The beginner’s guide to going gluten free

A gluten-free diet is very common these days, and not just among people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet can help reduce inflammation, joint pain, and digestive discomfort if you’re sensitive to gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Other popular diets, like the Paleo diet, also avoid all gluten. So if you’re into CrossFit or have otherwise adopted a more traditional diet, chances are you’re also gluten-free.


A gluten-free diet can be very nutritious and nutritious. There are many healthy foods that are naturally gluten-free, and focusing your diet around these foods should help provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs. However, there are potential nutritional deficiencies and a somewhat staggering abundance of gluten-free products, so knowing what to eat and what to avoid when gluten-free can be overwhelming. We’ve got you covered; Read on for a beginner’s guide to gluten-free diets to ease the transition to gluten-free eating.

What is a gluten free diet?

a bowl of gluten free muesli.

A gluten-free diet eliminates all gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and triticale, a mix of wheat and rye. While it sounds like gluten is only found in grains and high-carb foods like pasta, bread, crackers, and flour, it’s also used as a thickener and dietary supplement in other processed foods like condiments, sauces, and cold meats.

A gluten-free diet is not necessarily grain-free, as there are whole grains that are naturally gluten-free, such as brown rice, millet, and oats.

What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet?

gluten free lunch bowl with egg and tofu.

There are several reasons men choose to follow a gluten-free diet, and the potential benefits of this include the following:

  • Curing Celiac Disease – requires a lifetime commitment to a gluten-free diet
  • Reducing Inflammation: Gluten can be inflammatory in the body, so a gluten-free diet can reduce inflammation.
  • Reduction of joint pain
  • Improvement of inflammatory skin diseases and allergies
  • lose weight
  • reducing flatulence
  • improve digestion
  • increase in energy
  • Decreasing headaches
  • Improvement in athletic performance

Foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet

Bagel with salmon and cream cheese has gluten.

It’s important to eliminate every source of gluten when following a gluten-free diet, especially if you have celiac disease. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, malt, triticale and brewer’s yeast. Note that wheat comes in many forms, types, and names, and they all contain gluten. Examples are durum, spelt, couscous, semolina, farina, farro, kamut, einkorn, wheat berries, bulgur, wheat bran, and wheat germ. Unless a product is specifically labeled as gluten-free, and the ingredients label does in fact state that it contains no gluten-containing ingredients, foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet include the following:

  • Bread products: All-purpose flour, wheat flour, white flour, bread, crackers, English muffins, filo pastry, pitas, bagels, waffles, pancakes, breadcrumbs, pasta, lasagna, couscous, croutons, buns, hot dog and hamburger buns, breadsticks, canned and prepared cookies and croissants, pies , donuts, muffins, snack cakes, cakes, cookies, danishes, tortillas, many breakfast cereals and granola etc.
  • Fast food: Burgers and Buns, Anything Fried, French Fries, Breakfast Buns, Donuts, Chicken Nuggets, Pizza, Chinese Fast Food, Tacos, Onion Rings, Anything Breaded, etc.
  • Snacks: Breaded Snacks, Crackers, Granola Bars, Pork Skins, Pita Chips, Packaged Popcorn, Pretzels, Combos, Flavored Chips, Tater Tots, Packaged Cookies, Toaster Pastries, Cheese Dip, etc.
  • Processed Meat: Luncheon meats and cold cuts, hot dogs, imitation crab, breaded meats, etc.
  • Frozen Dinners: Frozen pizza, many frozen entrees, frozen prepared lasagne, frozen Chinese dishes, frozen pot pies, etc.
  • Dairy products: Ice cream or yogurt that contains biscuits or additives with gluten, pudding, shredded processed cheese, etc.
  • Pages: Instant mashed potatoes and processed potato products, some packaged rice side dishes, pilaf, etc.
  • Sauces and condiments: Salad dressing, soy sauce, tamari, teriyaki sauce, sauces, many Asian sauces and marinades, MSG, bar cubes, etc.
  • soups: Chicken noodle soup, any soup with noodles, spaghetti os, most condensed soups like cream of mushrooms, sauces, bouillon cubes, etc.
  • Food in the restaurant: Anything that isn’t labeled gluten-free, because even if the food is naturally gluten-free, it’s likely to be prepared on gluten-contact equipment.
  • Plant-based meat: Seitan, used as a vegan meat substitute, is composed entirely of essential wheat gluten and must be avoided at all costs. Many other plant-based meats, such as vegan chicken and vegan burgers, contain gluten. Always read the label.
  • Alcoholic drinks: Beers, ales and lagers often contain wheat, rye or barley. Most malt beverages contain gluten, although there are now some gluten-free beers that people with celiac disease can also enjoy. It’s often best to avoid liqueurs made from gluten-containing grains as well.

Food for a gluten-free diet

gluten free yoghurt bowl with fruits.

A gluten-free diet should include as many unprocessed, healthy foods as possible, including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, legumes, low-fat dairy, eggs, healthy fats, nuts and seeds. Although there are many gluten-free products, such as bread, cookies, cakes, and chips, these are still considered processed foods and are almost always inherently less nutritious than natural, unprocessed foods. They can also be expensive. You should eat the following foods on a gluten-free diet:

  • Vegetables: All vegetables are naturally gluten-free. Enjoy all vegetables like kale, spinach, carrots, lettuce, chard, broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, onion, cauliflower, asparagus, beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, squash, onions, etc. Avoid canned vegetables in creams like creamed spinach or cream corn.
  • Fruit: All fruits are naturally gluten-free. Enjoy pears, apples, melons, oranges, grapefruit, plums, apricots, peaches, berries, bananas, pomegranates, kiwis, tomatoes, kumquats, etc. Avoid canned fruit pie fillings.
  • Wholemeal and bread products: Whole, unprocessed brown rice, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, tapioca, sorghum, corn, millet, amaranth, and arrowroot. Note that oats are naturally gluten-free, but may contain traces of gluten when processed on equipment that comes in contact with wheat. Look for oatmeal that is labeled gluten-free.
  • eggs
  • Lean meat, poultry and fish: Fresh or frozen lean beef, bison, venison, chicken, turkey, salmon, scallops, tofu, halibut, cod as long as it is not breaded or fried, etc.
  • Low fat dairy products: Skim milk, 1% milk, low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese (but not many processed cheese products), etc.
  • Legumes: Dried or canned beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, soy, etc. Avoid canned chili and baked beans.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Raw or dry roasted almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, etc. Avoid flavored and processed nuts.
  • Fats and oils: Olive oil, avocados, coconut, flaxseed oil, etc.
  • Herbs and spices: Basil, Thyme, Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Ginger, Rosemary, Cumin, Chili Powder etc.
  • Beverages: Water, tea (herbal tea, green tea, black tea etc.), red wine, milk, coffee.

Do you need nutritional supplements on a gluten-free diet?

Vitamins for those going gluten free.

In general, a gluten-free diet can provide your body with all the nutrients it needs, as long as you eat a varied diet that includes all major food groups. However, if you have celiac disease, you are often more prone to deficiencies due to absorption issues. Fiber, iron, calcium, folic acid, zinc, vitamin B12, and fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, E, D, and K) are the most common nutritional deficiencies associated with celiac disease. It is recommended that you discuss your needs and concerns with your doctor.

Example of a gluten free meal plan

Quinoa bowl for lunch.

Curious about what a gluten-free diet day might look like? Below we share an example of a gluten-free eating plan:

  • Breakfast: Protein and veggie smoothie made with banana, spinach, almond butter, non-fat Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries, raspberries, and chia seeds.
  • Having lunch: Kale and Quinoa Salad Bowl with sliced ​​avocado, roasted chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, peas and peanuts.
  • Snack: Hummus with carrots, cucumber, pepper strips and celery.
  • Dinner: Grilled sesame-crusted salmon with Brussels sprouts and broccoli, over brown rice. side salad.
  • Snack: Apple with almond butter and dark chocolate.

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