What’s a grain-free diet and why should I try it?

What’s a grain-free diet and why should I try it?

A grain-free diet eliminates all grains, as well as foods derived from them.

This includes gluten-containing grains like wheat, spelt, barley, rye, and triticale, as well as non-glutenous ones like dried corn, millet, rice, sorghum, and oats. To follow a grain-free diet, you need to exclude all grains, as well foods that contain grains from your diet. Think conventional bread, pasta, granola, oatmeal, rice cakes,  breakfast cereals, cakes, crackers, and cookies.

Following a grain-free diet can also be similar to following a low carb diet, but  this isn’t a requirement. You can simply eliminate grains and get your carbohydrates can get from fruits, legumes, and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, squash, and fresh corn.

So what will you be eating when going grain-free? 

  • Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, oils, and dairy will make up your main diet— while minimizing overly processed foods (a lot of which contain grains)

So why is going grain-free something to consider? .

  • Grains may contribute to inflammation in some people.  Inflammation is believed to be the root cause of many chronic diseases.  In addition, cutting out grains may cause a natural increase in the quantity or variety of fruits and vegetables consumed— both of which may help reduce inflammation.

  • A grain-free diet may promote and improvement in body composition.   By avoiding grains, you naturally avoid processed grains found in calorie-rich, nutrient-poor foods like white bread, white pasta, pizza, doughnuts, cookies, and other baked goods.  In turn, most people see a reduction in overall daily calorie intake due to the increased satiety from lower calorie, more nutrient dense foods.

  • A grain free diet can help individuals manage chronic diseases such as those with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Refined grains are particularly problematic for these chronic diseases, as their low fiber content causes these foods to be digested very quickly, resulting in a spike in blood sugar levels shortly after a meal

  • Grain-free diets may improve mental health. Studies link gluten-containing diets to anxiety, depression, mood disorders, ADHD, autism, and schizophrenia. However, it’s currently impossible to know whether grains caused these disorders.

  • Grain-free diets may help alleviate pain. Gluten-free diets may help reduce pelvic pain in women with endometriosis, a disorder that causes the tissue lining the inside of the uterus to grow outside of it 

  • Grain-free diets may reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia. A gluten-free diet may help reduce the widespread pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia

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