A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free

Are you thinking about going gluten-free? Many people are choosing to do so. There’s a lot to learn about avoiding gluten-containing foods and choosing foods without gluten. Here’s a beginner’s guide to going gluten-free, including how Netrition can help you continue to eat foods you love without any gluten.

Reasons to Go Gluten-Free

Going gluten-free can take some effort, and it can mean giving up some types of foods. So why would you do it?

Here are some reasons to consider going gluten-free.

  • You have celiac disease. About 1% of the population has celiac disease, which leads to irritation and inflammation of the intestinal tract when you consume gluten. The only solution is going on a gluten-free diet.
  • You are allergic to wheat. Just like you can be allergic to soy, eggs, or shellfish, you can be allergic to wheat, which is a major source of gluten.
  • You have gluten sensitivity. You may notice that you feel bloated or uncomfortable when you eat gluten, or you are otherwise sensitive to it.
  • You want to lose weight. If you tend to eat a lot of pasta, bread, or baked goods, you might use a gluten-free diet as a strategy for avoiding these foods and cutting calories.

In some cases, such as if you have celiac disease, going gluten-free is an “always” choice. It’s important to even avoid traces of gluten. If you have any gluten, you may regret it due to severe consequences. 

On the other hand, if you are going gluten-free to try to limit calories or carbs for weight loss, a little bit of gluten can be okay sometimes. 

What Is Gluten and Where Is It?

Gluten is a protein in some grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, couscous, and graham. Since wheat is used to make so many products, it’s hard to avoid gluten unless you’re careful. Examples of grain-based foods that usually have wheat flour in them include many cereals, bread, bagels, pizza, tortillas, and spaghetti. Baked good also have gluten in most cases, with examples being cookies, crackers, croissants, muffins, pie, and cake.

Choosing Gluten-Free Foods

Many foods are naturally gluten-free. These are some examples.

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, split peas, and lentils
  • Soybeans and tofu
  • Eggs, chicken, fish, shellfish, turkey, beef, and other animal-based foods

Be cautious if you’re purchasing packaged foods. Many of them have gluten, even if you don’t expect them to. Soy sauce, soup mixes, flavor packets for at-home cooking, salad dressings, and other condiments often have gluten. Netrition has Gluten-Free Condiments that can help you avoid any risk of accidentally getting gluten.

Choosing Gluten-Free Alternatives

The list of foods that can contain gluten seems awfully long, but don’t worry. Going gluten-free doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favorite foods forever. There are many gluten-free alternatives available at Netrition so you can keep up with your preferred eating patterns while avoiding gluten.

These are just some of the gluten-free foods at Netrition that you can choose instead of gluten-containing products.

  • Gluten-Free Pasta Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, Soy Sauce, and Salad Dressings
  • Gluten-Free Protein Soup Mixes
  • Gluten-Free Low-Carb Pasta, including Protein Chickpea Pasta and Low-Calorie Shirataki Noodles 
  • Gluten-Free Cereal, Granola, and Pancake Mixes
  • Gluten-Free Protein Snack Cakes and Cookies, and Gluten-Free Keto Baking Mixes

There are also gluten-free baking ingredients, such as Almond Flour.

A Balanced Gluten-Free Diet

If you’re going gluten-free, you may be worried about getting enough whole grains. After all, they’re linked to health benefits, such as lower body weight, lower risk for diabetes, and improved heart health.

You can’t have whole-wheat on a gluten-free diet, but there are gluten-free whole grains to include. Netrition has options such as these. 

  • Protein Oatmeal
  • Quinoa Pasta
  • Popcorn

Other gluten-free whole grains include teff, brown rice, and amaranth.

Going Gluten-Free at Restaurants

Many restaurants have gluten-free options, but be careful when you’re choosing where to eat and what to order. Here are some considerations.

  • Does the restaurant use packaged sauces or dressings that may have gluten?
  • Is there a possibility that the “gluten-free” menu option, such as eggs or chicken, has been contaminated with gluten due to coming into contact with other ingredients, such as pancake mix or breading, in the kitchen?
  • Does your server sound confident that she knows everything that’s in the dish?

If you’re able to tolerate a trace of gluten, you can ask for simply prepared foods that are naturally gluten-free. A sample meal may include  lean protein, such as grilled chicken or fish, served with vegetables or a salad, and rice or potatoes. For breakfast, an omelet with vegetables or fruit could work.

It can help to think about why you’re planning to eat out. If the reason you’re going to a restaurant is because you don’t want to cook, consider looking to Netrition for help. Our range of gluten-free Instant Entrees and Sides, such as Bacon Mashed Protein Potatoes and Vegan Chicken Curry, can be ready within minutes and are delicious. You can make them with just water.

Being Prepared Anywhere

A common challenge with going gluten-free is being caught without a gluten-free option when hunger strikes. That’s why it’s a good idea to stock up on portable snacks. Netrition has a wide variety of sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy snacks for every taste and occasion. 

These are a few examples of the Gluten-Free Snacks at Netrition.

  • Ready-to-Drink Shakes
  • Pork Rinds
  • Sugar-Free Candy and Chocolate
  • Protein Bars
  • Keto Tortilla and Protein Potato Chips

Many of the snacks at Netrition are keto-friendly or low in carbs, and many come in single-serve packs for convenience.

There’s a lot to learn when you decide to go gluten-free, but help is available. You can always read package labels and choose gluten-free products. Netrition has all kinds of products, include Bread, Pasta Sauces, Protein Bars, Creamers, Chocolates, and Cereals, that are gluten-free and suitable for a keto, weight loss, or high-protein diet. Check out our offerings to see how fun it can be to go gluten-free.