There is truth to the cliché that you are what you eat. The purpose of eating food is to nourish the body with nutrients that aid in performing necessary bodily functions. A healthy diet is also essential for helping the body stay energized and fight off infections.
Our current agricultural food system is notorious for pumping excessive fats and sugars into the human diet. The ubiquitous nature of processed and refined foods at any grocery store or convenience store is a testament to this problem. The result is poor eating choices that not only leave the body undernourished, but also at risk for developing chronic diseases and conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
What Is a Gluten-Free Diet?
The crux of the gluten-free diet is the elimination of rye, barley, and wheat from the food a person consumes. Gluten is a protein found in a number of grains, such as rye, barley, and wheat. It is aptly named for its role in helping dough rise and giving baked goods, like cereal, pasta, and bread, a chewy, elastic consistency. Gluten is also present in beer in the form of barley and wheat.
The problem with gluten is that it triggers an adverse immune system response in those with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder, or gluten intolerance. When a gluten-intolerant person consumes gluten, they may experience a range of mild to moderate symptoms, such as digestive pain, headaches, and fatigue. Gluten consumption by people who have celiac disease, however, can damage the lining of the small intestine and affect the proper absorption of nutrients. In order to help manage symptoms, both celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity can be confirmed with a blood test.
Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet
Originally intended to treat celiac disease and gluten intolerance, gluten-free eating has become popular in today’s health and wellness circles. Positive testimonials about the gluten-free diet tout its helpfulness with several different conditions. Here is some in-depth information about the health benefits of the gluten-free diet.
Boosting Energy Levels
People with celiac disease avoid gluten to alleviate the intestinal damage and nutritional deficiencies the protein causes them. Gluten consumption has even been linked to fatigue-inducing iron-deficiency anemia in those who are non-celiac gluten intolerant. As a result, both celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitive people experience increased energy levels when they cut gluten from their diets.
Since a strict gluten-free diet eliminates virtually all processed foods, adherents to the diet often eat better and fill their plates with lean meats, legumes, and fruits and vegetables. These improved eating habits contribute to healthy weight loss in both the short-term and long-term.
Gluten is known to cause uncomfortable bloating and excess gas production in people who are sensitive to this protein found in wheat products. Making the switch to gluten-free food can ease these symptoms of bloating and promote overall gastrointestinal health.
Joint Pain Reduction
The adverse inflammatory response that gluten has on those who are gluten intolerant has been proven to trigger joint pain and early arthritis. The gluten-free diet can naturally reduce this discomfort within a matter of weeks.
Depression and Mood Disorders
The role of gluten-free eating in managing depression and other mood disorders is perhaps one of its more interesting benefits. A growing body of evidence has linked reduced gluten-related antibodies in the human body to an improvement in symptoms for those with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.
Cons of a Gluten-Free Diet
Since gluten is such a fixture among contemporary food offerings, going gluten-free inevitably changes a person’s diet. Depending on the individual’s ability to transition to a different way of eating, some adverse results may ensue.
A person who eliminates gluten from his or her diet but does not monitor nutrient intake can miss out on essential vitamins and nutrients such as iron, calcium, fiber, and folate.
Just because a product is labeled gluten-free, it does not mean that it is necessarily healthy. Many gluten-free products often contain more calories and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts, leading to unintended weight gain.
Gluten-Free Meal Kits
Meal delivery services occupy an increasingly important space in today’s food industry. They are an easy and convenient way for busy customers to receive prepared or ready-to-cook meals at their homes or workplaces. Meal kits, a variation of the meal delivery service, save time by providing consumers with all the ingredients necessary to make perfectly portioned meals using kitchen-tested recipes. Each provider is tailored to fit specific consumer palates and preferences. Some focus on USDA-certified organic or vegan offerings, while others are centered on more creative or international plates. Many also accommodate common dietary needs, from vegan to low-carb – and gluten-free.
Gluten-free meal kits are highly advantageous to anyone who is committed to gluten-free eating, whether motivated by medical reasons or general wellbeing. Please note that some companies, like Green Chef, have created gluten-free menu plans for those who have gluten-free related health issues, and others, like Sun Basket, that are more suitable for those who follow a gluten-free diet as a lifestyle choice.
Gluten is notoriously hard to avoid. It is found in an overwhelming amount of food for purchase, and traces are found in everything from medications to hygiene products. Providers of gluten-free meal kits take special care to ensure that their meals are completely free of gluten at all stages of preparation.
Comprehensive Meals and Snacks
Gluten-free meal kit companies strive to offer a wide variety of food options to meet their customers’ needs. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available, and some services include snack choices.
Nutritious and Delicious
Companies are highly aware of the nutritional deficiencies that gluten-free eaters can experience. For this reason, meals prepared by gluten-free meal delivery services go to great lengths to ensure both the nutritional and taste quality of their offerings. Staff nutritionists and doctors vet each recipe for proper portion size and nutritional content, while chefs work to create menus that feature tasty selections, often on an evolving, weekly basis.
Convenience and Flexibility
As with other meal delivery services, gluten-free meal kits save time and money. Customers benefit from spending less time at the grocery store, as well as nourishing their bodies with meals at a cost that is significantly lower than dining out. Customers are also able to choose the number of meals they receive per week in order to customize a meal plan that fits their budgets.
We know the world of gluten-free meal kits is vast and ever-expanding. Consult our guide for Best Gluten-Free Meal Kits, brought to you proudly by The Meal Kit Comparison, for our take on the different options out there. We even have promo codes for you to get started!
The gluten-free diet is more than a mere diet fad. It is an important medical treatment for both people with celiac disease and those who suffer from gluten insensitivity. While there are some drawbacks to eliminating gluten from your diet, gluten-free eating can successfully be done if you are diligent about ensuring that you are still receiving all the nutrients your body needs for optimal function.
Gluten-free meal kits are an exciting development that allows dieters to eat delicious, well-portioned meals that are both affordable and meet their strict dietary requirements.