One of the biggest fads in food right now is being gluten-free. For some people, being gluten-free is a matter of preference, but for others, it’s a matter of health.
Those with celiac disease have an intense allergy towards gluten and must avoid it at all cost. The gluten-free fad has been great for people with gluten allergies as it is now easier than ever for them to find foods that they can eat. Whether you are allergic to gluten or simply want to cut it out of your diet, Fresh N Lean makes gluten-free meals in order to accommodate your needs. In fact, all of our meals are gluten-free.
In this article, we’ll explain a bit more about what gluten is as well as what types of foods have gluten in them.
What is Gluten
Gluten is a protein that is found in certain types of grains. Gluten is what gives bread and other grain products an elasticity or stretchiness to them. About 47% of wheat flour’s total protein makeup is gluten. According to some researchers, the amount of gluten has increased steadily over time thanks to selective breeding.
There are people with celiac disease, who have a strong gluten allergy, but there are also some who have a minor allergy to gluten who would probably benefit from avoiding gluten. The effects of gluten can vary greatly and the intensity of gluten’s effects will depend on the intensity of one’s allergy.
Some of the symptoms of a gluten allergy include:
- Behavioral changes
- Weight loss
- Muscle cramps
- Bone or joint pain
- Skin inflammation
- Digestive issues
Gluten can also cause you to feel lethargic or tired. This is possible because gluten prevents some people from properly absorbing nutrition. Malabsorption in nutrients like iron can lead to anemia which leads to increased tiredness.
Gluten allergies may also lead to joint pain, cramping, and numbness in the legs.
Lastly, in some rare cases, gluten can lead to depression, confusion or ADHD. This is due to an inflammatory molecule called a cytokine which is released by the brain when someone with a gluten allergy consumes gluten.
What Has Gluten In It
Gluten is primarily found in wheat, barley, and rye, as well as their byproducts.
So any product that has one of the aforementioned ingredients in it will likely trigger your gluten allergy. This includes foods with white flour in them as they are just a form or wheat which has been stripped of its natural, nutritional value.
When looking at foods to buy, you need to be extra careful that these foods are not mentioned anywhere in the ingredients list. These three grains are common fillers that are put in a variety of foods. Even many fast food places have wheat in their meat.
In order to begin a proper gluten diet, you have to look carefully at the ingredients list of every food product you consume.
Is Rice Gluten-free
Rice is usually gluten-free. If you’re buying plain, white rice then you do not have to worry about gluten. In fact, all types of rice are gluten-free, unless they are mixed with something else. Nonetheless, you have to look at the supplement facts to make sure there is no warning about cross contamination.
Some food processing plants may process both gluten and non-gluten grains in the same facility. If the rice you’re looking at was processed in a factory where wheat is also processed, there is a high chance of cross contamination. In this case, your rice, which should be gluten-free, is no longer safe.
Is Quinoa Gluten-free
Quinoa is also gluten-free. quinoa is a South American grain found in the Andes mountains. It looks like a shorter version of rice. Quinoa has become increasingly popular as a gluten-free alternative to rice.
Even though rice is gluten-free as we previously discussed, white rice is still high on the glycemic index, meaning it converts into blood sugar which is normally stored as fat. Quinoa, on the other hand, is low on the glycemic index as well as gluten-free. Again, make sure to look out for warning labels about whether or not your quinoa was processed somewhere alongside wheat and other grains.
What Are Some Other Gluten-free Foods
There are other lesser known grains that are gluten-free as well. These grains include:
All of these grains can be good alternatives to wheat, rye, and barley if necessary alongside rice and quinoa.
Gluten is everywhere and it can be hard to avoid with constant diligence. Fresh N Lean makes living gluten-free so much easier. Our meals contain absolutely no gluten whatsoever.
With Fresh N Lean, you get delicious meals delivered right to your front door that you know will be gluten-free every, single time. Take a look at our gluten-free meal delivery plans today to see if Fresh N Lean is right for you.