Nowadays there is a sudden craze among the youth about gluten free meal plans, but what is it? Do you even actually need it? Here are the answers to all your queries along with the best gluten-free meal plan for 1 week and some amazing recipes. Sit back and check it out!
1. What is Gluten?
Before we go into gluten-free meal plans, we must have some idea about gluten. Gluten is an insoluble protein composite made up of 2 proteins named gliadin and glutenin.
- They are proteins known as prolamins.
- They give elasticity to the flour.
- Gluten gives a soft and chewy texture to the food.
2. Foods To Avoid In Gluten-Free Meal Plans
Foods containing gluten must be avoided while following gluten-free meal plans. The list is provided below.
- Grains such as Wheat: whole wheat, wheat germ, wheat flour, and semolina.
- Processed food, like -Any type of bread, Noodles, cookies
- Salad dressing
- Packaged foods
- Oats (generally they are gluten-free but often get contaminated with gluten while being processed, so while buying it check the packaging label)
3. Foods you can include in gluten-free meals
The list of what to avoid includes almost all wheat-based foods and most of your favorite go-to snacks also. So, what to eat? Don’t worry, here are a lot of options for you:
- Millet, like pearl millet (bajra), finger millet (ragi), foxtail millet
- Fresh fruit
- Dairy products
- Butter, ghee
- Oils containing healthy fats, e.g., Olive oil, Avocado oil, and Coconut oil
- Oats (Check the label as gluten-free while buying)
The list of items that you can add to your grocery shopping list is vast, right? But always remember to double-check some products.
4. People having Celiac disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the cells of the small intestine get affected after they come into contact with gluten. People with this type of disorder can definitely follow this type of gluten-free meal plan. Researchers say that almost 1% of people in the U.S. are affected by this disorder.
4.1. Nonceliac gluten sensitivity
This is also known as Wheat intolerance. Even if you are not affected or not diagnosed with celiac disease but there are some problems in your body when you eat wheat products, you should avoid eating them and follow a gluten-free meal plan.
The problems one can face in this type of intolerance include bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue Although these symptoms can be associated with many other diseases also, they can’t be avoided.
5. 1-week Gluten free meal plan
Here is the sample 1 week gluten-free meal plan.
You can start your day with 1 glass of lukewarm water with lemon early in the morning.
You can have a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal in your breakfast. Garnish it with fresh fruits and nuts.
White bean soup can be on your choice list for lunch. Have some salad or 1 sliced avocado with it.
You can have roasted fox nuts as your go-to snack.
You may have grilled chicken with 2 gluten-free flatbreads.
Enjoy some banana pancakes. You can check the recipe below.
1 bowl of rice with vegetable soup.
The avocado-yogurt dip is a good choice.
1 serving of vegetable poha with scrambled egg white.
Mini spinach frittatas.
Grilled chicken tacos with salad.
Healthy smoothies. You may like ragi porridge, the detailed recipe is given here as well.
Make a gluten-free pizza of your own and enjoy it.
Kiwi blackberry fruit salad with some soaked almonds.
Mushroom Risotto with cauliflower rice. This tastes great, try this out.
Vegetable soup with 2 gluten-free flatbreads.
Sandwich (see recipe below) with 1 cup of coffee.
Mini spinach frittatas.
Zucchini noodles with boiled or scrambled eggs.
A chicken quinoa bowl.
Have a cup of green tea with some roasted chickpeas.
Chia pudding is a good option.
A bowl of brown rice and vegetable with Greek yogurt.
Quinoa chocolate crisp is a delicious dessert option. Here is the recipe.
White bean soup with some salad.
Have some homemade banana pancakes.
1 bowl of zucchini noodles with a boiled egg.
Any fruits of your choice. This is one of the best snack ideas for a healthy lifestyle.
1 serving of chicken quinoa bowl.
You can give it a try or you can personalize it according to your choice and routine and make your own meal plans. For more meal plans you can check out this video.
6. Some delicious recipes for gluten-free meal plans
If you are following a gluten-free lifestyle, you’ll probably like these delicious meals. Here are some meal prep recipes. Surely you can’t resist cooking these delicious dishes.
6.1. Gluten-free Banana Pancake
Ripe banana, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, eggs, salt, oats powder (make sure they are gluten-free), or buckwheat flour as a substitute for oats powder or cinnamon powder.
6.2. Gluten-free Sandwich
Are you craving a sandwich? Unfortunately, you are not allowed to have wheat bread in your gluten-free diet. Don’t be so upset, we are providing you with a healthy recipe that doesn’t contain gluten. Check out.
- Parboiled rice (3 cups)
- fenugreek seed (1/2 tablespoon)
- black gram (1 cup)
- Veggies of your choice
- Cooking oil
Here is another without-gluten quinoa bread recipe, you may like it.
6.3. Chicken Quinoa Bowl
- Quinoa: 1-2 cups
- Veggies including tomato, onion, and green leafy vegetables
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
Now, mix the cooked quinoa with the chicken and vegetables. The delicious chicken quinoa bowl for a perfect lunch or dinner is ready.
6.4. Ragi Porridge
Are you looking for a quick, healthy, budget-friendly breakfast or afternoon drink option? Ragi Porridge is probably one of the best choices. This easy-to-make recipe is also a savior for hostel students.
Ragi or, finger millet powder, water, salt, coconut milk or curd (optional), cinnamon powder (optional), jaggery (optional)
For more amazing recipes, check out this video.
7. Benefits you can get from following a gluten-free diet
There is a lot of research claiming that the gluten-free meal plan can actually control much more disorders than we can think. Let’s have a look.
- They help in autoimmune disorders.
- It helps in decreasing joint pain and inflammation. As a result, it can show positive results in the case of Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Although it is not scientifically proven yet, some anecdotal reports claim it to be helpful in the cases of Autistic children.
- May be helpful to women having endometriosis or pelvic pain.
- Gluten-free meals are helpful in IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), and other digestive disorders, and also in Colitis and Piles. If you want to know more, you may refer to this article.
- People having normal digestion issues like bloating, gastritis, and indigestion may get benefit from this meal plan.
- Gluten-free meals also help with ADHD. What is Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder? Do you want to learn more? Check out this amazing article from our website.
8. Cons of having gluten-free meals
Besides having so many positive sides, there are also so many cons of this type of diet plan.
#1 Nutrition Deficiency
A gluten-free diet can cause serious nutritional deficiencies if not followed properly.
#2 Mineral Deficiency
If your gluten-free lifestyle is not followed properly and not under supervision, it can cause a deficiency of Zinc, Iron, Folate, Niacin, and fiber in the diet.
#3 Problems with Packaged foods
Most of the packaged gluten-free foods contain additives, like- sugar, sodium, and saturated fats to enhance the flavor and increase their shelf life. These make them a poor choice in PCOD or, PCOS and normal cases also.
9. Common queries regarding the Gluten-free diet are answered!
There are some disagreements among people about this topic. Some believe that gluten-free meals do help in weight loss and some say, no! It’s not possible. So, what to believe?
Although there is hardly any research on how a gluten-free diet affects weight loss, researchers collected the data from healthy nonceliac gluten intolerant patients, and we may come to a rough conclusion from this. So not just going by what people say, let’s check out the conclusions of the reports.
>1 Increased rate of Weight loss
It was seen that people following a gluten-free diet had an increased rate of weight loss and their waist circumference measurement also came out to be less than before.
>2 Increased level of Good Cholesterol
Increased level of good cholesterol was found in people following a gluten-free meal plan. When present in a healthy amount, the good cholesterol or the HDL (High-Density Cholesterol) cleans up the arterial plaque and the other unwanted cholesterol in our body.
>4 Exercise is the key
Researchers say that people who lost weight by following this type of diet plan also scheduled time for exercise in their daily routine and had a calorie-restricted diet.
If you are not gluten intolerant and wanna follow this diet for weight loss, you may, but it’s always better to consult with a doctor before picking up any diet plan.
PCOD and Gluten-free meal plan
Nowadays PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) or, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is common among females all over the World. PCOD is a complex disease for multiple reasons, like- inflammation, insulin resistance, sedentary lifestyle. Apart from hormonal imbalance and irregularity in the menstrual cycle, it can also cause infertility and acne problems, excessive hair growth if left untreated.
Proper diet and proper lifestyle can control the problem as there is no proper cure for this disease to date.
As of now, there is no evidence that having gluten in your diet can actually worsen your PCOS. But studies say that regular consumption of food with gluten may increase the chance of inflammation and increase the risk of autoimmune diseases in your body.
So if you are diagnosed with PCOD and you are planning to go for a gluten-free diet, the best you can do is consult your gynecologist or any certified nutritionist. They will guide you the best because these cases vary with patient history.
Remember, it is always better to consult a certified nutritionist or a doctor before picking up any meal plan.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you suspect you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. They can provide guidance on adopting a gluten-free diet and ensure that your nutritional needs are being met.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
1. Is rice gluten?
2. Which Indian food contains gluten?
3. Which vegetable contains gluten?