Today, I’m negating the myths about eating healthy on a gluten free diet. With all of the misconceptions, I’m here to share all you need to know about eating healthy AND gluten free at the same time.
Last week, I began sharing my story about how I became gluten free and on a strict diet. And as someone who advocates and writes about eating healthy, I thought it was important to share the process of eating healthy on a gluten free diet. This takes time to figure out exactly what gluten free foods are going to be healthy, but if eating healthy is a goal of yours, then here are the tips I have learned!
Not All Gluten Free Products Are Created Equal
If you think that just because something is gluten free, you are automatically eating healthy, I would let you know that you need to examine what you’re eating. If you are eating junk and processed foods as the majority of your diet, that is NOT going to help you with eating healthy. The reason is that gluten free foods that are processed are STILL processed. Just because they are gluten free does not mean that the processing takes out the added sugars, chemicals, etc. And when you are eating healthy, you shouldn’t be consuming processed foods in excess. So, replacing Oreo’s with gluten free pastries is not making you healthier, it’s just replacing processed food with other processed food.
For people with Celiac disease or gluten allergies, a gluten free diet will definitely be healthier. But, if you don’t have these issues, eating gluten free could lack nutritional content. Eating healthy means you balance your food intake and are providing your body with nutrition in the proper amounts. But eating gluten free doesn’t always provide the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, or even fiber. Eating healthy on a gluten free diet means that you have to be very aware of the nutritional content of most of the foods you are eating. You have to make sure that you eat specifically to obtain the right amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If most of your gluten free food lacks nutritional content (which is very likely) then you are not likely eating healthy on a gluten free diet.
As a girl on a gluten free diet, and a personal trainer and health blogger, my focus on eating healthy on a gluten free diet is to eat whole foods. My approach is to consume whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, legumes, and healthy fats. This approach to a gluten free means I’m eating healthy, while avoiding gluten. The truth is that a majority of processed foods, no matter if they are gluten free or not, are unhealthy. So, eating healthy on a gluten free diet means I try to stick to whole foods. Sometimes it’s difficult, especially because we are on the go in this culture, but the more I try to stick to whole foods, the easier it is to stick to eating healthy!
Naturally Gluten Free
If you really desire eating healthy on a gluten free diet, also consider what is naturally gluten free. If something is naturally gluten free, it will probably help you stick to eating healthy. The reason being is that this is another way for you to determine if something is minimally processed or not. Just as whole foods are going to be the healthiest and provide the most nutritional value, it is likely that naturally gluten free foods will as well!
No matter if you are on a gluten free diet or not, eating healthy is important. But, if you are attempting healthy eating on a gluten free diet, you have to be very aware of what you are consuming. Eating healthy, especially on a gluten free diet, is a process. It takes time to examine your diet, and learn what eating healthy looks like. Start your approach to eating healthy by knowing that it takes time, and that you will have to make adjustments to your diet. And if you are removing gluten, make sure you are getting both the proper macro nutrients (carbs, protein, fats) as well as micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post in the comments below? Are you trying out eating healthy on a gluten free diet? What insight did you receive from this post to help you approach eating healthy on a gluten free diet?