What is a Gluten Free Meal?
Gluten free diets have become extremely popular nowadays, almost all of us know about someone who has adopted a gluten free lifestyle, either for health issues (celiac disease, gluten sensitivity) or just because they want to take advantage of the benefits of a gluten free diet. But the main question for beginners in the gluten free world is, what is a gluten free meal?
What Does Gluten Free Mean
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye and any product that is derived from these grains. Adopting a gluten-free diet means that you eliminate all sources of gluten from your meal plan.
As already mentioned, a lot of grains contain gluten but there are many other gluten-free grains that you can enjoy. Many of these grains can be found in your regular grocery store and some other lesser-known grains can only be found in specialty stores.
Some of the most common gluten-free grains and starch-containing foods are rice, corn, quinoa, millet, amaranth, flax, chia, or gluten-free oats.
Usually, wheat products such as bread, pasta or baked goods contain gluten. However, nowadays grocery stores are packed with gluten-free products or even gluten-free sections. Keep in mind that some of these products can be highly processed and even though they are gluten-free, they are not automatically healthy.
Usually, beverages are gluten-free, including sodas and juices. Alcoholic beverages such as wine and distilled liquors are also gluten-free. However, beer and malt beverages contain grains and therefore are not gluten-free. Nowadays there are companies creating gluten-free beers. Also, some wine casks are apparently lined in a gluten based sealant so you may want to check with your retailer.
Soups and Sauces
If you are trying to avoid gluten, be aware of soups and sauces because there is often gluten hidden as companies use wheat to thicken them. Always read the labels and to make it easier, be sure to buy certified gluten-free products.
Gluten Free Diet Plan for Beginners
Are you trying to follow a gluten free diet but you don’t know how to begin? Following a gluten free diet is simple if you understand what gluten is and which products contain it.
Here’s a quick gluten-free diet plan example for a normal day:
Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Chia and Flax
No time for preparing breakfast in the morning? No problem! This overnight oat is ready in 5 minutes and can be prepared the night before. Begin the day with all the right nutrients!
Mid-morning Snack: Hummus
Hungry before lunch time? Why don’t you cut some veggies and try this delicious homemade hummus? It is also a great appetizer idea!
For more inspiring gluten-free snacks on the go, you should check out this article.
Lunch: Gluten Free Roasted Veggie Pasta
You can still enjoy pasta on a gluten-free diet! You just have to select gluten-free grains as quinoa, rice or corn! You won’t taste the difference!
Mid-afternoon snack: Gluten Free Lemon Cream Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are described as one of the most nutritious food on the planet and guess what: they are gluten-free! This pudding takes just 10 minutes and is packed with so many good nutrients!
Dinner: Fish In Red Curry Sauce
Finish your day with this red curry with fish, prepared in 10 minutes. So easy and delicious!
Dessert: Gluten Free Fresh Fruit Tart
If you still have room for a dessert, you should try this fresh fruit tart! Perfect for summer nights!
Hopefully, you don’t think that a gluten-free diet is difficult to follow anymore after all these meal ideas! I also hope you have now a clear understanding about which products contain gluten and which others are suitable for a gluten-free lifestyle. If you would like to have more inspirational gluten-free diet ideas, you may find this 10-day diet plan interesting.