GLUTEN-FREE SNACKS 100 CALORIES OR LESS

WHAT is gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is the binding agent that keeps baked goods from falling apart. It provides stability and texture.

WHERE is gluten found?

It is found in most types of breads, cereals, baked goods, pastas, pizza and as an ingredient in many processed foods. Not all foods from the grain family, however, contain gluten. Examples of grains that do not have gluten include rice, corn, oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, and teff.

WHEN is gluten a concern?

Gluten is the major cause of inflammation in the body because we eat so much of it! We eat more gluten in the form of wheat than any other food: 825 calories per day. Our ancestors did not eat any wheat and we have not evolved to do so. The gluten protein molecules are simply not digested completely by humans. Gliadin peptides (undigested molecules of gluten) remain in the gut and cause the epithelial cells of the small intestine to become more porous, causing increased intestinal permeability. This sequence of events results in Leaky Gut Syndrome, allowing large molecules of gliadin, bacteria, viruses, yeast and other toxins to enter the bloodstream causing chronic inflammation throughout the body.

When you first start the gluten-free diet, surviving the first two weeks can be tricky for many reasons, most of all, you are hungry! The diet is a process- substituting old favorites and traditions for new. Here are 12 gluten-free snacks 100 calories or less to ease the transition.

1 piece fresh fruit (5 grams fiber)

1/4 cup dried fruit (2 grams fiber)

15 almonds (2 grams fiber)

2-3 cups popcorn (2 grams fiber)

2 tablespoon hummus with 5 gluten free crackers (1 gram fiber)

1/2 ounce cheese with 9 gluten-free rice crackers

2 tablespoons guacamole with 1 cup Jicama slices (6 grams fiber)

1 tablespoon favorite dip with 1 cup sliced carrots, snap peas, red        peppers and/or celery

2 squares chocolate

2 gluten-free Chocolate Wafers (3 grams fiber)

2 gluten-free macaroons (2 grams fiber)

1/2 cup Greek yogurt with teaspoon honey

 

 

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A Gluten-Free Oatmeal Breakfast to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome

Autoimmune diseases are disorders in which the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise. Celiac disease, a digestive autoimmune condition triggered by the consumption of gluten (the protein found in wheat, rye and barley) is 400% more prevalent today than 40 years ago. Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and deformity of joints, is on the rise among women after decades of decline. The list goes on: type-1 diabetes, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and ulcerative colitis.

As previously mentioned, a growing body of evidence suggests that virtually the same trio of factors underpins most, and perhaps all, autoimmune diseases: an environmental substance that is presented to the body (in the case of celiac disease the trigger is gluten), a genetically based tendency of the immune system to overreact to the substance, and an unusually permeable gut.

Once diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it is important to eat a gluten-free anti-inflammatory diet, so that your gut can heal. I wasn’t a big fan of oatmeal until I came up with the recipe below:

1/2 cup dry gluten-free rolled oats  (190 calories &  5 grams fiber)

1 small banana, 5″ long, sliced thin  (75 calories & 4 grams fiber)

1 tablespoon dried cherries  (35 calories & 3 grams fiber)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup non-sweetened almond milk  (40 calories)

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (30 calories & 2 grams fiber)

In a 4 cup bowl, combine 1/2 cup of rolled oats, sliced banana, dried cherries, cinnamon and almond milk. Stir and then cook in microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Cover and let rest 1 minute. The mixture will be creamy but have a slightly chewy texture. Sprinkle with flaxseed meal and enjoy.

This delicious breakfast weighs in at 370 calories and 14 grams of fiber and is a gut healing way to start any day. Not only do oats lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, but they enhance our immune response to fight bacterial infection. Bananas are a good source of potassium and magnesium, plus they are full of soluble fiber and probiotics that help contribute to a healthy gut.  Cherries contain components called anthocyanins that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Flaxseed meal contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and beneficial fiber. Cinnamon has been used for centuries to help stop the growth of bacteria, fungi and Candida, all sources of problems for leaky gut syndrome. Almond milk helps balance acidity in the body.

For more gut healthy recipes go to http://www.foodphilosopher.com and order The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook!