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What can I eat on a gluten-free diet?

What can I eat on a gluten-free diet?

If you’re newly diagnosed with coeliac disease and wondering 'what can I eat on a gluten-free diet?' we’ve compiled the facts for you here on how to make your gluten-free journey more manageable.

What can I eat on a gluten-free diet?

Gluten-free doesn’t have to mean boring. Sure, you can’t eat regular bread and other tasty wheat treats, and you have to constantly ask yourself ‘what can I eat on a gluten-free diet?’ while walking the supermarket. But, there are plenty other options out there when you want to satisfy a particular craving.

In fact, many gluten-free foods may surprise you. You might even have a handy stash in your pantry currently.

So, what can I eat on a gluten-free diet?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Some people who choose to eat gluten-free often avoid eating overly processed breads, pasta, and other baked goods. This can lead to weight loss and overall health improvements, as people avoid highly processed, unhealthful foods.

Although gluten is safe for most people, those with conditions like celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid it to prevent adverse health effects.

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid wheat and some other grains, while choosing substitutes that provide nutrients for a healthy diet. Generally, wheat, barley and rye are no-goes. 

The most cost-effective and healthy way to follow the gluten-free diet is to seek out a good mix of these naturally gluten-free food groups, which include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy
  • Beans, legumes, and nuts

What can I eat on a gluten-free diet?

The following grains and other starch-containing foods are naturally gluten-free:

  • Rice
  • Cassava
  • Corn (maize)
  • Soy
  • Potato
  • Tapioca
  • Beans
  • Sorghum
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)
  • Arrowroot
  • Amaranth
  • Teff
  • Flax
  • Chia
  • Yucca
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Nut flours

Gluten-Free Substitutes

Many items that usually contain gluten have gluten-free alternatives that are widely available in most supermarkets and make living gluten-free much easier. Keep in mind, however, that minimally processed fresh foods are a crucial part of a healthy gluten-free diet. It is very important to base your diet around fruits, vegetables, meats, and other healthy food groups listed above – and avoid heavily processed foods.

Processed food items such as cereals, oats, soups and sauces and certain fresh produce such as processed fruits and veggies may or may not contain gluten or wheat-based ingredients.

According to Coeliac New Zealand, products that are labelled ‘Gluten Free’ and manufactured in New Zealand and Australia, can only be labelled as such if they contain ‘no detectable gluten’. However, there are many imported products which are not labelled under the New Zealand food labelling law. So it is wise to check products that you are unsure of.

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