Most of us know that gluten-free foods don’t include most grains so doesn’t the term “grain-free” mean the same thing? Not exactly. In a nutshell, eating grain-free means avoiding all grains (and we mean all!)—not just those that contain gluten. In fact, the complete elimination of grains is becoming more popular thanks to trending diets like keto and paleo. But there are possible health benefits that come with going grain-free, too. Without carbs like rice and bread, you’re more likely to increase your intake of nutritious fruits and vegetables, which might boost your overall wellness as well. Intrigued? Here’s everything you should know about eating grain-free.
What Is Grain-Free?
Gluten-free diets avoid grains that contain gluten proteins (namely glutenin and gliadin), like wheat, rye, and barley. Grain-free diets take things a step further and eliminate all grains, including rice, corn, and oats. However, grain-like seeds, such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat, may still be included in small amounts.
Benefits of Grain-Free
While a grain-free diet—which is also gluten-free by default—is suitable for those who have gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested), it may have benefits for others as well. This eating style may help to reduce inflammation,and contribute to healthy digestion. In addition, grain-free eating is a component of popular diets like keto and paleo meal plans.
Tips for Eating Grain-Free
Grain-free eating starts with a well-stocked kitchen. Be sure to load up on lots of fresh produce, meat, and grain-free baking ingredients. Cooking at home means you know exactly what goes into each meal. Make time to meal prep, and cook up large batches of grilled meat and veggies to enjoy in various recipes throughout the week (psst: lettuce leaves are great for making healthy, grain-free wraps).
Top Grain-Free Brands
Check out these brands that offer great grain-free options.
Although Bob’s Red Mill is known for its flours, grains, and cereals, it also features a variety of nuts, seeds, and alternative flours to stock your grain-free kitchen. Each Bob’s Red Mill pantry staple is made from whole foods, totally organic, and sourced directly from farmers.
Grain-free baking is easy thanks to this finely ground flour, which is made from whole almonds with the skin on and nothing else. Enjoy it in everything from breads to pancakes, cookies, and cakes.
This Chicago-based company offers gluten-, grain-, and dairy-free baking mixes and pantry must-haves, including pancake mixes, crackers, and frostings. Every item is Non-GMO Project Verified and made with real, wholesome ingredients.
Yes, you can have crackers on a grain-free diet. Get your snack fix along with 3g of protein per serving with these nutrient-rich crackers made from a blend of nut and seed flours, featuring almonds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds.
The husband-and-wife team who started Jackson’s Honest never set out to build a food brand. When their son began experiencing health problems, they took matters into their own hands, developing delicious foods that adhered to his restricted diet—and inspired an entire community in the process.
These unconventional chips are fried in organic coconut oil and seasoned with a dash of pure sea salt for a crunchy snack that can be a little addicting.
More About Healthy Eating
Calling all paleo and keto eaters! Stock up on protein you can feel good about with our premium meat and seafood line. Thrive Market animal proteins are raised as ethically and sustainably as possible for exceptional flavor that puts our planet first.
Is going organic really better for your health and the health of the planet? Learn more about what it means to grow food pesticide-free and whether it’s a passing fad or an essential lifestyle choice.
Lunch is no reason to settle for another boring chicken breast. We’ve got shopping lists, recipes, and kid-friendly options to support your gluten-free lifestyle.