Gluten-FreeOver the past decade, the gluten-free diet has exploded in popularity in North America with the global market for gluten-free foods sitting at an estimated $5.6 billion in 2021. For many, the diet is medically necessary, prescribed by an MD to treat celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. For others, it’s a healthier lifestyle that promises more energy and (maybe even) weight loss. Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, rye, triticale, and oats (in some instances). You might assume that a gluten-free diet doesn’t allow grains, but that’s far from true. Actually, most whole grains are naturally 100 percent gluten-free! For instance, grains such as millet, arrowroot, and quinoa don’t contain gluten.
Flours, starches, and grains that are allowed on a gluten-free diet include:
- Corn and hominy
- Gluten-free flours such as rice, soy, corn, potato, and bean flours
- Cassava root flour
Starches, flours, and grains not allowed on a gluten-free diet
- Barley, wheat, rye, triticale, and some oats
- Self-rising flour, enriched flour, graham flour, and farina
Grain-FreeWant to take your gluten-free diet plan to the next level? Try grain-free. People with celiac disease, intolerance to gluten, poor digestion, and autoimmune diseases can benefit from this way of eating. But even those who don’t suffer from these conditions can improve their health by nixing grains. According to Dr. Axe, a grain-free diet can support mental health and even help curb food addiction. Foregoing grains could also boost heart health. A study by Eastern Michigan University’s School of Health Sciences found that a grain-free diet reduced cholesterol, including LDL levels, in people with high cholesterol. Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease have also noticed their symptoms ease after saying “see ya” to grains. In one study, seventy-three percent of IBS sufferers saw their symptoms improve after following a grain-free diet for six weeks. A grain-free diet can also help shrink your waistline (yes, really!). That’s because it forces you to pay close attention to food labels which can inspire you to cook more meals at home. Oh, and nixing grains means cutting out high-carb and high-cal foods like white bread, pizza, pasta, doughnuts. But omitting grains doesn’t mean cutting out flavor and variety in your diet. Whatever your motivation for going grain-free, you can still enjoy a delicious, nutritious menu that still includes carbs.
Starches, flours, and grains allowed on a grain-free diet
- Sweet Potatoes
- Cassava Flour
Starches, flours, and grains not allowed on a grain-free diet
- Wheat products that contain gluten
- Gluten-free grains like rice, barley, oats, and corn
- Graham flour
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