What to Eat: Several foods such as rice, sweet potato, quinoa, buckwheat, even popcorn are naturally gluten-free and are far more beneficial to your body than cornmeal and sugar-laden food products. Most whole grains have vitamin B, vitamin E, minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, fiber, protein, carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. I suggest getting most of your carbohydrates from whole grains whether you’re following a gluten-free diet or not. This way you can save the extra calories from sugar and fat from the pre-made products labeled gluten-free, and you’ll save money.
You Should Know: Gluten takes the form of wheat (includes farro, spelt), oat, rye, triticale (rye/wheat) and barley. Because it comes in contact with packaged food items, it can be difficult to stay away from. Now that the public is very aware of celiac disease (1-2 percent of the American population have it) food manufacturers have made a point to have ‘gluten-free’ on food packaging. This makes things easier for some packaged foods, but make sure to read the ingredient list and know what to avoid. For those who may have an allergy or sensitivity, the same rules apply by prioritizing eating whole foods before packaged foods.
Expert Tip: If you follow a diet of pre-packaged gluten-free foods like granola, cookies, and snacks, you won’t be having any issues like malabsorption that come with gluten intolerances, allergies, and sensitivities; however, you will miss out on several nutrients your body needs to properly function. Also, if you do have reason to believe you have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten, get the proper blood work done to see if your reactions are severe, treatable, and/or manageable before diagnosing yourself.
SEE ALSO: Build Muscle on a Gluten-Free Diet