You’ve already read our stance on Going Gluten Free the Real Food Way (If not, go read it!). This is our follow-up post with a goal of giving you resources, tools and knowledge to do so the healthiest way possible!
Broken into the 3 main categories we always talk about, Proteins Fats and Carbs (PFC), these are the gluten-free real foods you should embrace and avoid…
Embrace (DO eat):
All proteins are naturally gluten-free — just make sure they don’t have added ingredients such as bread crumbs or batter.
Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs
No (healthy) fats are off limits! Embrace them all. Fats are super important because they will also help heal the damage (inflammation) from eating gluten in the first place.
Cream and Butter
Dairy: As far as yogurt and ice cream goes, as long as there aren’t any added ingredients (like granola or cookie pieces), they should be gluten free.
We recommend getting your carbs from veggies and fruits, but if you want to include a grain, rice is your best bet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Potatoes (white or sweet potatoes but sweet potatoes are more nutritious!)
Corn Tortillas (always check the ingredient lists though — especially at restaurants!)
Avoid (DON’T eat):
You will notice that nearly everything in this section is a processed carb! They’re not healthy to begin with. You will feel better eliminating these even if you aren’t sensitive to gluten.
3 Additional points to consider:
Gluten can hide in unexpected places. Look out for gluten hidden in: condiments, soup mixes, lunch meats, vitamins, other supplements, alcohol (malt beverages and grain alcohols), dressings, sauces, fried foods, pickles and even some teas. (Keep an eye out for these key words on the labels: MSG, modified food starch, textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, extenders and binders…the list goes on, which is why avoiding processed and manufactured foods with many ingredients and sticking with real foods is your safest bet!)
A word on gluten free products: Gluten-free does NOT necessarily mean healthy. Let us explain. Food manufacturers have caught onto the fact that people are healing their health issues by going gluten free. They know this means that people won’t be buying their gluten-laden grains, so they’ve come up with a simple, money-making solution: “gluten free” versions of everything! Cake mixes, granola bars, cookie dough, cereals, bread, muffins — you name the processed food; they’re going to have a gluten-free substitute.
By swapping a junk food lifestyle for a gluten free junk food lifestyle, believe it or not, may still not allow you to feel the best you could feel. You can’t eat junk food and expect to feel good, even if it’s gluten free junk food! Gluten free products (processed foods) can help with the transition to eating gluten free, but we challenge you to do it the real food way. When starting out, it can be helpful to use a slice of gluten free bread in place of your usual whole wheat or a corn tortilla instead of a wheat wrap. Or, you could really go for it and use a huge slice of lettuce. ☺ You don’t need gluten free products to go gluten-free and ultimately, the goal should be real food (meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits and healthy fats).
You should also heal your gut. Consuming gluten causes an inflammatory response in your body, which negatively affects the health of your gut. Getting your body on the right track is a two way street. You need to stop putting gluten in and also heal the damage the gluten has already caused. We recommend using probiotics, L-glutamine and fish oil supplements along with consuming healthy fats and fermented foods to support your body’s healing process. For more on this, you should read Heal the Gut No Matter What.
That wraps up our Simple Guide to Gluten Free. Now check out the next post on this topic: 5 Tips for Going Gluten Free.
And grab the guide below for my BEST tips to BUST (and prevent!) sugar cravings!