Eating gluten- and sugar-free foods is a trending lifestyle choice for many health-conscious individuals. Avoiding gluten and added sugars can significantly benefit overall health and well-being.
This article explores what it means to follow a gluten and sugar-free diet, the associated health perks, and tips for finding tasty gluten and sugar-free food options.
What Does It Mean to Eat Gluten Free and Sugar Free?
Gluten-Free Diet Overview
A gluten-free diet involves avoiding all foods and products that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein in grains like wheat, barley, and rye.
People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity must follow a strict lifelong gluten-free diet, as gluten triggers damaging immune reactions in their bodies. Many others choose gluten-free for potential health benefits or to alleviate digestive issues.
On a gluten-free diet, the main grains to avoid are:
- Brewer’s yeast
Oats are naturally gluten-free but are often cross-contaminated with gluten during processing. Checking for certified gluten-free oats is advised. Rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet are safe gluten-free grains.
Sugar Free Diet Overview
A sugar free diet means avoiding all added sugars and sweeteners in foods and beverages. Added sugars provide calories but lack nutritional benefits. Common added sugars to limit include:
- Table sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Syrups like maple and agave
- Cane sugar
- Raw sugar
- Fruit juice concentrates
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame or stevia should also be avoided on a sugar free diet. Focus is placed on eating whole, unprocessed foods without added sweeteners.
Benefits of Going gluten-free and Sugar-Free
There are several potential perks associated with avoiding gluten and added sugar.
Gluten-free benefits include:
- Alleviates gluten-related disorders like celiac disease, wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity
- It may improve gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation
- Linked to increased energy levels
- Associated with stable blood sugar levels
- It may support healthy weight loss and maintenance
Sugar Free Benefits
Sugar-free benefits include:
- It aids blood sugar regulation and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Linked to better heart health and decreased inflammation
- Associated with healthier body weight and weight loss
- Improved dental health without added sugars impacting teeth
- Increased energy levels and reduced fatigue
- Improved mood without energy crashes from blood sugar spikes and drops
- Avoids non-nutritive calories for better nutrient-dense eating
Avoiding gluten and sugar encourages eating fresh, whole foods packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. This provides the body with high-quality nutrition for optimal health.
Tips for Following a Gluten Free, Sugar Free Diet
Here are some helpful suggestions for adhering to a gluten and sugar-free lifestyle:
Carefully Read Food Labels
Thoroughly checking ingredient labels is vital for identifying hidden gluten and added sugar sources. Keywords like wheat, barley, malt and rye signal gluten. Sugar has endless synonyms, like evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate and dextrose. Specialized gluten-free and sugar-free labels signify safer options.
Focus on Natural, Minimally Processed Foods
Fill your diet with naturally gluten and sugar free whole foods. Smart choices include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins like chicken and fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and healthy dairy products. Tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes make great gluten and sugar-accessible carb sources.
Be Wary of Packaged “DIET” Foods
Packaged items labelled as reduced-fat, sugar-free or gluten-free are not guaranteed healthy. Many swap sugars for unhealthy artificial sweeteners and contain other additives. Check the ingredients rather than trusting the claims on the label.
Cook More Meals at Home
Preparing your meals makes it easier to control ingredients and avoid hidden gluten and sugar. Get comfortable with cooking naturally gluten and sugar-free meals at home.
Know Safe Gluten-Free Grains and Flours
For baking and cooking, naturally gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, buckwheat and oats. Gluten-free flours include almond, coconut, tapioca and cassava flour. Test out recipes that use these alternative gluten-free flours.
Choose Healthy Sugar Substitutes
When baking at home, replace sugar with small amounts of maple syrup, fruit purees, coconut sugar or stevia. Quick oats, mashed bananas or avocado can also add natural sweetness.
Check Labels on Medications and Supplements
Look for gluten-containing ingredients like preservatives and sugar additives in over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and vitamins. Seek pharmacy-verified gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan capsules when possible.
Enjoy Gluten Free and Sugar Free Treats in Moderation
Allowing for occasional indulgences in moderation can help stick with the diet long-term. Some healthier sweet treats include fresh fruit with whipped cream, dark chocolate and gluten-free cookies made with nut flours.
Seek Support and Find Resources
Connect with others following gluten or sugar free diets for recipe ideas and sources of support. Consult with a registered dietitian knowledgeable about gluten and sugar free needs. Join online groups sharing gluten and sugar free living tips.
Gluten Free, Sugar Free Diet: The Healthy Lifestyle Choice
Transitioning to a gluten and sugar free diet involves adjustments, careful label reading and kitchen education. However, embracing this lifestyle provides enormous potential benefits for achieving optimal health.
Avoiding gluten and added sugar encourages less processed eating, better nutrient intake and healthy blood sugar regulation. Living gluten- and sugar-free can become second nature with proper planning and preparation. Follow these diet tips to discover gluten- and sugar-free benefits.
Are gluten-free products sugar free?
Gluten Free Foods often have a sweet taste or smell to them. You will find that most commercially produced foods contain ingredients that interfere with your body’s ability to digest and absorb the nutrients they have.
Your body cannot recognize these products as food since they contain chemicals that defeat its ability to convert them into energy.
How do you eat a sugar free diet?
You can introduce a few simple items every day, or you can do what we did and create your menu plan to fit your needs.
Never believe everything you read on the nutrition labels at the grocery store. If a title says sugar-free, that doesn’t mean it’s sugar-free. The less sugar you eat, the better.
That doesn’t mean that fat and gluten-free foods don’t have sugar. They do – sometimes just not as much as everyday foods.
What can I eat on a week one gluten-free diet?
A 7-day gluten-free diet will help you determine whether you have celiac disease, a condition that prevents your body from absorbing nutrients.
This diet is also an effective treatment for those diagnosed with this condition. It helps you repair your digestive system by eliminating gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
As you eliminate gluten foods, your body becomes more sensitive to other harmful foods. Suppose you are considering following this diet for weight loss purposes and are not a celiac patient.
In that case, you must eat plenty of other nutritious foods because of the increased caloric intake related to the weight loss.
Following a gluten and sugar free diet requires dedication but can bring tremendous health benefits. By avoiding sources of gluten and added sugars, many experience improved digestion, stable blood sugar levels, increased energy, and better overall well-being.
Focusing on fresh, whole foods makes it easier to cut out processed items that often contain hidden gluten and sugar sources. With proper planning and preparation, the gluten and sugar free lifestyle provides a healthier way of eating for the long term. Embracing this diet can help achieve optimal health.