With the buzz surrounding the new gluten-free fad, more and more health food stores are stocking their shelves with gluten-free products to keep up with the trend. But don't be deceived by over processed gluten-free goodies. Some are packed with trans-fat, sugar and harmful additives making what would seem to be a healthier meal option menacing to your health.
Gluten-free does not automatically mean healthy. This being said, studies have shown that eliminating gluten from your diet contributes to numerous health benefits, such as relieving brain fog, soothing inflammation and promoting digestive health. However, without a balanced diet, a gluten-free lifestyle can lack proper nutrition.
Whether diagnosed with Celiac disease, suffering from gluten intolerance or sensitivity, or simply making a change in lifestyle, it is important to maintain a well-balanced diet if choosing to go gluten-free. Avoid over processed, fatty, gluten-free packaged foods that line the shelves in supermarkets and instead focus on a diet rich in real, whole foods.
It is important to incorporate enough vitamins, minerals and fiber while balancing portions of protein, carbohydrates and fats to get the most from a gluten-free diet. Foods like dark leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains are essential components for any healthy meal plan and are great inclusions to a successful, gluten-free diet.
Eliminate the guessing game behind reading the label of gluten-free goods and create your own gluten-free meals with real, whole foods. Need help on getting started? Check out some of these gluten-free recipes below.
Or check out Manhattan Gluten-Free Examiner Amie Valpone for more recipes and information on living gluten-free.