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Gluten-free foods: Know what to eat and what to avoid

Thinking of going gluten-free? It can be hard to know what a gluten-free diet is and how to get started. Read on to know what to eat and what to avoid.

Health Desk Written By: Health Desk New Delhi Updated on: January 04, 2023 20:51 IST
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Image Source : FREEPIK Know all about glute-free foods

Gluten is the term given to a group of proteins that are found in some grains, including wheat, rye, barley and spelt. In baking, gluten gives dough its elasticity and creates that lovely crumb-like texture in bread and cakes. There are many foods, such as unprocessed meat, fruit and vegetables, that are naturally gluten-free – and there are other free-from foods that have been processed to remove the gluten, or are specifically manufactured to be gluten-free.

People on a gluten-free diet need a sharp eye for labels. Some ingredient red flags are obvious, like wheat, wheat gluten, barley, or rye. But some foods have "stealth" gluten. Two terms to watch for are malt (which is made from barley) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (it often contains wheat). And while oats do not contain gluten, they may also increase symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Is barley gluten-free? See which foods are high in gluten.

Best gluten-free foods to try

1. Rice

A versatile grain and free from gluten, rice has multiple uses, our egg fried rice is better than any takeaway.

2. Fresh meat

Fresh, unprocessed meat is free from gluten, but we need to avoid battered or breadcrumbed products as well as faggots, haggis and some meatballs. For a fresh-tasting chicken, try our paillard of chicken with lemon and herbs.

3. Fresh fish

All fresh, dried and smoked fish and shellfish are gluten-free.

4. Buckwheat

Actually the seed of a flowering plant, buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, however, be aware that some buckwheat products may be manufactured in a plant that also handles wheat, rye or barley – so check labels. 

5. Butter and vegetable oils

Butter and cooking oils including ghee and lard are gluten-free

6. Eggs

Nutritional powerhouses also offer good value for money.

7. Nuts and seeds

Plain nuts, seeds and all pulses are naturally free of gluten. 

What to avoid:

  • Barley malt
  • Some chicken, beef, and vegetable broths
  • Malt vinegar
  • Some salad dressings
  • Veggie burgers
  • Frozen meals
  • Condiments 
  • Soba noodles

A diet without gluten is used to help alleviate symptoms of celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that affects nutrient absorption and prevents the digestion of gluten. But many people go gluten-free despite not having celiac disease or other similar health conditions that necessitate eliminating gluten. People who follow a gluten-free diet for nonmedical reasons may be seeking weight loss, better focus, increased energy, or a less-bloated belly, all potential benefits touted commonly by wellness influencers. 

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or medical advice.

Also Read: How to deal with acid reflux? know its symptoms, causes and treatment

Also Read: Bread-Jam to pizza with soda; harmful food combinations you must avoid

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