By now, we are all aware of the term “gluten”. Products are now available in supermarkets which advertise themselves as being gluten-free. So, what is “gluten” and what does one mean by a gluten-free diet? Let’s discuss this further. Read on below.
Table of contents
What is a Gluten-Free Diet?
In order to understand what is a gluten-free diet, we will first attempt to acquaint ourselves with gluten. Gluten is a protein which is found commonly in grains like rye, barley and wheat. Gluten consumption can be harmful to people with diseases such as celiac disease. A gluten-free diet is recommended for these individuals and others who suffer from gluten-related medical conditions.
Gluten-free diets claim to improve energy, health and weight loss efforts. However, such a diet changes your dietary nutritional intake and for this reason, it is not advisable to start a gluten-free diet without consulting a health professional first.
Your doctor or dietitian may recommend you to begin a gluten-free diet if you have any of the following health complaints –
Gluten ataxia – Gluten ataxia is an autoimmune disorder which affects some kinds of nerve tissues. It interferes with voluntary muscle movement and muscle control.
Celiac disease – In celiac disease, immune system activity damaging to the lining of the small intestine is triggered. It is an autoimmune disorder which gradually begins to prevent normal nutrient absorption.
Wheat allergy – When a person is subject to a wheat allergy, their body mistakenly perceives proteins found in wheat as a disease-causing agent. The immune system gets triggered to action and forms an antibody which could result in breathing difficulties, congestion and other unwanted symptoms.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity – Even if a person does not have celiac disease, they can suffer from some of its symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, headache and so on. Such a person is considered to suffer from gluten sensitivity which inspires unfavourable reactions in them.
Following a gluten-free diet requires careful attention by the person participating in such a diet. They have to be aware of the foods that they’re consuming and their source. Individuals without any of the above-discussed health conditions may partake of such a diet as well, based on the claimed health benefits of the same.
Gluten Free Diet Plan – What to Eat, What to Avoid
Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity in India need not look too far for gluten replacements to add to their diet. Most of the subcontinent consumes rice as a staple. They can simply switch to rice instead of roti. There are many kinds of rice available in our country and one can have their pick. If they do not wish to consume rice, they can replace wheat with millets. If they want to have roti, they can have roti made of jowar instead of wheat.
Moreover, India offers a wide variety of gluten-free food. You can start your day with dosa, poha, fruits or dhokla for breakfast, have curry with rice for lunch and maybe end your day with a salad and grilled meat. Given below is a 7-day gluten-free diet that can be followed:
Gluten Free Diet Plan Chart
Find below our 7-day gluten-free meal plan –
Day 1 Diet Plan
Use Day 1 of your gluten-free diet to plan the rest of the week. It will help you stick to your diet plan better as the week progresses.
Breakfast – Ragi Dosa(1 dosa) , Skimmed Milk(1 cup), Sambar(1 katori)Mid-morning – Pear(1 small) Almonds(4 almond) Lunch – Steamed Brown Rice(1.5 katori), Moong dal 1 katori), Cucumber Lettuce Salad(1 katori) Evening snack – Buttermilk(1 glass) Pumpkin Seeds(2 tbsp)Dinner – Grilled Chicken(75 grams) Tomato Soup(1.5 katori) Quinoa Pulao(1 katori)
Day 2 Diet Plan
Breakfast – Millet vermicelli (1.5 katori), Boiled egg white (1 egg), Skimmed milk (1 cup)Mid-morning – Apple (1 small) Walnut – 2 whole Lunch – Jowar roti (2 roti/bhakri), Panner sabji (1 katori), Tomato Salad (1 katori)Evening snack – Tea with less sugar( 1 cup) + sprouts bhel(1 cup)Dinner – Brown rice pulao( 1 katori) + Sprouts Raita(1 katori)
Day 3 Diet Plan
Breakfast – Vegetable poha (1 katori), skimmed milk (1 cup), Sambar (1 katori)Morning snack – Pear(1 small) Almonds(4 almond)Lunch – Besan Roti(1 roti) Chole Curry(1 katori) Vegetable Salad(1 katori) Curd(1 katori)Evening snack – Green Tea(1 glass)+ Popcorn(1 cup)Dinner – Palak Soup(1 katori)+ Millet Khichdi( 1.5 katori)
Day 4 Diet Plan
Breakfast – Dal Idli (2 piece), Pudina Chutney(1 tablespoon), Skimmed Milk(1 cup)Morning snack – Apple (1 small) Walnut – 2 whole Lunch – Nachni Roti(1 roti/chapati) Tomato Onion Salad(1 katori) Kala Chana ki Sabji(1 katori) Curd(1 katori)Evening snack – Buttermilk(1 glass) Pumpkin Seeds(2 tbsp)Dinner – Besan Methi ka Parantha(1 paratha)+ Paneer Onion Capsicum Sabji(1 katori)
Day 5Diet Plan
Breakfast – Any preparation of egg with fruit juice and a bananaMorning snack – Apple(1 small (2-3/4″ dia)) Walnut – 2 WholeLunch – Palak Paneer(2 katori) Multigrain Roti(1 piece) Beans Sprouts Salad(1 katori) Evening snack– Buttermilk(1 Glass)Dinner – Palak Brown Rice(1.5 katori) Grilled Pepper Chicken(50 grams) Low Fat Curd Cucumber Raita(1katori)
Day 6 Diet Plan
Breakfast – Mung Dal Chilla(1 piece), Boiled Egg(1 egg), Skimmed Milk(1 cup)Morning snack – Pear(1 small) Almonds(4 almond) Lunch – Jowar Roti(2 roti/bhakri) Paneer Sabji(1 katori) Tomato Salad(1 katori)Evening snack – Green Tea(1 glass)+ Popcorn(1 cup)Dinner – Brown rice pulao( 1 katori) + Sprouts Raita(1 katori)
Day 7 Diet Plan
Breakfast – Mung Dal Chilla(1 piece), Boiled Egg(1 egg), Skimmed Milk(1 cup)Morning snack – Apple(1 small (2-3/4″ dia)) Walnut – 2 WholeLunch – Nachni Roti(1 roti/chapati) Tomato Onion Salad(1 katori) Kala Chana ki Sabji(1 katori) Curd(1 katori)Evening snack – Buttermilk(1 glass) Pumpkin Seeds(2 tbsp)Dinner – Besan Methi ka Parantha(1 paratha)+ Paneer Onion Capsicum Sabji(1 katori)
Our gluten-free diet chart takes careful account of your nutritional needs and tries to meet an adult human’s daily nutrient requirement. If you find yourself hungry after following our serving size, increase your portions gradually to satisfy your hunger.
Gluten Free Diet Benefits
Embarking on a gluten-free diet has its own risks and benefits. We will be surveying gluten-free diet benefits in this section. Besides the fact that consuming gluten is harmful to people with gluten sensitivity and other health conditions, studies confirm that a gluten-free diet benefits people with irritable bowel syndrome as well. However, one doesn’t need to suffer from any of these health issues to benefit from a gluten-free diet.
A gluten-free diet benefits all. How? Here are a couple of ways in which a gluten-free diet benefits people without gluten intolerance –
It encourages people on a diet, to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, as all fruits and vegetables are gluten-free.It eliminates processed unhealthy food products from your diet. You eat less junk food on this diet.You are also less prone to germ and viral diseases as you consume more minerals, vitamins and antioxidants on this diet.According to the Gluten Intolerance Group, a gluten-free diet also reduces the chances of heart diseases, cancer and diabetes
Gluten Free Diet for Weight Loss
The popularity of gluten-free diets for weight loss is increasing around the world. It is believed that gluten-free diet weight loss is real and that a gluten-free diet can promote weight loss in a healthy manner. How much of this claim is true? We find out, in this section. When an individual decides to go gluten-free, they have to forego any kind of food with gluten as an ingredient.
It could be sauces, food additives or food staples such as wheat, rye and so on. In most cases, the person can no longer enjoy their bread, desserts and processed food. Initially, the person loses some amount of weight by cutting these out from their diet, as these food products also happen to be high in calories.
Besides this, when a person resolves to go gluten-free, they have to make practice reading food labels before buying anything at grocers or supermarkets. It’s a healthy habit to keep and promotes healthy dietary practices. When a person makes an informed choice about what they put inside their body, they are less prone to binge eating or consuming unhealthy food.
Moreover, one has to keep a tab on the portions that they eat. No matter what diet you are on, if you cannot control your portions – you will gain weight. There’s really no other alternative to portion control when trying to lose/maintain your weight.
Gluten is an essential protein form and should not be removed from your diet without having consulted an expert first. If you do not suffer from gluten insensitivity or any gluten-related disease, then you should give careful thought to whether a gluten-free diet would be right for you. But if you are, you should consult your dietitian and ask them to provide you with gluten alternatives to help supplement your nutritional needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can you eat on a gluten-free diet?
Do potatoes have gluten?
No, potatoes are gluten-free.
What are gluten foods?
Gluten is a protein which is found commonly in grains like rye, barley and wheat. Gluten consumption can be harmful to people with diseases such as celiac disease. Foods rich in gluten are called gluten foods.
Can you lose weight on a gluten-free diet?
Yes. When an individual decides to go gluten-free, they forego any kind of food with gluten as an ingredient. It could be sauces, food additives or food staples such as wheat, rye and so on. Initially, the person loses some amount of weight by cutting these out from their diet, as these food products also happen to be high in calories. Besides this, when a person resolves to go gluten-free, they get into the practice of reading labels before buying any kind of food. When a person makes an informed choice about what they put inside their body, they are less prone to binge eating or consuming unhealthy food.
Are bananas gluten-free?
Yes, bananas are completely gluten-free.
Do eggs have gluten?
No, eggs are naturally gluten-free.
Is peanut butter gluten-free?
Yes, most often than not, peanut butter is gluten-free. However, it’s advisable to check the label before purchasing one as a brand may choose to add gluten to its products.
What are the worst foods for gluten?
Wheat is known to have the highest amount of gluten. Thus, foods containing flour, processed or unprocessed such as bread, noodles, pies, biscuits etc will have high gluten content. Additionally, cereals like rye, barley and rye are gluten-rich. alcoholic beverages, especially beer, is one of the worst foods for gluten.
Does gluten cause belly fat?
There is no such evidence linked to gluten causing belly fat as compared to other foods. Yes, if you have an allergy to gluten then, it will cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhoea amongst other symptoms.
What happens when you first stop eating gluten?
Going gluten-free could have a few side effects on your body just like any major dietary change. Some of them are
A gluten-free diet demands to forgo staples like roti and bread. The loss of these staples from the diet makes it difficult for one to feel full sooner initially.
Dropping items from your diet that used to be a regular part of your meal may make you suffer from nausea, weakness, irritability etc. However, it is important to note that these conditions are temporary and will go away once your body adjusts to the new diet.
It is to be noted that most gluten-rich foods are also high in fibre. Cutting them off may disrupt your bowel movement. Hence it’s important to supplement your diet with enough fibre when going gluten-free.
Does milk have gluten?
No, milk does not have gluten.