How to Eat on a Gluten Free Diet?

If you’re new to the no-gluten lifestyle or are simply considering it as an option, then there are a few things you’re likely struggling to wrap your head around. Few people realize just how many things have gluten until they have to avoid it altogether. This can make planning meals, cooking and understanding your diet a whole lot harder.

There are a few expert tips you can use to make eating on a gluten-free diet easy. All you need to know is how to plan, what types of foods to focus on and what substitutes you can use in a pinch.

Make a Plan

The key to success when eating gluten-free is having a solid plan. You can use the tips below to plan your meals for the week so you never have to worry about being so hungry that you break your diet.

Try to write out what you’ll eat each day of the week and how you’ll do your grocery shopping. This will ensure that you have everything you need to cook a gluten-free menu without worrying about accidentally breaking your diet and possibly making yourself sick.

Fruits, Vegetables, Meat

First and foremost, there are still tons of foods that you can eat when you switch to gluten-free. You just have to break out of your comfort zone and shift the way you think about food. Many Americans focus on grains when they reach for a snack or start prepping a meal, but there’s more to the food pyramid than bread and pasta. 

When you start eating gluten-free, try to focus on adding more fruits, vegetables and meat to your diet. Opt for whole foods whenever possible and toss as much color on your plate as you can. You can do steak and potatoes or spaghetti squash and pasta sauce, or even stir fry with vegetables and your favorite sausage. Just leave the bread roll in the bakery and you’re all set for a delicious gluten-free meal!

Pre-Made Options

Unlike a decade ago when gluten intolerance was just emerging, today’s grocery stores and corner markets are pretty good at catering to a gluten-free diet. Most places now offer an array of pre-made gluten-free items to choose from. 

One popular product is gluten free bread mix. So many people who switch to a gluten-free diet find themselves really missing the delicious taste of a warm piece of bread or buttered toast. Bread mixes use alternative flours that are safe for people with gluten allergies or intolerances. Just keep in mind that they don’t always behave the same as traditional flour when baking.

You can also look for already baked items, sometimes kept in freezers to avoid cross-contamination. Udi’s is a popular gluten-free brand that makes items like hamburgers and hot dog buns, loaves of bread and even bagels. Or you can reach for a Better Bites gluten-free cupcake or cake bite if you want something a little sweeter.

Substitutes

Just like with any alternative diet, there are also some substitutes you can use to resemble a normal diet but keep it gluten-free. Some of the best and most reliable ways to stay gluten-free are to substitute with vegetables. For example, use spaghetti squash instead of pasta or use a spiralizer to make other types of vegetable noodles.

Many people also have trouble making gravies or other delicious additions to their meals without flour. For these, you can use a gluten-free flour substitute, which often uses a mix of other flours, or try some tapioca flour. Tapioca flour is a great gluten-free way to thicken something you’re cooking just like flour would. 

Switching to a gluten-free diet can be a big adjustment, especially if you aren’t accustomed to limiting your dense carb intake. However, with the right amount of planning and knowing what foods and substitutes you can and can’t have on your diet, you’re sure to create some delicious gluten-free meals!

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