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Foods To Avoid When Going Gluten Free With Your Diet

There’s a lot of controversy these days amongst health and medical professionals regarding the impact of gluten in the diet. Some say only those with Celiac disease need to scrupulously avoid gluten, while others argue most everyone can benefit from removing it from their diet.

Once again the degree in which one would look to remove gluten from their diet goes back to unique individual needs. Personally, I tend to recommend the removal of modern wheat from the diet for all of my weight loss clients.

This recommendation isn’t solely tied to gluten sensitivity, but rather the impact of modern wheat in the diet in general. Simply put, most people will feel much better and have an easier time losing weight without wheat in their diet. I’ve found this to be largely true with middle age adults who shift to more of a Primal Blueprint type diet.

If you set out to remove gluten from your diet, you’ll have to do more than just cut out the wheat. There are numerous foods, many of which may surprise you, that have gluten hidden in their ingredients.

In today’s post we’ll look at the obvious and not so obvious foods you’ll want to avoid for a gluten-free diet.

More after the jump…

Before I list out the food and drink that contains gluten, I want to briefly discuss one particular population that is likely to really benefit from going gluten-free. As you may know I specialize in weight loss and body transformation for middle age adults.

The dietary and exercise needs for middle age and older adults is without question different in many ways compared to adults in their twenties and thirties. From my experience and research, the one group who is most likely to benefit from cutting out the gluten is perimenopausal and menopausal women.

Why such a concern over gluten here? Obviously there are a host of hormonal shifts that occur leading up to, during, and after menopause. I won’t go into detail on all of the hormonal changes for the purpose of this discussion, but let’s talk about metabolism for a second.

Many women in these categories will experience unexpected weight gain or find it fairly difficult to lose weight. No surprises here. But often times the real underlying root of the problem isn’t identified.

You may likely hear your physician tell you to exercise more or do better with your diet. Or perhaps you may hear something like,  “your lab reports are all within the normal range, you’re fine, just accept it as a part of growing older. That’s nonsense!

Your instincts will tell you something doesn’t seem right with this advice and you’re probably right. Did you know that 8 out of 10 thyroid medications prescribed by physicians are for women? It’s true, but unfortunately the prescribed medications often do nothing to address the underlying problem.

This is not to say the thyroid medications aren’t necessary or beneficial in many cases, they most certainly are. It’s just that the majority of situations where hypothyroidism is diagnosed, the treatment plan often revolves around taking synthetic T4 (Synthroid) and not doing much else.

So what’s the problem? A lot of the new research is showing that the majority of time, an autoimmune response is at the root of thyroid dysfunction. The Synthroid or other medication is working to treat the thyroid imbalance, but NOT addressing the underlying problem.

I’ll save a full explanation for a future post, but what I’m getting at is an autoimmune response can be triggered by gut imbalances. Gluten just happens to be a main player here. So yes gluten in the diet may be playing a role in your thyroid health and function, which is directly related to your metabolic rate.

We’ll leave it at that for now.

Ok, for the obvious and not so obvious food to avoid in a gluten-free diet.

The obvious foods that contain gluten…

- Wheat pasta
- Wheat breads
- Cookies
- Cakes
- Muffins
- Pastries
- Wheat based cereals
- Crackers

Basically any food made from these ingredients:

- White flour
- Durum wheat
- Graham flour
- Triticale
- Seminola
- Spelt
- Wheat Germ
- Wheat Bran

The not so obvious foods that contain gluten…

- Beer
- Gravy
- Salad Dressings (stick with olive oil and vinegar – make your own)
- Store bought soups
- Pasta sauces
- Fried foods
- Imitation fish products
- Processed lunch meats
- Hot dogs
- Soy sauce
- Candy
- Malt vinegar
- Pickles
- Canned baked beans
- Pudding

I’m sure that I’ve left some foods out so don’t take this as a definitive end all list if you have Celiac disease. If you’re not known to have a severe intolerance to gluten and you just want to cut back on it in your diet, this list should serve as a good reference point.

This may look like a large list of things to be removing from your diet, but keep in mind there’s nothing on the list that would necessarily be helpful or healing to gut imbalances. Once again I’m not advocating that everyone needs to avoid all the foods on this list, all the time.

I’ll just say this, if I were suspecting that a gut imbalance may be contributing to increased inflammation I’d be looking to cut these foods out. To heal the gut you’d want to consume fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, fermented foods, and basically omit anything processed and refined.

On a side note, oats are one grain that may be well tolerated as pure oatmeal does not contain gluten. However, I’ll note that you’ll want to find a really good source. A lot of the packaged oatmeal varieties contains oats that have been cross-contaminated during processing.

If you’re really craving a starch for lunch or dinner, roll with some sort of a tuber (potato) or quinoa for example. Even the white potato with it’s unfair bad rap, is a far better choice than something with wheat.

Bottom line is you’ll want to look at food labels carefully if you’re trying to go gluten-free with your diet. If something is processed (in a box, can, package, etc) there’s a good chance it may contain gluten.

If there are other foods I’ve omitted from the list that you’re aware of please feel free to include them in the comments section below.


Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Charleston, you can receive a no-obligations personal training trial and consultation without risking a dime. Over 1000 Charleston area residents have transformed their bodies following our unique burst training workouts and simplified nutrition programs. Experience the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Nutrition.