Regular Gluten-Free Vs. Vegetarian Gluten-Free
A few years ago, gluten-free diets were trending among the public. The public awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerances is increasing each year. As a result, people were removing gluten products from their diet in the hopes that it will lead to a far healthier lifestyle.
Gluten-free diets limit individuals to consuming foods that do not contain prolamins. This is the protein associated with wheat, barley, rye and other grain-based ingredients. This protein can damage the gut of people suffering from Celiac disease. It can also give those with intolerances or allergies the painful, uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms associated with its consumption.
Don’t Give In To Processed Food
More often than not, people who adopt a gluten-free diet will choose the path of least resistance. For many, this means going to the supermarket and finding packaged foods labelled gluten-free. Eating these gluten-free foods is ok from time-to-time, the problem is that these should not represent the bulk of your diet.
Rather than seeking out foods with the gluten removed through extraction processes, individuals using a gluten-free diet should be choosing foods that naturally occur without gluten – there are plenty to choose from!
Don’t Believe Everything You Read (On Packages)
The packaged foods labelled “gluten-free” are part of an industry that charges, on average, 242% more than the regular version of the food¹. Why pay significant higher grocery bills when non-gluten whole foods are all around!
Being vegetarian and gluten-free means limiting your list of available foods even further. This can be extremely daunting at first.
But there’s nothing to fear – LowFatLowCarb.com is here!
Most of the foods referred to earlier, that naturally occur without gluten, are not removed from your list of foods to eat. Everything from vegetables to eggs, even rice and sweet potatoes. There are lots of options and they’re all healthy for you.
One key point to mention before continuing, is that dairy can irritate the bowels just as much as gluten does in individuals who are intolerant or sensitive to gluten. So, it may be worthwhile cutting-back on the dairy intake until you can decide if it was causing certain health issues.
In 2007, a Swedish study² concluded that cow’s milk was a huge inflammatory factor in individuals with celiac disease but not in the healthy control group. The response was similar to inflammation occurring with gluten and in 50% of patients, Casein (milk protein) seemed to be involved.
If you avoid dairy as well as meats and foods containing gluten, some of your family members or friends may inform you that your diet may lack certain nutrients that keep you healthy and happy. They’re not wrong!
Are You Getting Your Key Nutrients?
It’s easy to avoid foods you don’t like the look of, which is especially true when you first make the switch to a gluten-free vegetarian diet.
Nutrient deficiencies are not a joke and can eventually lead to health issues if you don’t consume enough or in some rare cases, if you over-consume certain nutrients.
- The macronutrient that gets the most attention when talking about being vegetarian is protein. Don’t be alarmed though, as long as you aren’t vegan, there are more high-protein sources available to you than you will ever need.
- The next item on our list is a micronutrient called iron. No doubt you’ve heard of this, it’s very important to your health, as it’s required for the production of new blood cells. You can find iron in most types of beans, lentils, nuts and quinoa too. If you want to increase absorption of iron, simply add some vitamin C via citrus fruits to the meal.
- Zinc is a micronutrient lacking in many diets, especially with those that have cut back via a gluten-free diet and even more so in individuals that follow a gluten-free and vegetarian diet. To make sure you’re still consuming enough, zinc is found in spinach, seeds, beans and mushrooms.
- Calcium is a nutrient you will have to pay attention to, especially if you decide to kick dairy to the curb. Calcium is important in transmitting nerve signals, keeping the membranes of your cells stable and even the metabolism of your cells! Don’t panic though, there’s plenty of calcium available from cooked kale, broccoli and even bok choy.
If you’re following the methods represented in this article and use the tips offered, there’s no reason why your vegetarian diet should lack in any key nutrients whether you’re consuming gluten or not.
Below we’re going to cover some snack ideas for you to use throughout the week but if you’re looking for recipes that take your gluten-free vegetarian diet to whole new level, you are welcome to check out our Recipe Generator and find the ones that look the most tasty to you!
Snacking on a Gluten-Free Vegetarian Diet
Snacking is a habit many of us have. You should never feel bad about snacking, instead you should try creating some amazing pre-prepared snacks rich in micronutrients and low in calories.
To create snacks for a vegetarian diet that also needs to be free of gluten, you should look for vegetables that can be easily prepared and made to taste delicious with very limited effort.
Very-easy, minimal-prep snacks:
- String beans
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Nuts & seeds
Non-cook preparation snacks:
- Bell peppers
- Blueberry Kale Smoothie
- Green Coconut Smoothie
- Mango Smoothie Bowl
- Summer Salad Roll (use gluten-free rice paper!)
Cooked, Prepared snacks:
- Baked Cinnamon Rutabaga
- Roasted Garlic & Asparagus
- Spiced Almonds Quinoa Salad (optional feta)
- Almond-Crusted Squash Wedges
- Egg Muffins
- Celery Root French Fries
As you can see, there are so many options available to you if you’re on a gluten-free vegetarian diet. Our Meal Planner can help you figure out what to have for your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Then you can prepare your meals and snacks in advance.