If you’ve been diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten-intolerance, you’ll know there are foods you need to avoid at all costs! Following a strict gluten-free diet can seem challenging and boring unless you get creative!
Eliminating gluten completely from your eating plan is essential if you want to remain healthy and avoid inflammation, skin rashes, bloating and a whole lot of other unpleasant symptoms. Including a delicious gluten free snack in your diet is one way of avoiding these symptoms. Keep reading for ways to eliminate gluten plus some tasty alternatives to keep you and your taste buds happy!
5 Ways to Eliminate Gluten from Your Diet [PLUS Tasty Gluten-Free Alternatives!]
1. Pick Gluten Free Grains
You can’t be faulted for wondering how you’re going to eliminate foods such as bread, pasta or tortillas if they’re your first choice for most meals! Unfortunately, they’re loaded with gluten-containing grains such as wheat or rye.
However, you don’t have to despair because there are plenty of gluten-free grains including:
- Brown rice
Look out for pasta made with rice flour or bread containing buckwheat flour instead of wheat. Buckwheat makes a tasty and wholesome cereal and brown rice is a healthier alternative to its white counterpart. When purchasing any of these grains, check the packaging for a certified gluten-free label.
2. Choose Fresh Produce Over Processed Fruit and Vegetables
Processed or canned fruit and vegetable products are convenient choices for when you’re too busy to prepare a meal with fresh ingredients. However, you run the risk of being exposed to gluten. Frozen or canned products often include thickening agents or additives that contain gluten. Choosing fresh fruit and vegetables is a more nutritious option AND it’s best for a gluten-free diet.
Here are some tasty and simple ways to eliminate gluten from your daily diet:
- Adding fresh slices of fruit to your bowl of oats in the mornings or as part of your lunchbox makes a healthier alternative.
- Crudités make a wonderful entrée to a meal or as a late afternoon snack.
- Vegetable noodles can replace your regular pasta.
- Opting for a salad instead of a sandwich
3. Read the Labels on Beverages
Reading the labels on packaging will give you a heads-up on which beverages to avoid while following a gluten-free diet. Here are some of the common drinks that include gluten:
- Beer, lager, stout and ale
- Wine coolers
- Dessert wines
- Pre-made smoothies
- Non-alcoholic beverages
Gluten-free alternatives include coffee, tea, vodka, gin, water, wine and most sodas. But, always check the labels of sodas to make sure about additives that could include gluten.
4. Snack on Nuts and Seeds
How often have you given in and consumed crisps, crackers or popcorn because you’re looking for a quick snack before mealtime? Unfortunately, they’re loaded with gluten! However, snacking on nuts and seeds is a great way to make hunger pangs and cravings go away. Plus, they’re excellent sources of nutrients and require no preparation if you choose to go raw.
Some suggestions to get you started:
- Almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts and macadamias are tasty alternatives to gluten-containing snacks while pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds are equally delicious.
- Finely ground nuts can be used to replace wheat flour. Blending them also makes a wonderful dip or spread for gluten-free sandwiches.
- Sprinkle seeds onto your oats for a taste sensation first thing in the morning!
5. Enjoy Scrumptious Gluten-Free Treats
Increased awareness around conditions such as coeliac disease has created a market for gluten-free products that include mouthwatering treats. If you battle to find gluten-free goodies at your local supermarket, it’s worth your while discovering stores that offer specialised food products. E-commerce has made it possible to source specialty foods online as well.
Enjoy gluten free slices that contain delicious ingredients such as coconut and dark chocolate or hunt down a flourless brownies recipe to make your own treats at home. Don’t forget the scrumptious rice pudding or vegan lemon cheesecake when seeking gluten free treats. Marshmallows are often gluten free but always check the label before purchasing them.
Eliminating gluten from your diet is possible and, in some cases, absolutely necessary to keep your body healthy and free from painful conditions. Finding ways to keep gluten-containing food products out of your shopping trolley may seem challenging at first, we know. But, with some careful planning and using the ideas in this article, you can safely navigate a gluten free lifestyle.
Other ways of eliminating this ingredient from your diet include looking for gluten free certification labelling, taking your own food to parties or functions and limiting processed food. Last but not least, joining a gluten free community will help you feel less isolated and get some excellent ideas to enhance your eating plan.