It is very important to make checking labels a habit whenever you buy something processed, to see if it contains gluten or not.
This should give you a basic start on how to discern gluten-free diet foods. Good luck!