Let’s clear the elephant in the room, seeing the words “Gluten Free” doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is healthy. However, we’re here to share everything we have learned about natural gluten free foods so you can get started on your journey the healthy way.
If you’re wondering why you should even bother going gluten free we recommend first reading our other blog post about Why being gluten free can be a health choice.
As already mentioned, there is a common misconception that everything gluten free is good for you, unfortunately this isn’t always the case. There are a lot of gluten free “junk foods” on the market that tend to be full of preservatives, chemicals, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and sugars that are added to make up for the loss of taste and texture. For example, a sweet, high-sugar cookie in exchange for a high-sugar gluten free cookie is not automatically healthier, it still is high in sugar and may contain a myriad of artificial ingredients to imitate what the gluten does for these foods.
Where do I start?
We believe that natural is best, we can’t stress it enough. Our bodies will always respond best to natural ingredients and things that it recognises as real foods or whole foods – these are foods that haven’t been overly processed as these tend to be easier for our stomachs to breakdown and are therefore easier to gain nutrients from. We recommend checking the label and choosing products with ingredients that you recognise and, more importantly, that you can pronounce! We also recommend avoiding foods that are high in sugar as these can also present issues for our bodies.
If you are wondering where to start, we’ve put together a handy gluten free guide on the types of foods to choose, the ones to avoid, some great alternatives, and some resources to support you on your gluten free journey.
Food that are naturally gluten free
The good news is that there are so many naturally gluten free foods you are already eating!
Fruit and Vegetables
All fruits and vegetables are gluten free, so fill your plates with as many natural, colourful plants as possible!
Good quality fresh meat, fish, eggs, legumes, beans and tempeh are gluten free in their natural state
Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds are great gluten free choices
Foods to avoid or double-check (that you might not be expecting):
- Breaded meats or seafood such as schnitzel, chicken nuggets, fish fingers
- General bakery products - pasta, bread, cereal, cakes
- Grains - wheat, barley, spelt, rye, regular oats
- Processed meats such as sausages, meatballs, burger patties as these can contain breadcrumbs, but not always.
- Sauces - Soy Sauce contains gluten, as do most commercial sauces and condiments, like creamy dressings
- Beverages such as beers, ales, lagers, also some flavoured drinks can contain gluten
Carbs: Healthy gluten free options and alternatives
The most challenging area of our diets when going gluten free are our carbohydrate sources, snacks and sauces/dressings.
Plant based carbohydrate sources
Starchy vegetables, including sweet potato, potatoes, pumpkin and beetroot
Gluten free grains
Rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, teff, sorghum, amaranth, corn and tapioca
Gluten free pasta
Chickpea, brown rice, lentil or quinoa pasta (or from any of the gluten free grains above)
Gluten free cereal options
Gluten free oats, porridge, cereal containing brown rice, quinoa or millet, or grain free granola options if you are looking for low carb alternatives (check out our grain free low carb options here)
Gluten Free bread
Not all gluten free bread is created equal. Make sure to check the ingredients list when choosing a GF bread and choose one that uses only natural ingredients. Also try and choose a bread that doesn't have a long shelf life, as if it does it usually has preservatives and additives – TWK Bread is perfect :)
Gluten Free flours for baking
Buckwheat flour, oat flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, chickpea flour are great for baking. As well as starch flours such as potato flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot, and banana flour. If you are looking for low carb GF options, choose almond meal and coconut flour (these are all available from our Pantry range)
Nuts are a great snack, however, a lot of commercial nut mixes contain gluten as they’re often coated. Easy to find alternatives can be found in our Snack range!
Tamari sauce (to replace soy sauce), olive oil and vinegar is great for salads and mustards, and homemade mayonnaise is a great source of fats.
Resources to help you out:
Out and about
Grocery stores with great GF selections
- Little Farms
- FairPrice Finest
- Ryans Grocery
- Hubers Butchery
- Sasha’s Fine Foods
- That Health Shop
Online and in print
Facebook: Gluten Free Singapore: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlutenFreeSingapore
Danielle Walker: Against All Grain https://againstallgrain.com/
Gluten Free Singapore: https://glutenfree.sg/
Want to give it a try?
We recommend starting small by introducing just one gluten free meal a week. Think of it like an experiment on your journey to feeling your best! Then you can slowly begin turning those meals into entirely gluten free days. Throughout your journey, it is important to keep listening to your body, and keep track of how you’re feeling as a result of eating less gluten. It might feel like a chore, but think of the positives, you will begin to look inwards and understand your body’s unique signs, and you could potentially start to feel better than you have in years. Plant the seeds today and tomorrow all of the great work you have done will have been worth it.
And as a final reminder, being gluten free alone isn’t enough, instead it should be introduced as a way to support a healthy lifestyle – something that looks different for everyone but we generally consider as being full of movement and natural whole foods!