Choosing to go grain-free is a great option, both for people with and without allergies to various grains.
The health benefits make considering a grain-free diet or at least cutting back on grains, worth trying. Watch the video below to learn about how to become healthy through a grain-free diet. You can check out our recommendations below the video to help you become healthier and happier!
Show Post Contents
- Who Should Consider Going Grain-Free
- Tips for Transitioning to Grain Free Eating
- What to Eat on a Grain-Free Diet
- How to Keep Your Grain-Free Diet Interesting
- Follow These Helpful Grain-Free Tips
- How to Eat Out While Being Grain-Free
- Planning Tips for Your Grain-Free Diet
- What You Should Know Before Going Grain-Free
- Signs That You Need to Reduce Grains
- Grain-Free Food Groups for Your Diet
- Try These Grain-Free Substitutes
- How to Have Balanced Meals Without Grains
- Grain-Free and Your Mental Health
- Grain-Free VS Gluten-Free Diets
- What is the Difference Between the Paleo and Grain-Free Diet?
- Side Effects When Going Grain Free
It Improves Your Digestion
For the most part, grains are derived from the seeds of various wild grasses. When incorporated into food, they are used as either whole-grain or refined.
Refined grains are the worse of the two variations because it has undergone a process that removes essentially all the nutritional parts of the grain from the final product.
Both refined and whole-grain foods are rough on the digestion system, though. The outer part of the seeds is not easily processed by our bodies.
This is a different issue than individuals who can’t eat gluten or have celiac disease. Grains contain high amounts of carbs that convert into sugar, which is especially rough on our stomachs.
Grains also hold Phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors; these both prevent your digestive system from doing its job and efficiently breaking down and processing the food that you consume.
As a bonus from improved digestion, you will also notice that bloating in your stomach will begin to subside.
This is due to a combination of an inflammatory response and bloating caused by an imbalance in gut bacteria.
The vast majority of grains contain zonulin, which is a chemical that, although not dangerous or toxic, causes proteins to no to be properly digested.
When this occurs, it results in the excess proteins traveling through your system and causing your body to lower certain aspects of its immune system as well as promote inflammation.
When inflammatory substances are present in your blood, it makes your skin much more likely to break out in bumps, acne, or rashes.
The same issue can result from gluten, which is found in other grains besides just wheat. Again, these won’t kill you unless you have some sort of severe allergy, but it certainly isn’t helping your overall state of health.
It is worth mentioning that these substances are also partially behind what is causing the previously stated digestive issues.
It makes you wonder if our bodies are trying to tell us that they don’t want us to consume such a large amount of grains.
You Get Mental Alertness and Energy
Carb crashes are persistent in diets consisting mainly of grains. The carbohydrates, which are sugars, give us a great deal of energy, but then quickly burns off and leaves us feeling drained, tired, and mentally groggy.
Vegetables, beans, legumes and many other types of plant-based foods have a variety of carbs that are “slow-burning” and provide you with a consistent stream of energy throughout the day.
Refined grains give you a quick glucose spike and drop, which is very dangerous for your insulin levels and can even lead to becoming diabetic.
For a clear mind, stronger stomach, and improved health overall try cutting down on grains; you’ll certainly notice the difference in a few days.
Who Should Consider Going Grain-Free
There are numerous people who want to improve their diet this year. One of the best ways to improve your health and nutrition is to eat healthy and natural food options.
Few people eat healthy food at every meal. Instead, people are so busy that they eat processed food from restaurants.
Eliminating grains from your diet is a magnificent choice for some people. Although everyone does not need to eliminate grains, there are definitely some benefits for people who struggle with various health issues.
People With Inflammation
One of the most common issues in the body is high levels of inflammation. There are many people who have this problem but do not even know it. If you feel constantly stressed, this is a form of inflammation within the body.
When you eliminate grains, your body can absorb more nutrients. Also, your body will retain less water. This is one of the reasons, so many people lose weight quickly when eliminating grains from the diet.
Over time, you should notice decreased inflammation throughout the body. If you have had skin issues in the past, this is a great way to eliminate them.
People Who Are Overweight
Losing fat from the body is one of the best things that you can do for your health. The vast majority of people today struggle to lose fat. However, the entire process of losing fast is relatively simple.
You simply need to consume fewer calories than you consume on a regular basis. Over time, fat will start to decrease in your body.
When you remove grains, you are eliminating a major source of processed food in your diet. As a general rule, processed food has more calories and fewer nutrients than natural food.
If you want to lose weight, adding in more natural food is the best way to do so. Not only that, but you will also have more energy and vitality throughout the day.
People with Celiac Disease
Removing grains from the diet will also benefit anyone who is suffering from celiac disease. Over the past few years, the number of people who suffer from this disease has increased greatly.
With processed food more common than ever before, there are many people who will develop this disease as they get older.
People who suffer from celiac disease have a host of stomach issues. Not only is it difficult to keep food down, but they must constantly go to the bathroom. By removing grains, the stomach has time to heal.
Over time, eliminating grains will greatly improve the overall health of anyone who is suffering from this illness.
A new year is a great time to change your health and fitness for a new year. Removing grains is a fabulous way to improve your health and vitality.
Tips for Transitioning to Grain Free Eating
An increasing number of medical professionals and scientists have been discussing links between modern grain products and chronic inflammatory and digestive illnesses.
A variety of factors, such as genetic alteration, excessive input farming, and modern industrial milling have made grain-containing foods unhealthy.
This has motivated some individuals to switch to a diet that contains no grain. Below are some helpful tips for transitioning to grain-free eating:
Use Greens in Place of Grain-Based Wraps
Wraps are a tasty and convenient lunch, and you do not have to give them up if you go grain-free. Simply use leafy greens, such as lettuce or kale, in which to wrap your favorite meat, poultry or tuna.
Fill Up on Vegetables
Fill your refrigerator and pantry with a broad range of vegetables. When you eliminate grains, you are far more likely to eat more vegetables, which is a very positive aspect associated with a grain-free diet. Experiment with different recipes for healthy dips to make your vegetables more tempting.
Roasting meat and chicken in a crockpot is a great way to make quick, healthy meals without having to follow complex recipes or spend time with complicated preparations.
Crockpot recipes abound for beef and poultry, and you can simply pair such items with salads, fresh vegetables or fruit salad to create a balanced dinner.
A crockpot can also be used for beans, soups, and chili so that healthy snacks are always available.
Also, a little-known use for your crockpot is creating tasty breakfasts, such as egg and cheese casseroles or egg and vegetable omelets.
You may have to invest in a crockpot model with a timer to ensure such creations are ready at the appropriate breakfast hour, but the convenience such an appliance offers should not be overlooked.
Keep Appropriate Baking Ingredients on Hand
Obviously, everyone enjoys a dessert of one kind or another, and therefore you will be pleased to know that grain-free baking is surprisingly easy.
This is because you only need a few vital ingredients that are not difficult to locate. These include the following:
• Unflavored grass-fed gelatin
• Maple syrup
• Raw honey
• Coconut sugar
• Arrowroot flour
• Coconut flour
Many grain-free desserts can be made in less than 30 minutes, and numerous easy-to-follow recipes can be found online without any difficulty.
Add Healthy Saturated Fats to Each Meal
Once touted as unhealthy, it is now understood that healthy fats and proteins are good sources of energy that do not wreak havoc with insulin levels, as do most grain products.
Genuine, natural saturated fats assist your body to process nutrients. Besides, they reduce inflammation and keep you feeling full longer so that the urge to overeat is significantly lessened.
Good examples of healthy fats to add to meals as you transition to your new diet include ghee, organic lard, palm shortening, unsalted, grass-fed butter, and coconut oil.
With a little time and effort, it is easy to go grain-free. Fortunately, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by making this healthy lifestyle change.
What to Eat on a Grain-Free Diet
Starting a grain-free diet can improve digestive functions and help fight against autoimmune diseases. Many people often confuse grain-free with gluten-free, but they are not the same diet.
A gluten-free diet will still contain grains since not all grains are processed with gluten. However, a grain-free diet cuts out all grains (including the ones that are gluten-free).
Just because you are cutting bread out of your diet, doesn’t mean that you won’t be enjoying what you eat! Here are some tips on what to eat when you are going grain-free with tips on ways to incorporate them into meals.
Eggs are a great protein to start your day with. A versatile food, you can make countless grain-free meals using eggs as a base. One of the best nutritious meals can simply be poached eggs on a bed of sautéed veggies with herbs. The result is tasty, full of color, and packed with good nutrients.
Buy yourself a blender, and you’ll quickly become a smoothie fanatic. Once you have a few recipes under your belt, this is a quick and easy fix to complement a grain-free diet. A typical smoothie includes milk as the base, fruit, and protein (like peanut butter, flaxseed, or protein powder.)
What’s nice about this meal is it often requires such few ingredients. Just throw coconut milk, a banana, chia seeds and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter into a blender, and soon you’ll be drinking a delicious lunch packed with energy to get you through the day.
If you’re on a grain-free diet, you are going to find yourself eating lots of hearty salads. Salads are the best way to pack a meal with yummy protein, fresh veggies, and delicious herb dressings.
This is a great habit to get into because it’s an easy one to meal plan for. Simply prepare a protein (like roast chicken or baked salmon), cut up all your fresh veggies, and have your dressing handy to throw on top.
Unfortunately, most soups you find in restaurants and delis have a flour thickener and, thus, are not grain-free. However, making a delicious grain-free soup is easy to do (especially if you have a crockpot to let it simmer all day).
Having homemade broth handy in your house is a must if you want every soup to be packed with savory flavor.
Use the broth as a base for vegetable soups, beef stews, creamy potato leek, and any other recipe you desire.
If you miss the crunchy toast that comes on the side of most soup, go for a different crunch and throw some roasted seeds or crispy parsnips on your soup.
5. Roast Dinners
On a grain-free diet, the oven is your friend. Roasting vegetables, meats, potatoes, and foods of your choice can turn out to be some of the best meals you’ve ever had.
For an easy, tasty roast dinner, find some acorn squash to bake and stuff it with sausage and mushrooms for a comforting but healthy dinner.
How to Keep Your Grain-Free Diet Interesting
So, you’ve decided to go grain-free. This is a great choice, and you’ll definitely be feeling the benefits in no time.
But, it can be hard to stick to a diet plan if you don’t enjoy what you’re eating. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious meals that can be eaten on the grain-free diet.
Cereal and oatmeal aren’t the only breakfast meals, even if they typically come to mind first. Grain-free individuals can enjoy freshly cooked eggs with a side of bacon or ham, a nice juicy steak paired with hash browns or diced potatoes, or a Denver omelet with all the fixings.
If you prefer a lighter breakfast, you can have grain-free banana bread or pumpkin bread, made fresh at home or bought from a bakery.
A simple parfait can be made with yogurt and whichever fruits you enjoy; blueberries, strawberries, and bananas are great toppings, especially when combined with nuts, giving you all the nutrients you need to start your morning.
Grocery stores also sell a wide variety of grain-free breakfast bars, held together with egg whites and fruit, rather than oats or granola.
Mid-day is here, and you wanted a sandwich or a burger, but they both have a big grain-filled bun on top! Not a problem, you can have your burger wrapped in lettuce, rather than a hunk of bread.
The same great taste of grilled beef and your favorite toppings, lacking just the bread. As for sandwiches, there is now more grain-free bread on the market than ever before. Some are made from Almond or Coconut flour, among other types.
These can be hit or miss, depending on your preferences, but they are absolutely worth giving a try before just cutting out your favorite hoagie or club sandwich from your meals.
If you aren’t in the mood for a sandwich, try cooking up some home-made fried chicken. This is where almond flour really comes in handy because you don’t have to sacrifice the breading.
You end up with a great, crispy exterior with the same delicious herbs and spices as any other fried chicken, minus the grains and the issues that come with it.
As a side note, vegetable and canola oil are also rough on the stomach, while avocado, grape seed, peanut, and sunflower oil are much easier on the digestive system.
There are countless great dinner meals that don’t require grains at all. Even those that do contain grains can often be substituted without compromising flavor.
Freshly seared salmon or any other type of fish, garnished with some lemon and rosemary, is healthy, flavorful, and doesn’t contain one bit of grain.
Steak, grilled chicken, and salads are all wonderful meal ideas. The greatest benefit of salads is the seemingly limitless possibilities; Caesar, Cobb, Chicken, Chop, Mandarin, Tuna, Potato, and countless other variations of salads can be made and enjoyed.
If you don’t feel like cooking, there are restaurants everywhere that make extravagant salads; just order one, pick it up, and enjoy.
Follow These Helpful Grain-Free Tips
Grain-free is a diet you cannot afford to ignore if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. It aids digestion, resets the body and helps you cope with certain illnesses.
However, grain-free eating requires a lot of self-discipline, especially if you are the type who likes bread, tortillas, pasta, and muffins. Follow the tips discussed below to enable you to transition smoothly to a grain-free diet.
Eggs, especially boiled ones, are good for a grain-free diet. They provide the right amount of proteins and prevent the shock that usually comes when you suddenly stop using grains.
Make sure you keep a dozen eggs in the refrigerator. Use the eggs for breakfast, emergency dinner and pretty much anytime you feel like eating.
Cook Extra Meals
Make extra meals to save you the time and energy you will use to prepare meals every now and then. This will help you fight hunger pangs that usually make people crave high-carb foods such as grains. Try to have some extra proteins available and good snacks.
Stock Your Fridge with Fruits and Vegetables
Since you are not eating whole grains, you will need a lot of food to fill you up. Make sure you fill your fridge with a lot of fruits and vegetables.
You need to be able to create salads and chop up veggies and serve them alongside other meals can really help you make a smooth transition into a grain-free diet.
Eat a lot of cabbage leaves, cauliflower purees, zucchini noodles, lettuce cups, oranges, blueberries, and coconut.
Eat Good Fat
One of the biggest problems for people who are embracing a grain-free diet is constant sugar cravings. You can avoid this by increasing the rate at which you use fat.
Eating fats are satiating can help prevent any sugar craving. Treat yourself to dark chocolate, butter and a little bit of cheese and sea salt.
Change Your Meal
You need to change your meal plan. Strive and make it as nutritious as possible. However, this does not mean that if you fail to eat grains, then you are likely to become nutritionally deficient. In fact, omitting grains from your diet will improve your overall nutrition.
Try different foods, including meat, vegetables, nuts, eggs, and fruits. These foods provide the body with a lot of nutrients.
Use a Meal Planning Tool
Observing a diet that is free from grains can be very difficult. Sometimes you can forget and eat bread and muffins along the way. To avoid this, use a meal planning tool to create customized menus.
Some tools will even create a grocery shopping list for you so that you don’t have to shop every day. By using a planning tool, you can enjoy your meals throughout without having to worry about what you should prepare.
Big changes, especially those that involve whole grains can be challenging to the body. However, with the right food choices, you can make a smooth transition to a grain-free diet. Use the tips highlighted above to get started.
How to Eat Out While Being Grain-Free
If you have decided to follow a grain-free diet, you might be doing pretty well with it when you are at home. However, you may have been avoiding going out to eat because you might assume that it will be difficult with your new diet.
Even though following a grain-free diet can make ordering at restaurants a little more complicated, this does not mean that you can’t eat at your favorite dining establishments. Instead, consider these helpful tips for how to eat out while being grain-free.
Let Your Server Know
For one thing, you should know that you don’t have to navigate the menu all by yourself. It helps to let the server know about any specific dietary needs you have, especially something like needing to avoid all grains.
It is possible they will have some recommendations for you. Most restaurant servers are accustomed to working with people who have dietary restrictions and preferences, so if you ask nicely, you might get more help than you thought.
Look for Roasted or Grilled Meats
When you are choosing the meat that you want to order, watch out for sneaky terms that could mean that there are grains included, such as “breaded” or “fried.” For a healthy meal that doesn’t include any grain, consider asking for something that is grilled or roasted. Not only can this help you avoid grains, but meats that are grilled or roasted are often healthier choices overall anyway.
Load Up on Veggies
When all else fails, consider going with vegetables. Even at restaurants where French fries and onion rings are usually offered as side dishes, you can often substitute and get a salad or an order of fresh vegetables instead. This can help you fill up on healthy yet delicious grain-free foods.
Along with potentially choosing a salad or steamed or roasted vegetable as your side dish or appetizer, you may be able to substitute another part of your meal with vegetables as well.
For example, if you would love to have a juicy burger but don’t want to eat the bun, consider asking to have your burger wrapped in lettuce instead.
As you can see, it is possible to eat out at your favorite restaurants when you are following a grain-free diet. In fact, if you follow these tips, you might find that it’s a lot easier than you thought it would be.
In no time, you might feel confident ordering off of the menu at any restaurant while sticking to your grain-free diet.
Planning Tips for Your Grain-Free Diet
If you are thinking about starting a grain-free diet, you could be unsure of how to get started. Luckily, it’s easier than you probably think if you are willing to put in a little bit of planning in the beginning. These are a few tips that can help you plan for your grain-free diet.
Do Your Research
First of all, now is a good time for you to do a bit of research. There is a ton of information about grain-free eating online, so this may be what you will want to start with. There are also books that can help you learn more about a grain-free diet.
These resources can help you understand what you are getting into and can provide you with helpful tips that can help you each step along the way.
Focus on Meal Planning
If you don’t have a plan, it can be tough to come up with meal plans, particularly if you aren’t experienced in grain-free eating.
Taking the time to write up a meal plan with a list of a few grain-free meals — including side dishes — can give you something to work with throughout the week.
Then, you won’t have to worry about racking your brains to come up with meal ideas later.
Go Grocery Shopping
If you do not have any grain-free groceries in the house, you could be tempted to eat foods that have grains in them. Therefore, it’s a good idea to go to the grocery store now. Then, you can stock up on grain-free foods so that you’ll have them on hand.
Another good option is to pre-prepare some of your foods ahead of time. This can help you stick to your grain-free diet and can help you make things easier for yourself throughout the week.
Roasting or grilling chicken breasts and pre-preparing fresh vegetables and salad ingredients can help you ensure that you have things on hand to eat without having to do a lot of cooking. This can keep you away from the takeout line.
Read Restaurant Menus Ahead of Time
If you go out to eat, you could be unsure of whether you will be able to order something that is grain-free. Luckily, many restaurants have online menus nowadays, so you can find out what is available before you go.
This can help you choose a restaurant that is friendly to your diet, and you can even plan ahead of time about what you are going to order so that you don’t have to worry about poring over the menu when you get there.
If you want to be successful in your goal of eating a grain-free diet, it is important to do a bit of planning. This can help you ensure that you get started off on the right track and that you stick to your diet in the coming days.
Luckily, following these tips can help you get started off on your grain-free diet in the right way.
What You Should Know Before Going Grain-Free
People often opt for grain-free diets because they hope to enhance overall health by decreasing gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating and weight.
Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, and best-selling author, also suggests that eliminating grains could reduce anxiety and improve mood.
However, other medical experts state that the removal of grains could lead to nutritional deficiencies and loss of valuable fiber intake. Before going on a grain-free diet, there are some things you should know.
The Difference Between Grain-Free and Gluten-Free
Going on a grain-free diet consists of eliminating all grain products and is not the same as going gluten-free. Gluten is a collective term for proteins that are found in grains, such as rye, wheat, and barley.
A gluten-free diet allows for the consumption of grains that lack these proteins. A grain-free lifestyle means the elimination of many common foods, including pasta, cereal and baked goods that are made with any type of grain. It also involves cutting out corn and rice, both of which contain no gluten at all.
No Grains Could Equal Less Salt and Sugar
Because foods made from grains often include large amounts of salt and sugar, eliminating them could lead to less consumption of these unhealthy substances.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, a high sugar intake contributes to weight gain, cavities, and depression. Excess salt can be responsible for heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart failure, and stroke.
Cutting Grains Can Make Room for Healthier Foods
When eliminating grains, you could actually get more nutrients from foods that you normally lack, provided you make healthy choices and substitute a variety of produce.
The Imperial College in London established that ten servings of fruits and vegetables daily led to reductions in stroke, cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.
Since the absence of grain foods leaves room in your menu and stomach, you could see nutritional benefits when eating more produce.
If you tend to snack on cookies, pasta, bread or other foods made with processed grains, going grain-free cuts out these high-calorie culprits. This could lead to weight loss, a pleasant side effect.
On the other hand, it can become difficult to find satisfying substitutions, and you might only lose weight if you eliminate snacking altogether or use healthier foods instead.
You’re likely to hear many different failures and success stories from friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members.
Just because someone had a bad experience or great results doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same.
Everyone’s body reacts to diet changes differently. Since nutritional needs also differ from person to person and existing health conditions might require special food considerations, consult a registered dietician-nutritionist to see if a grain-free diet will benefit your situation.
Since a grain-free diet comes with pros and cons, evaluate your individual needs and decide on the best course of action with the help of an expert.
However, still, consult your regular healthcare professional before making any abrupt changes to your diet.
Signs That You Need to Reduce Grains
Many people don’t realize that a grain-free diet can actually improve their health drastically. From cramping limbs to pulsing headaches, the solution is more complicated than just taking a pill or increasing exercise.
Sometimes it’s a matter of cutting grains and other potentially toxin foods out of your diet. It can lead to amazing health benefits and prevents autoimmune diseases from getting out of control.
Here is a list of signs that you may need to go grain-free.
1. Skin Problems
A surprising number of skin conditions are caused by eating grains. Acne, for example, is often caused by eating foods that trigger hormones.
All grains increase blood sugar–which in turn increases hormonal levels.
These unnaturally increased hormones can lead to skin rashes like acne. Psoriasis has also been known to be triggered by grain proteins.
By cutting grains out of the diet, many people have noticed reduced skin breakouts.
2. Mental Blocks
It’s true that the body affects the mind. If you notice general mental cloudiness throughout the day, the answer to your problems may be consuming grains. Many people who go grain-free immediately notice a difference in energy and clarity.
Grains can sometimes lead to brain inflammation causing the root of many mental blocks. Doctors are beginning to recommend that Alzheimer’s patients cut grains out of their diet because research has found that there is a potential link between grains and similar mental diseases.
Believe it or not but many patients have been able to reverse their seizures by going grain-free. Wheat is especially known to be linked to this problem.
People with epilepsy are encouraged to cut grains out of their diet for this very reason. Because grains can increase blood pressure, an unnatural inflammation can trigger frontal lobe seizures for those prone to it.
No, it does not just work stress that leads to anxiety. Anxiety disorders can be caused by the foods you eat, too.
Grains have been linked very closely with anxiety problems. The fact is that most grain foods will cause high blood pressure and stress hormones to be released in the body.
Processed grains have been found to raise the blood sugar as much as a sugary dessert does. Therefore, cutting grains out of the diet has led to reduced levels of anxiety.
No one should ever accept that bloated feeling after a meal. A good diet won’t leave you with a stomach ache and uncomfortable pains.
Most people on the grain-free diet have reported that after they cut out grains, this problem went away immediately.
Letting chronic bloating go untreated is dangerous and could be a symptom of an autoimmune disease starting up.
To reduce this and help the immune system, starting a grain-free diet is one of the best things you can do for your body.
Grain-Free Food Groups for Your Diet
It seems just about everything you eat these days consists mainly of grains. Pizzas, bread, sandwiches, burgers, etc… All mouthfuls of refined grains. What about the other food groups being neglected?
Meat and Protein
Good sources of protein as essential in maintaining a good diet to keep yourself strong and healthy.
Protein comes in many forms and is available in a wide variety of foods, including some vegetables, surprisingly.
The main sources of protein, in addition to other vital nutrients, are animal products, mainly meat.
Meat, whether Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pork, or any other source is full of easily synthesized proteins, necessary fats and lipids, and B vitamins, all to keep our bodies running smoothly and efficiently to keep up free of disease, health issues, and staying strong.
In addition to meat, nuts also contain high levels of protein and are also packed with vitamins and other substances that promote healthy skin, hair, and clean digestion.
As with any food group, keep your intake well balanced. Overconsumption of nuts or meat can lead to adverse results on your digestive system and even iron poisoning.
One of the tastiest and most versatile food groups on this list. There are a wide variety of fruits, each hosting their own set of benefits, nutrients, and positive effects on your body, digestive, and immune system.
Fruits, especially citrus, are full of vitamin C and calcium. Most fruits hold antioxidant properties, preventing inflammation throughout your body.
The one drawback of fruits is that they are heavily filled with sugar. Despite the sugar is natural, and healthy in moderate portions, they can have the same effect on your body as if you consumed large amounts of refined sugar.
Fruits can be incorporated into pretty much any meal. Blueberries in your breakfast yogurt, followed by some tomatoes or raisins in your salad at lunch, and a cooked lemon or lime accompanying your freshly grilled chicken or salmon during dinner.
Not everyone enjoys eating vegetables, especially on their own, but when you include them in meals, you’ll find yourself enjoying the minimum recommended five servings of vegetables a day.
Salads don’t need to be made with bland iceberg lettuce, and you can use green leaf lettuce, romaine, arugula, or even mustard greens to improve the flavor.
Dice up some bell peppers, jicama (which are refreshing, crispy potato-like vegetables), as well as some olives and mushrooms to make eating vegetables more enjoyable.
Vegetables, whether leafy greens, roots, or any other type, play a crucial role in keeping our digestive system clean and operating well.
They are incredibly nutritious and can be used in most meals both cost-effectively and beneficially to your health.
So, next time you’re thinking about eating crackers, or pizza, or any other bready, grain-based food, try going for some carrot sticks dipped in ranch.
Maybe have a fruit salad or a yogurt parfait. Have a nice, hearty stew with beef and potatoes; eat food from the groups that really count.
Try These Grain-Free Substitutes
For those who have gone grain-free, an increase in energy, a better-focused mind and more upbeat mood, improved digestion, a slimmer body, stronger teeth, and a radiant complexion become apparent.
There are numerous, delicious grain-free options available. In fact, one does not need wheat, barley, semolina, corn, oats or rice, etc. to define their food lifestyle. Grain-free is healthier and more satisfying to the human body.
Here are some grain-free substitutes to add to your diet plan:
Chia Seeds Are Tiny Nutritional Powerhouses
Tiny chia seeds can be sprinkled raw on top of just about any food and increase the value of a meal with their natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, great fiber content and high protein, zinc, magnesium and calcium base.
The seeds can be added to baked goods and soaked in juices, and they make terrific breadcrumb alternatives.
Chia seeds have been around since ancient times and are found in the desert plant Salvia Hispanic, a member of the mint family. Chia was a dietary staple during ancient Aztec times.
Cauliflower Is Rice Dupe in Lots Of Recipes
Cauliflower is known as a member of the cruciferous vegetable family; that means it’s a nutritious superstar.
It can be successfully used in place of rice for a variety of recipes. Just chop the cauliflower into tiny pieces like rice grains, and add it to a meal for lovely flavor and texture.
Cauliflower is chock full of vitamins C and B-6, potassium and fiber. Studies have shown that the veggie possesses anti-cancer benefits and supports weight loss.
Sesame Seeds Are Nutty and Oil-Rich Dynamos
Since Ancient Egypt, sesame has been gracing the universe with its caramel-like aroma and crunchy delightfulness.
These teeny seeds are high in nutritional content and can add the perfect textured topping to just about any food on the planet and replace wheat and other grains that don’t serve a body well.
Sesame seeds maintain healthy cholesterol levels and are jam-packed with protein and carbohydrates. These flat oval seeds also help burn fat, protect the heart and make the bones stronger.
Coconut “Flour” For Everything Moist and Yum
Wheat flour has been a longtime kitchen cupboard staple, but when folks find out about the amazing benefits of coconut flour, they enjoy the switch.
All it takes is some fresh coconut pulp, making it dry and letting a food processor turn the pulp into a fine powder.
Coconut flour adds incredible flavor to recipes and is healthier than grain flours. For example, coconut flour maintains blood sugar balance and provides abundant fiber.
Tapioca Is Much More Than Pudding Booster
The cassava root starch hails from Brazil, and many of us enjoy these chewy pearls found in some puddings.
The starch can also be made into flour and replace cornstarch and others that add thickness, moisture and more depth to foods. Tapioca is also inexpensive compared to flours.
Tapioca has lots of carbohydrates but also offers rich mineral value in copper, selenium, protein, and iron.
How to Have Balanced Meals Without Grains
In the past, you might have always expected for your plate to have a meat, a starch and a vegetable or two.
Now that you are going to be avoiding grains, you could be wondering how you can enjoy a nice, healthy and balanced meal without them. These are a few tips that can help.
Start Off with a Good Source of Protein
The most important part of any good diet is a good source of protein. Therefore, you will want to start with that when preparing a grain-free plate.
Lean cuts of meat that are roasted or grilled are healthy, delicious and protein-packed, so try preparing things like marinated grilled chicken.
If you don’t eat meat or are just looking to switch things up, you can always try having eggs, mushrooms or even beans as your main source of protein.
Just know that many people who follow a grain-free diet only eat beans in moderation, so you may not want this to be a nightly addition to your plate.
Add Fresh Vegetables
Along with getting plenty of protein, it is important to make sure that you are eating plenty of fresh vegetables as a part of your diet.
For best results, consider going with in-season vegetables so that you can enjoy them when they are ripe and at their best.
Salads make great side dishes for your grain-free plate, or you can roast, steam or saute your favorite fresh vegetables.
Just make sure that you avoid vegetable casseroles that might include breadcrumbs, pasta or rice.
Try Adding Fruit
Even though you might not usually eat fruit with your dinner, doing so can be a good way to shake things up, add new nutrients to your diet and add something to replace your favorite grains.
For example, having a tasty piece of grilled pineapple along with your favorite grilled chicken or fish can be a good way to switch things up and fill up your plate.
Try a Grain Alternative
If you are craving something with grains but are trying to stick to your diet, you should know that there are a ton of great alternatives that you can try to add to your plate.
For example, if you are used to eating bread or biscuits alongside your evening meals, consider making your own homemade bread or biscuits using grain-free ingredients, such as almond flour.
There are a ton of great recipes out there, so if you try a few of them, you should be able to find some delicious grain-free recipes that will prevent you from feeling like you are missing anything.
As you can see, it is possible to have tasty and balanced meals without grains. Even though it can be a bit of a lifestyle adjustment that can take some getting used to, following these tips can help you create tasty meals that are grain-free but that are also nutritionally sound and quite delicious.
Grain-Free and Your Mental Health
Going grain-free eliminates all grains from your diet, including wheat, oats, corn, rice, and barley.
On this diet, instead of eating lots of bread, pasta, rice, or other grains, you eat protein, dairy, beans, nuts, and complex carbohydrate foods like potatoes and carrots.
There are many benefits of going grain-free, and the diet can be great for your brain. If you’re used to eating lots of grains, you might experience withdrawal symptoms when you first start on the diet.
Headaches, brain fog, and cravings are all common symptoms as your body adjusts to being grain-free.
However, these symptoms should clear up after about a week, and you should notice an improvement in your mental health.
Here are five great benefits of eating grain-free for your brain:
1. Improved Mood
If you eat lots of bread, pasta, and other grains, it might be part of the reason you feel sad, lethargic, or depressed.
The grain contains gliadin, a type of protein that can affect your mood. Many people have found that their mood got much better after going grain-free.
As you become happier, you may start engaging in more activities and spending more time with friends.
This will lift your mood even more, which will let you continue to make choices that benefit your mental health.
If you go grain-free to help with depression, be careful with returning to eating grains. Some people experience dark, pessimistic, or even suicidal thoughts when eating grains after being grain-free for a long time.
Make sure you have support from family, friends, or a therapist if you want to eat grains again after completely avoiding them.
2. Less Anxiety
Low-level anxiety is an extremely common problem that can affect your day-to-day life and prevent you from doing the things you love.
Cutting grains out of your diet can reduce anxiety and make you more optimistic. This diet can also be effective in treating phobias, especially agoraphobia and claustrophobia.
3. Better Concentration
Many people report that their brain fog lifted after going grain-free and that they were able to concentrate better and think more clearly.
This can help boost your job performance and give you the mental energy to focus on hobbies or creative pursuits.
It can also enhance your learning ability, which is a great benefit for students or for anyone who wants to learn about a new topic or skill.
4. Reduces Frequency of Seizures
In some cases, seizures are associated with the consumption of grains. If you suffer from frequent temporal lobe seizures, going grain-free could provide some relief.
Some people have even had their seizures completely stop after removing grain from their diet.
5. Dementia Prevention
Although the exact cause of dementia is unknown, high blood sugar levels are associated with the development of dementia.
Grains can cause intense blood sugar spikes or chronically high blood sugar levels if you consume them with every meal. Eliminating grains can be a powerful way to reduce your risk of dementia.
Grain-Free VS Gluten-Free Diets
The terms “grain-free” and “gluten-free” are often used interchangeably, but there are important differences to keep in mind if you are in the process of determining which diet is right for you.
While gluten is found in many grains, it does not come from all grains. This is one of several reasons being grain-free is different from following a gluten-free lifestyle.
Here’s what else you need to know about the differences between these two diets and the reasons why people often follow each one.
Wheat Allergies, Grain Sensitivity, and Gluten Intolerance
Health issues are sometimes a consideration when choosing a diet. If you have a wheat allergy, eating certain grain products could produce symptoms that include nasal congestion, throat swelling, or respiratory issues.
Wheat allergies often develop during infancy and are sometimes outgrown. Some people also have a grain intolerance that extends to rice, oats, and other non-wheat grains.
An inability to digest gluten properly is gluten intolerance. If you have a gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or sensitivity to gluten, you’ll likely benefit from a diet free of gluten and foods with gluten-containing ingredients since a grain-free diet does not eliminate all sources of gluten from your diet.
Another option is to adopt a grain-free diet and couple it with avoidance of gluten-containing foods.
Gluten-free and grain-free diets have some similarities, especially with what your diet will primarily consist of when following either one of these diets. With both diets, your main food sources will be:
- Leafy greens
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Protein sources like beans
Going grain-free means you will be mainly eliminating wheat products and whole and refined grains from your diet, including gluten-free grains like barley, oats, rice, and corn.
However, products not technically considered grains (e.g., buckwheat, quinoa) are permitted in a limited amount. There are also no restrictions on:
- Meat or fish products
- Dairy products
If you are going gluten-free, you will be eliminating all wheat products from your diet plus non-grain sources of gluten like baked goods, sauces, and gravies.
You’ll also have to avoid foods with gluten-containing ingredients like bran, emmer, panko, and udon. Permitted foods on a gluten-free diet include:
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
Avoiding Unhealthy Gluten Alternatives
One of the potential drawbacks of a gluten-free diet for some people is an increased reliance on starchy gluten alternatives like gluten-free bread, rice, and potatoes. There are also gluten-free alternatives to beer and flour for use in baking.
While you may still meet the standards for going gluten-free by turning to alternative options, you could be consuming unhealthy calories. With a grain-free diet, you’ll still be able to have complex carbohydrates, but in moderation.
Should you have a severe allergy to wheat, a grain-free diet will likely benefit you. If you have celiac disease, you may also benefit from a grain-free diet, but you’ll have to take steps to avoid other sources of gluten like some processed meats and cream-based soups and certain types of candy.
Even if you’re not allergic to wheat or gluten intolerant or sensitive, a grain-free diet is worth considering since there are fewer restrictions. However, you’ll still be cutting calories and enjoying many potential health benefits.
What is the Difference Between the Paleo and Grain-Free Diet?
Do you feel like you lack energy and have some joint pain when exercising in the gym? Then you may want to consider implementing the grain-free diet, according to Jordan Brown, co-founder, and chief executive officer of Hu Kitchen.
The Basics of the Grain-Free Diet
If you want to gain more energy yourself and try out the grain-free diet, you’ll need to eliminate foods with wheat and gluten as well as gluten-free grains like rice, corn, oats, and barley.
However, some foods that technically don’t qualify as grains including buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth can be consumed in a grain-free diet but only in small quantities. It’s important to remember that this diet does not discourage eating carbohydrates.
You can eat sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, and pumpkins in moderation. You also don’t have to avoid eating foods such as meats, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, and dairy.
A similar nutrition plan to the grain-free diet is the Paleo diet. Below we will outline the Paleo diet along with the similarities and differences between it and grain-free foods.
The Basics of the Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet is a popular fad also known as the caveman diet. Essentially, it involves only eating foods that are thought to have been around during the Paleolithic era.
This diet usually involves eating meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and roots. On this diet, however, you cannot consume dairy products, potatoes, grains, refined sugar, processed foods, legumes, salt, coffee, and processed vegetable oils.
If you’re interested in trying the Paleo diet, be aware that there are some potential side effects including vitamin D and calcium deficiencies as well as possible weakness and headaches.
Nonetheless, the Paleo diet is also believed to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic inflammation.
The Similarities of the Grain-Free and Paleo Diets
The main similarity between grain-free and paleo diets involve removing grains from the foods you consume every day. Essentially, both diets remove all gluten from your meal plans.
Since it’s focused on prehistoric food patterns, the Paleo diet may go even further by removing buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth from your nutrition plan.
While the grain-free diet overlaps with the Paleo one, there are also key differences you should be aware of.
The Differences Between the Paleo and Grain-Free Diets
The biggest difference between these two diets is that you can eat sugars, dairy, potatoes, legumes, salt, coffee, vegetable oil, and even some processed foods when you’re on the grain-free diet.
The Paleo diet is much more restrictive in what you can and cannot eat while the grain-free diet mostly focuses on avoiding things like corn, rice, wheat, gluten, oats, and barley.
Essentially, the Paleo diet differs because it focuses on what foods cavemen ate 10,000 years ago.
We hope these descriptions and comparisons have given you a better idea of the type of diet that you’d like to try out.
Side Effects When Going Grain Free
You might need to switch to a grain-free diet because you have serious allergies or because you have problems digesting rice, rye, wheat, and other grains.
An additional reason for avoiding grains is because you have diabetes, and carbohydrates will increase your blood sugar levels.
You may also want to avoid grains because you need to lose a lot of weight. If you are accustomed to eating grains on a daily basis, then you will have several side effects when you begin a grain-free diet plan.
Intense Mental Cravings
When you stop eating bread, pasta or baked goods, you will probably have intense mental cravings for grains.
For most individuals, grains are a large part of their daily diet, and when they stop eating grain-based foods, there is a reaction in the brain that makes it difficult to resist pasta, cake, and bread. You can compensate for these cravings by having fresh vegetables and fruits.
Anytime that you change your daily diet, your digestive system will react. You might develop nausea as your body adjusts to not having any grains. Also, you will likely have problems with intestinal gas, constipation or diarrhea.
When you decide to stop eating grains, prepare ahead of time by having medications that are formulated to stop diarrhea or overcome constipation.
Changes with Your Skin
If you have suffered from skin problems such as eczema or acne, then changing to a grain-free diet can reduce these conditions.
Some individuals have problems digesting grains, and these difficulties lead to skin inflammation that causes dry patchy skin or breakouts of ugly pimples.
Throughout a few weeks or months, you may notice a huge difference in the way that your skin looks and feels.
A Reduction In Blood Sugar Levels
By consuming a no-grain diet, your blood sugar levels will decline. Grains are high in carbohydrates, and when bread, noodles or baked goods are made with refined flours, it makes your blood sugar increase rapidly.
People with diabetes have problems with their blood sugar levels, so reducing the number of carbohydrates is an essential way to prevent insulin reactions.
Rapid Weight Loss
When you are obese, your physician may recommend eliminating grains because carbohydrates make you gain weight.
By not eating any grains, you will probably have rapid weight loss despite eating other foods such as lean meats and vegetables.
Many of the foods made with grains also have high levels of bad ingredients such as sugar and fats.
Learn How To Read the Labels On Foods
Many foods at the supermarket have grains as part of the ingredients, so you must learn how to read labels carefully.
Not only do processed foods have grains as ingredients, but also, many beverages contain grains.
You must understand the different names of grains such as maize, buckwheat, oats and millet in addition to wheat, rye, and barley.