The new age tiffin services these days are focussing on special diet meals to cater to the needs of new food habits people are adopting over time. Gluten-free diets, keto diets, protein-rich diets, fibre-rich diets are common words we get to hear these days when talking about food. In this post, let us know in detail about what a gluten-free diet is!
A gluten-free diet is a kind of diet that excludes food that contains protein gluten, including wheat, rye and barley. Most of the research on gluten-free diets have been done on people with Celiac Disease, but there happens to be another condition called Gluten Sensitivity which also causes problems with gluten.
WHAT IS GLUTEN?
Gluten is a family of proteins that is found in wheat, barley, rye and spelt. The name comes from a Latin word for “glue,” as it gives the flour a sticky consistency when it’s mixed with water. This glue-like property helps gluten create a sticky network that helps the bread to rise when baked. It also gives the bread a chewy, satisfying texture. There are many people who feel uncomfortable after eating foods that contain gluten. A gluten-free diet involves excluding foods that contain the protein gluten, including wheat, rye and barley.
FOODS NOT TO INCLUDE IN GLUTEN_FREE DIET
Completely avoiding gluten can be somewhat challenging. This is because it is found in almost all the common ingredients that are added to foods. The main sources of gluten are:
- Wheat-based foods like wheat bran, wheat flour, spelt, durum, Kamut and semolina
- Brewer’s yeast
Below are some foods that may have certain ingredients containing gluten added to them:
- Bread: All wheat-based bread.
- Pasta: All wheat-based pasta.
- Cereals: Unless labelled gluten-free.
- Baked goods: Cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza, bread crumbs and pastries.
- Snack foods: Candy, muesli bars, crackers, pre-packaged convenience foods, roasted nuts, flavoured chips and popcorn, pretzels.
- Sauces: Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, marinades, salad dressings.
- Beverages: Beer, flavoured alcoholic beverages.
- Other foods: Couscous, broth (unless labelled gluten-free).
The easiest way to avoid gluten in your diet is to eat unprocessed, single-ingredient foods. You must read the food labels of most foods you buy.
Oats are naturally gluten-free. But, they are often contaminated with gluten, as they might be processed in the same factory as wheat-based foods.
FOODS THAT YOU SHOULD INCLUDE IN THE GLUTEN_FREE DIET
There are plenty of gluten-free options that will allow you to enjoy healthy and delicious meals.
The following foods are known to be naturally gluten-free:
- Meats and fish: All meats and fish, except battered or coated meats.
- Eggs: All types of eggs are naturally gluten-free.
- Dairy: Plain dairy products, such as plain milk, plain yoghurt and cheese. However, flavoured dairy products may have added ingredients that contain gluten, so you must ensure to read the food labels.
- Fruits and vegetables: All fruits and vegetables are naturally free of gluten.
- Grains: Quinoa, rice, buckwheat, tapioca, sorghum, corn, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, teff and oats (if labelled gluten-free).
- Starches and flours: Potatoes, potato flour, corn, corn flour, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond meal/flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour.
- Nuts and seeds: All nuts and seeds.
- Spreads and oils: All vegetable oils and butter.
- Herbs and spices: All herbs and spices.
- Beverages: Most beverages, except for beer (unless labelled as gluten-free).
If you’re ever unsure if a food item contains gluten, it’s always best to read the food labels.
HELPFUL TIPS TO EAT GLUTEN-FREE
There are many helpful tips that can help you follow a gluten-free diet successfully:
- Read food labels: Practice reading food labels so that you can easily identify gluten-free foods.
- Opt for tiffin services offering gluten-free meals: Many new-age tiffin service providers offer special diet food for the specific needs of their customers. Choose a tiffin service provider that offers a gluten-free diet. You can find the list of tiffin service providers near you on oneapp.
- Buy a gluten-free cookbook: Doing so may help you to be more creative with your cooking and make meals more enjoyable.
- Plan ahead: If you’re travelling abroad, make sure you research places to eat and shop. Otherwise, plan your diet around plenty of wholes, single-ingredient foods like lean meats, vegetables and fruits.
- Use separate cooking utensils: If you share a kitchen with your friends or family members, make sure you use separate cooking and cleaning equipment. You don’t want to accidentally contaminate your foods with gluten from other people’s food.
Most people can eat gluten without any negative effects. However, those with Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity need to avoid it, as it can cause harmful effects. While a gluten-free diet is restricting, there are plenty of healthy and delicious options available.
Just make sure to eat plenty of wholes, single-ingredient foods like fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources. They will keep your stomach happy and promote optimal health.
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