Is Ketogenic diet gluten free ? Helpful Guide with food list

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Is Keto Diet Gluten-Free ?

In the recent years more and more people I've been coaching reach out to me to ask me more details about the gluten-free diet and that was surprising since I've been helping them to reach their goals primarily by encouraging them to adopt the keto diet and what was more shocking is that most of them were having amazing results with keto, so I asked my self why this sudden interest in the gluten-free diet.

I realized that this may have 2 major causes the first one is that mainstream media had been talking a lot about gluten-free and you perhaps noticed during last years that more and more gluten-free labeled products popped up in your neighborhood market, the second cause was that some of those people had medical issues that you can treat partially with a gluten-free diet, so after doing my research I've decided to write this article to answer most common questions you might ask yourself when you want to start eating gluten-free while you are on a keto diet.

Is Keto Diet Gluten-Free

Not all keto-friendly foods are gluten-free, but it's possible to adapt your keto diet to have only gluten-free meals. that's because a large variety of gluten-free foods are keto-friendly and there is no problem in consuming them if you are looking to start a gluten-free ketogenic diet.

The principal sources of Gluten are grains and cereals such as wheat, rye that are high carbs foods with a high glycemic index so if we consider the fact that Keto diet is a low-carb diet which restricts bread and grain-based foods with a recommended nutrient intake of approximately 70% Fats, 25% proteins and 5% carbs, you will have no problem adopting a gluten-free nutrition on the keto diet if you rely only on vegetables and fresh fruits for your daily carbs consumption and avoid processed foods.

Most Common source of gluten
Gluten Source
Brewer’s yeast
Another interesting point is that nuts which are a food people consume regularly during keto diet are gluten-free, nuts are rich in good fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. nuts are incredibly efficient when it comes to lowering the risk of some significant diseases, to be more specific lets us go to the next point of this post and discover the exhaustive list of the gluten-free foods that you can have on a keto diet.

Who needs to go gluten-free on a keto diet

Maybe you're interested in gluten-free because all that you heard from media and saw on  the net but the majority of people don't have a gluten intolerance or allergy according to 35 studies conducted on 250 000 only people 1% to 3% may be affected by a gluten intolerance however a gluten-free diet can be benefic even for someone not suffering from these kinds of allergy

Are you gluten intolerant -what are symptoms of Gluten Intolerance?

gluten allergy can cause different symptoms. If you eat foods containing gluten while you have a gluten intolerance, you may suffer from the following symptoms :

  • difficulty to lose or gain weight. 
  • Feeling bloated
  • headaches and fatigue
  • Apparition of digestive problems. 
  • eczema and skin problems 
  • Mood disorder 

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is a whole level beyond a normal gluten allergy, it'is a dangerous autoimmune disease that is very problematic. if you eat a food containing gluten wile affected with this disease, it may cause you terrible digestive problems like diarrhea, abdominal cramps, it even may require the person suffering from it to be hospitalized.

If you have recurrent digestive problems due to the consumption of gluten, you need to inform your doctor to get tested.

3- Gluten-Free Keto food list

These foods are well known for being gluten-free and there no risks in eating them on a keto diet if you want to go gluten-free.

Keto foods that are gluten-free
Gluten-Free Food List Commentary
Meat & Seafood Fresh Meat and Seafood are Keto-friendly food that doesn't contain any gluten they are an excellent source of protein, however, processed meat like pepperoni, salami, beacons can contain gluten, therefore, you should read labels on these products.
a well-known brand for gluten-free processed meat is
Low-Carb Vegetables Low carbs Vegies like Brocolli pepper tomato... Are safe to eat when you are on a gluten-free diet, in addition to that these foods are packed with fibers and antioxidants 
Cocoa Powder Pure Cacao powder if not mixed up with some other ingredient is gluten-free
Cheese Cheese is very popular on the keto diet and yes Cheese is gluten-free. the main ingredients for Cheese are milk, rennet and bacteria Still, some producers add other ingredients to cheese, to add a particular flavor, that might include gluten, for this reason, you should check the ingredient list to see if it doesn't contain gluten or a known source of gluten
Berries Berries are gluten-free in addition to that they are pack with antioxidants that have amazing benefits on a person health
Gluten-Free Grains: Rice /Amaranth / Quinoa... even if these grains don't contain gluten they have a very high glycemic index and rich in carbohydrate it's strongly recommended to avoid them during keto diet
Vinegar Pure vinegar is gluten-free, but some brand adds gluten to give their product more flavor, so you should read the list of ingredient carefully
Butter There is no gluten in butter
Whey Whey or Protein powders are gluten-free
Peanut Butter Peanut Butter
Egg Eggs are gluten-free they are also very healthy since there is almost no carbs in Eggs
Coconut Oil Coconut Oil is Gluten Free it's also known to increase ketone level which helps you get in Ketosis easier it also boosts your metabolism leading to a faster weight loss
Olive Oil / Olives Olives and Olives Oil are Gluten Free, they also protect your heart from various diseases, it contains no carbs and it's a great source of good fats it's also a great ingredient in cooking.
Nuts Natural almonds, pecans, peanuts, pistachios, cashews, and all others nuts are Gluten-Free however if you buy nuts with some additive you may want to check if they don't contain gluten, especially wheat that is an ingredient used by some food manufacturers to add artificial flavors.
Coffee and Tea No, coffee and tea are gluten-free.
Natural Condiments Salt, black pepper, spices paprika and others Natural Condiments are gluten-free however, you have to look carefully into ingredients list if you are willing to buy manufactured Condiments and sauces because they may contain gluten
these foods are well known for being gluten-free and there no risks in eating them on a keto diet if you want to go gluten-free.

4- How to know if a food is Gluten Free 

if you have excluded gluten from your nutrition going shopping for food can be a brain teaser, the following recommendations intent to makes it easier for you:

  1. First, remember that not all gluten-free products are labeled as gluten-free, why would you ask, the answer is that the process of labeling a product means for companies or farmers additional cost, sometimes it's just obvious that a product is gluten-free as an example a pack of fresh bananas or eggs are gluten-free; 
  2. When it comes to processed food it's another story the safest for you is to buy a gluten-free labeled product, the reason is that U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't allow a product to put this label unless the product itself doesn't contain gluten, you should also look if the product you are willing to buy doesn't contain an obvious ingredient that includes gluten like 
    Most Common source of gluten
    Gluten Sources
    Brewer’s yeast
  3. Last but not least check for the allergen listing if there is one, this may indicate to you if a product contains an ingredient like wheat
If you flow these 3 rules it's safe to say you should do okay

5-Pros And Cons of Gluten-Free on Keto Diet

Gluten-Free Pros 

if we exclude people suffering from gluten intolerance and for whom eating gluten-free is a must, a gluten-free diet can have various good results on your health and wellbeing even if you are not gluten intolerant, major Pros of eating gluten-free on a keto diet include the following:

  1. You will depend more on natural Vegetables, fruits, oils, and proteins to get your macronutrients by avoiding processed food that might contain gluten you improve your fiber intake which may help you decrease your cholesterol level and reduces chances of developing pre-diabetes and diabetes issues. (Trusted sources 12) This will also boost your immune system because fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants which will help you avoid catching some common infections like colds or flus. (Trusted sources 123)
  2. Boost of your energy level: Several persons on a gluten-free diet find that they feel that their body is more empowered as they remove gluten from their nutrition. 
  3. Gluten-Free diets proved to help a person suffering from diseases like Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, Atopy, some mental health conditions like depression and stress. (Trusted sources 123, ) 
  4. Gluten restrain your body from absorbing minerals this is because gluten is not easily digested. (Trusted sources 1 ) 
  5. Gluten contains phytate. Phytate acids are known to increase tooth decay so a gluten-free diet will mostly help you protect your teeth and avoid a painful appointment with your dentist. (Trusted sources 1, )

Gluten-Free Cons

As we saw going gluten-free can offer you some major health benefits however some recent studies  show that a gluten-free diet may have some  serval negative effects so let's check them out :
  1. Increased cost of your diet: a study conducted by Dalhousie Medical School shown that adopting a gluten-free diet can be more expensive than a regular diet, with the exception of  natural fresh products like  meat vegetable fruits... on average a gluten-free products cost twice the price of a regular product (Trusted sources 12,)
  2. studies conducted by Dr. Thompson.T have demonstrated that a lack of gluten can lead to a deficiency in some essential nutrients like iron, vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, ( folate vitamin B9)  (Trusted source 1).
  3. You might have to say goodbye to some of your favorite meals if they need some sauces or ingredients containing gluten even though these ingredients would be keto-friendly.

6-Botton Line

As we saw going gluten-free when you are on a keto diet is very possible, however, you need to do the following adjustments to your daily eating habits:

  1. Avoid  Proceed foods
  2. Double-check products description and label  to make sure it's gluten-free
Excluding gluten from a regular keto diet can be very good for someone with digestive problems or a more serious disease like the celiac disease, gluten-free nutrition can also have a good impact on your health since it encourages you to eat more natural products that are packed with good nutrients and vitamins for your body. On the other hand, if you adopt a gluten-free diet it will result in additional cost since all gluten-free products cost more than regular products.
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