Pros, Cons, and Approved Foods

Are you considering giving up cereals for good? We understood. Here’s everything you need to know about the grain-free diet. This includes a deep dive into the potential benefits and possible problems.

Prime: We also have a sample 3-day menu and a long list of all the foods you can and can’t eat.

A grain-free diet is a diet that excludes grains. These include:

BTW, pseudocereal grains like quinoa and buckwheat are technically seeds. So many people on a grain-free diet also avoid them.

Grain-free diets don’t have a unique vibe. Dos and don’ts vary from person to person, so there isn’t much research to explain the exact benefits.

But a small 2019 study showed that diets that don’t include grains have some potential benefits. Here is the truth.

May reduce the risk of certain health problems

Eating refined carbs on the reg can have a negative effect on your health. Research shows that ultra-processed foods like refined grains may increase your risk of:

Also, removing gluten-containing grains (eg, wheat, barley, rye, and triticale) might help reduce symptoms of autoimmune diseases and IBS.

May be beneficial for blood sugar management

Refined grains are easily digested into simple sugars, which can cause blood sugar spikes and quick crashes. So, eating less refined grains can control your levels. This is very important for people with diabetes, but everyone can benefit from better blood sugar control.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Just because you cut the beans doesn’t mean you’re safe. It’s the overall quality of your diet and your food choices that matter most when it comes to staying healthy and managing health issues.

May improve diet quality

Going grain-free may improve the overall quality of your diet if your current diet contains a lot of processed foods. If you replace refined grains with more nutrient-dense foods, you’ll likely get more fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, and other important nutrients.

In addition, a grain-free diet is gluten-free. So, this will obviously have benefits for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

Can help you lose weight

A grain-free diet could help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Generally, refined grains do not have much nutritional value. On top of that, processed grain products are often filled with other less healthy ingredients like refined sugars. None of these ingredients are great at keeping you full and satiated.

So replacing refined grains with more nutritious foods — like protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds — can help you feel full longer.

Remember that we are talking about refined grains and not whole grains. Also, reducing your intake of refined carbs is a good thing, but it’s not a panacea for weight loss.

Like any diet that cuts out many food options (we’re looking at you, keto), the grain-free diet has some downsides.

Cutting out grains could benefit people with health conditions such as celiac disease, NCGS, and diabetes. But generally, it is not necessary to eliminate all grains from your diet.

Eating whole grains and pseudo-grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth, as part of a balanced diet, may actually help improve health and reduce the risk of certain terms, including:

Grains can also contain important nutrients such as fiber and minerals, including magnesium and zinc. This does not mean that a grain-free diet still lack these nutrients. But you need to replace those nutrients with other nutrient-dense, grain-free foods.

It should also be noted that many cereals in the United States are fortified or fortified with iron and folate. According to a 2021 research study, cutting out all grains can make it harder to meet your daily needs of these vital nutrients.

When following a grain-free diet, it is important to stock up on:

  • fruits like berries, oranges, grapefruits and apples
  • sources of healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil
  • healthy grain-free products like almond flour and coconut flour
  • starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, and butternut squash
  • non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and asparagus
  • animal and plant protein sources like chicken, fish, eggs, and lentils

But these days, you can find plenty of grain-free products at your local grocery store. You can also substitute traditional grain products with tasty ingredients like:

Psst. Be sure to read nutrition and ingredient labels. Just because something is grain-free doesn’t mean it’s nutritious.

When following a grain-free diet, it’s important to avoid (surprise!) grains and grain-based products. These include:

  • grains such as rice, oats, wheat, barley, and rye
  • grain-based plant milks such as oat milk and rice milk
  • grain-based snack foods like popcorn, wheat crackers, and oat bars
  • rolled oats, cream of wheat, and most cereals and breakfast bars
  • baked goods made from wheat flour such as bagels, bread, pizza, noodles, and pasta
  • sweet baked goods made from grain-based flours such as muffins, cookies, and cakes

Message of public interest: You customize your grain-free diet to your unique preferences. Many grain-free people avoid pseudo-grains like buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. Also, some people give up gluten-containing grains (eg, wheat, barley, rye, triticale, flour, and spelled), but not gluten-free grains. It’s up to you, though.

Ready to eat? Here’s an idea of ​​what 3 days of a grain-free diet can look like.

Day 1

  • To eat lunch: egg and vegetable omelet with a side of fresh berries and sliced ​​avocado
  • To eat lunch: large mesclun salad topped with shredded chicken, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, diced apple and blue cheese
  • Having dinner: almond-crusted fish served with garlic broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes

Day 2

  • To eat lunch: chia seed pudding topped with berries, coconut yogurt and almond butter
  • To eat lunch: lentil and vegetable soup with grain-free almond flour crackers and a side salad
  • Having dinner: roast chicken, baked potato and grilled asparagus

Day 3

  • To eat lunch: smoothie made with frozen mixed berries, vanilla no sugar added protein powder, almond butter and coconut milk
  • To eat lunch: veggie and bean burrito on an almond flour tortilla, guac, salsa, and grain-free chips, and try Siete for grain-free
  • Having dinner: turkey meatballs and vegetables served with marinara and pasta made from almond flour or chickpeas and a green salad

Grain-free diets tend to be much more flexible than other restrictive diets. Of course, you should eliminate grains, but you can still eat a wide variety of other foods.

Meanwhile, diets like Paleo or Whole30 require you to cut out grains along with many other foods like legumes and dairy. And when it comes to keto, you can technically eat cereal as long as you don’t exceed your daily net carb count.

Also, although a grain-free diet is gluten-free, it is not the same as a gluten-free diet. Someone on a gluten-free diet to have exclude all grains because not all grains contain gluten.

A grain-free diet is a way of eating that excludes all grains and grain-based products like wheat, oats, and white flour. Some studies suggest that removing refined grains from your diet could benefit your overall health. But we need more evidence to show how it compares to other types of diets.

PS If you want to follow a grain-free diet, you may want to consult a dietitian. They can help you decide if giving up cereal is a good idea based on your health condition.

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