So you’ve found out that you’re supposed to be removing ‘gluten’ from your diet.. or maybe it’s someone you love or prepare food for.
Your first reaction will most likely be overwhelm.. closely followed by bewildered confusion. What the heck is gluten and why is it so bad?
Considering the way that most of us have been bred and raised in Western society with carb-heavy diets that begin with a staple of some crunchy white.. wheat-full bakery item, or a big helping of grain-laden cereals.. it’s no wonder this revelation can leave us feeling like we’ve just landed on another planet.
So let’s start with the basics and try and de-mystify these foods a little.
Gluten 101 - What is Gluten?
Gluten is simply a group of proteins, the 2 main types of which are gliadin and glutenin. These bind together, and the amino acids create a structure that behaves in a way which to us.. represents the stretchy, bouncy, fluffy yumminess we see and taste in so many baked goods.
Foods that contain the gluten proteins include wheat, barley and rye.
Oats do not contain gluten, but do have a minor ‘cousin’ protein called avenin which is related to wheat. Stay tuned for more on this and how it may affect some with sensitivities.
What can you eat?
'Going gluten free’ may at first may seem completely devastating, but fear not!.. there is plenty of good news...and a plethora of other seeds, grains, legumes, and superfoods that will not only successfully imitate some of the characteristics of gluten, but can be far more nourishing for us.
While gluten should be a harmless natural wholefood.. sadly for many it’s a highly inflammatory illness ingniter. More on that later, but for now, let’s focus on naturally gluten free foods that you CAN eat, and even better.. will make your body sing!
Our top 25 - Gluten Free Foods list
So which grains or flours are suitable.. even beneficial, and moreover.. what can we eat that will satisfy all those in-bred ‘bready’cravings.
Below is our simple list of the best gluten free foods and flours that you’ll want to get to know to incorporate into your gluten free foods list. We guarantee that once you see the benefits you’ll learn to love eating gluten free ❤.
Bear in mind, there is far more to eat than you imagine, and this is by no means an exhaustive list of available gluten free wholefoods, but rather a start to getting to know some of the gluten free flours, seeds and legumes that will help lead your body and gut to freedom from anxiety.
Our top 25 list of Naturally Gluten Free Seeds & Grains *
In Alphabetical order
|1||Almonds / Almond meal (tree nut)|
|2||Amaranth / Amaranth Flour (seed)|
|3||Banana / Green banana flour (fruit)|
|4||Buckwheat / Buckwheat flour (fruit)|
|5||Cacao / Cacao powder (fruit seed)|
|6||Cassava / Cassava Flour (tuber)|
|7||Chia / Chia flour (seed)|
|8||Chickpeas / Chickpea or Besan flour (legume)|
|9||Coconut / Coconut flour (seed/dupe)|
|10||Corn / non-glutinous cornflour or maize starch (Grain)|
|11||Faba / Fava or faba bean Flour (legume)|
|12||Hemp / Hemp flour (seed)|
|13||Linseed / Linseed meal (seed)|
|14||Millet / Millet Flour (Seed)|
|15||Peas / Yellow pea flour (legume)|
|16||Pepitas / Pumpkin seed kernels (seed)|
|17||Potato / Potato starch flour (tuber)|
|18||Psyllium Husk / Powder (seed husk)|
|19||Quinoa / Quinoa flour & Flakes (seed)|
|20||Rice / Rice Flour (Grain)|
|21||Sorghum / Sorghum Flour (Seed)|
|22||Sunflower / Sunflower meal (seed)|
|23||Tapioca / Tapioca starch flour (tuber)|
|24||Teff / Teff flour (seed)|
|25||Tigernuts / Tigernuts Flour (tuber)|
Is Buckwheat Gluten Free?
Often the little elephant in the room.. Buckwheat by name sounds like it should contain gluten. Isn't it wheat?
No, Buckwheat in spite of it’s name is related to the rhubarb family and is naturally gluten free. Bear in mind however, that it can be a product which is prone to being contamination during processing. Validate it’s been tested to ensure it’s gluten free integrity.
A Word about Gluten Contamination
It's very important to note some products which are naturally gluten free, can still be prone to gluten contamination due to rotational crops or processing practices. We recommend verifying your products are marked as ‘gluten free’ or are supplied by a reputable re-seller who validates their gluten free status.
For products grown in regions where wheat, barely or rye are processed, testing does need to be conducted to ensure the products meet the Australian Standard of less than 5pmm (parts per million). In many Countries including the US, this standard is considered acceptable at 20pmm.
So it's worth being aware that there is quite a broad difference in many recipes and products around the globe.
Use your resources, check labels and determine what's right for your individual circumstances.
If you're a coeliac or are caring for the diet of one, it's recommended you ere on the side of verified gluten free products only.
Gluten Free Wholefoods
Remember that this is how we’re supposed to eat and what our body craves and recognises. Heavily processed foods full of sugars and starches are empty carbs that have little nutrition and can spike insulin.. so use them sparingly. So focus on nourishing your body with unprocessed wholefoods and naturally gluten free foods is your answer to better health, maintaining a healthier weight and a happier gut.
So hopefully you now have some tools to make better Gluten Free choices, and actually look forward to preparing naturally gluten free wholefoods.
Remember that eating Gluten Free is simply about choosing different foods. Gone are the days of having little options in 'GF' prepared foods, where 'cardboard' like breads were the norm, or being forced toward starchy, sugar-filled alternatives.
Using gluten free flours, doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you, so be sure to get to know and understand what you're putting in your body to get the most back from it.
Remember, food is still fuel after all, and those with gluten sensitivity often have damaged gut lining, so opt for healthier wholefoods where you can.
Many of the above foods have been available for centuries, but they are now more readily available than ever before.
So get to know them, try out baking from scratch, and supplementing whenever possible for a healthier option that will help you start your journey to better health!