Processed food, pasta, bread, milk, cheese, and so much more are essential parts of our eating routine. We get used to their delicious taste so much that it might be hard to eliminate them from our lives. Although many people can freely digest gluten or dairy products, it doesn’t mean they are harmless for everyone. Bloating, gas, upset stomach, and more unpleasant consequences can catch us off guard if we are sensitive to dairy or gluten. Additionally, gluten and dairy might cause severe health issues in people who cannot tolerate them. This article reviews all the essential questions you need to know about gluten and dairy-free diet. You will get simple and practical tips on how to go dairy and gluten-free and get a chance to unravel the list of dairy and gluten-free foods with amazing recipes you can try out today. Before completely cutting gluten and dairy products out from your meals, speak with a healthcare provider who can help you build up your diet and point out safe ways to stick to it.
Who Should Avoid Eating Gluten?
While for most people, gluten is perfectly safe there are certain medical conditions that require a gluten-free diet.
- People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten in any form whatsoever. An autoimmune response to gluten in people with celiac disease causes belly pain, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea or other symptoms (2).
- People with gluten intolerance when the consumption of gluten makes a person not feel well. Some of them might get unpleasant symptoms, like fatigue, gas, constipation, nausea, or stomach pain (2).
- People who are allergic to wheat would also avoid certain food containing gluten but not because of gluten itself. The point is that one or more proteins in wheat trigger an immune response that might cause skin rash, sneezing, and headache. Such people might be able to consume gluten in other grains.
Who Should Not Eat Dairy Products?
Dairy includes food made from or containing the milk of cows, goats, camels, sheep, and buffaloes. The most common foods that contain dairy are cheese, kefir, milk, ice cream, butter, yogurt, sour cream, ghee, casein, and whey products.
Dairy is a source of protein and many vitamins and minerals. Reasonable consumption of dairy products may be beneficial in muscle building, reducing blood pressure, and preventing tooth decay, diabetes, obesity, and cancer (1).
Who should avoid eating dairy?
- People with lactose intolerance have an impaired ability to digest lactose which can result in gas, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and bloating.
- Individuals with milk protein allergy meaning they are allergic to whey or casein might experience hives, swelling of the mouth, tongue, and throat, sneezing, coughing, or wheezing.
Here are a few healthy alternatives.
- Instead of cow’s milk, people can switch to almond, oat, soy, coconut, rice, hemp, flax, or cashew milk.
- The perfect butter alternatives are olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, and bananas.
- For cheese, you can opt for vegan cheese, hard cheese (if lactose intolerance is your issue), and nutritional yeast.
- Ice cream can be made with alternative milk as well as yogurt.
Before using these alternatives, make sure you can tolerate the alternatives as well. Head to your healthcare provider for help.
How To Go Gluten-Free And Dairy-Free?
Going gluten or dairy-free is no easy feat since you will most likely deprive yourself of quite delicious food. The good news is that even with restrictions there is a great possibility you will discover more tasteful opportunities that will benefit your skin, hair, and overall health.
If for some reason you have decided to switch to a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, you need to keep in mind these simple and practical techniques.
- Step one. Find the hidden sources of gluten and dairy. The best way to start any sort of diet is to educate yourself and research safe alternatives. At first, it might seem easy because there are obvious sources of gluten and dairy, for example, bread and milk. Still, there are hidden sources we rarely suspect. In this case, learn the terms to search for and where to find the ingredient labels.
- Step two. Eliminate the enticing products and shop for alternatives. This is the time when you finally check the inventory of your pantry and refrigerator to remove all the potential sources of gluten and dairy. You have educated yourself and won’t have much trouble with that. Later, prepare the grocery list filled with gluten and dairy alternatives and trek to the grocery store. It will also be a good idea for you to clean cooking equipment, such as utensils, pans, and toasters to prevent cross-contamination. Replace gluten and dairy-free food with healthier alternatives.
- Step three. Create a meal plan for a week. After restocking your pantry and fridge, you can incorporate new ingredients into new dairy and gluten-free recipes. You can research the ideas online or use the recipes from this article.
- Step four. Find good places to eat out gluten and dairy-free food. Luckily, a lot of places that might not even specialize in this type of meal still offer alternatives if desired. Make sure you let the waiter or a waitress know that you are gluten and dairy intolerant so that they could serve you the meals with alternatives.
- Step five. Search for symbols. When purchasing processed or packaged food, search for a gluten-free symbol to avoid gluten and Pareve or certified vegan to avoid dairy.
- Step six. Don’t overwhelm yourself with restrictions. Even though a gluten and dairy-free diet is restrictive, you should focus on food variety for two reasons: not to get bored and to obtain enough nutrients from different products.
How To Go Gluten, Sugar, And Dairy-Free?
Eating a gluten, dairy, and sugar-free diet can be easier than you think. With a few adjustments to what foods you buy and cook, you can enjoy a wide variety of flavors and get all the necessary nutrients.
Focusing on whole, minimally processed foods and eliminating packaged and pre-made items is a good approach when it comes to gluten, sugar, and dairy-free eating. The healthy food items to include in your diet are fresh fruits and veggies, whole gluten-free grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as well as lean meats, eggs, and fish.
- Fruits and vegetables are healthy ingredients in many different kinds of dishes. They can be blended, juiced, roasted, baked, steamed, grilled, or eaten raw.
- When looking for grains, search for products labeled gluten-free, such as millet, quinoa, rice, and buckwheat. You can also explore other grains such as teff, amaranth, and sorghum. You can buy oats as well but check them to have a gluten-free symbol to ensure they were not cross-contaminated with wheat during processing. Gluten-free grains, legumes, and beans are also great sources of vegan protein. For example, quinoa is a delicious plant-based protein rich in essential vitamins and minerals including magnesium, zinc, and other nutrients that might prevent constipation, and lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Plus, it may help you maintain a healthier weight (3).
- Nuts and seeds are sources of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.
- Meats, fish, and eggs are the sources of animal protein. Poultry especially loads our body up with several vitamins and minerals and aids weight control.
When it goes to sugar, people think of chocolate and cookies. However, sugar can be found in many kinds of food. It may be beneficial to cut out as much sugar as you can. This includes all refined, processed, and artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, and dates can be consumed in moderation.
By eliminating sugar, you might notice impressive results in your body, like
- Weight loss and the prevention of obesity.
- Cleaner skin and lowering the risk of skin cancer.
- Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Prevention of mood shifts.
- Reducing inflammation.
Let’s wrap it up. Eating a gluten, dairy, and sugar-free diet is possible and easier than it may seem. You can open up a whole new world of tasty, nutritious foods without indulging in harmful products. With enough planning, you can pull off meals that will both satisfy and nourish you.
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What Foods Are Gluten-Free And Dairy-Free?
Gluten and dairy-free diet is loaded with the versatility of products that allows people to experiment with flavors and tastes in different dishes.
We have prepared a list of gluten and dairy-free foods that you can now add to your shopping cart.
The following ingredients are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free:
- Meat, poultry, and fish: all types, except battered or coated meats
- Eggs: whole eggs, egg yolks, egg whites,
- Fruits: bananas, kiwis, berries, melons, pineapples, oranges, pears, peaches, etc.
- Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, onions, peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, potatoes, etc.
- Grains: rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, corn, tapioca, millet, teff, amaranth, arrowroot, and labeled gluten-free oats.
- Starches and flours: potato flour, corn flour, cornstarch, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond meal or flour, tapioca flour, and coconut flour,
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc.
- Soy foods: tofu, natto, tempeh, miso (as long as they aren’t fermented with wheat, barley, or rye – check labels)
- Milk alternatives: lactose-free milk, hemp milk, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk
- Lactose-free yogurts: almond milk yogurt, coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, cashew yogurt (check labels for gluten-containing additives)
- Oils and spreads: vegetable oils, coconut oil, olive oil.
- Herbs and spices: turmeric, oregano, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, etc.
- Beverages: most beverages, except for beer (unless it has a gluten-free label) and cow’s milk
In a moment, the top recipes that are both gluten and dairy-free.
What Are Gluten And Dairy-Free Meals?
It might be challenging for people to find gluten and dairy-free meals with high quality. We are not going to cover gluten and dairy-free bread but something more complicated, delicious, and nutritious. We have collected the top 2 delicious lactose and gluten-free meals for you that are perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Whole 30 Buffalo Chicken Salad
This dairy-free salad is a finger-licking addition to your lunch or dinner. The salad is full of crunchy veggies, including romaine, celery, and carrots. Easy to make and delicious to taste.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 large or 3 medium pieces)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 heads of washed, dried, and chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 shredded carrot
- 1 thinly sliced celery stalk
- 1/2 cup prepared home-made mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill or 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 juiced lime
- 1/4 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted ghee, or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cover it lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, pepper, and salt.
- Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes. You can also cook the chicken breasts in an air-fryer at 400°F for 16 minutes.
- Combine the chopped romaine, sliced celery, and shredded carrot in a large bowl. Set the bowl aside and make the dressing.
- Combine the homemade mayonnaise, garlic powder, coconut milk, onion powder, chives, dill, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
- Pour the prepared dressing over the salad until the lettuce is coated with the dressing.
- When the chicken is cooked, slice it into 1-inch chunks.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted ghee and the hot sauce, vegan butter, or coconut oil. Add the chicken and toss until the cooked chicken is covered with the hot sauce.
- Divide the chicken between the salad servings and enjoy it while the chicken is warm or chilled.
Calories per serving (recipe serves 5)
- Calories: 380
- Carbs: 13.9g
- Fat: 26g
- Protein: 24.5g (6).
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Waffles
Have you ever tried pink waffles? If not, then you will be pleased to discover the crunchy and fluffy waffles that tackle anybody’s day with a rich taste. This meal works perfectly as a gluten and dairy-free breakfast. Moreover, the color allows this dish to become a wonderful present for beloved ones on Valentine’s day.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 2 medium roasted beets, about 1/2 cups of sliced cooked beets
- Toppings, if desired
- In the food processor, combine the milk, coconut oil, egg, beets, maple syrup, flour, baking powder. Blend or process on high until the mixture is fully combined and smooth.
- Preheat your waffle maker.
- Coat the waffle iron lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add about ¼ cup of the batter and cook the waffles for 5-6 minutes each.
- Serve the waffles with your choice of maple syrup, whipped cream, jam, sliced fruits, apple butter, or whatever topping you like.
Voila. Your delectable dairy and gluten-free pink waffles are ready.
Calories per serving (recipe serves 4)
- Calories: 336
- Carbs: 48.1g
- Fat: 12.6g
- Protein: 7.5g (4).
What To Expect When Going Gluten And Dairy-Free?
As was mentioned, gluten and dairy products are usually safe for people but switching to this diet may be necessary for those who are not tolerant to them. Here are the things you can expect when cutting out dairy and gluten from your diet:
- It might reduce inflammation in your body leading to better digestion and more energy.
- It may improve cholesterol levels, and reduce fat intake which could aid weight loss.
- It might make your skin look better. This can be especially beneficial to people with acne, eczema, or psoriasis.
- It should improve symptoms of lactose intolerance and/or gluten sensitivity.
However, a gluten-free diet is low in fiber and certain vitamins essential to our bodies, like Vitamin B, D, iron, and calcium. It is possible to make up for this nutritional deficiency by choosing cereal and gluten-free bread and dairy alternatives or supplements if recommended by your healthcare provider.
Hence, people are advised to talk to their healthcare providers before starting the diet.
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Will I Lose Weight If I Cut Out Gluten And Dairy?
People may lose weight as a consequence of eating gluten and dairy-free products but there is no evidence that sticking to these diets can lead to weight loss. The only healthy way to lose weight is to control the calorie intake. A calorie deficit along with sportive activities and nutritional meals provide more chances to lose weight healthily.
Gluten and dairy products are relatively safe for most people. However, for those who have gluten and lactose intolerance, the impact of these ingredients can result in weight gain, inflammation, nausea, bloating, stomach cramps, and severe skin issues.
Simple and practical tips on how to go dairy and gluten-free include educating yourself, shopping for alternatives, and preparing gluten and dairy-free meals.
Fruits, vegetables, whole gluten-free grains, nuts, and meat are the essential sources of healthy nutrients that we can consume on a daily basis while on a gluten and dairy-free diet.
There is the efficacy of a gluten and dairy-free diet in reducing inflammation, allergies, and sensitives. However, the impact on weight loss has still not been proven since caloric deficiency and exercise are more vital here.
Before starting a restrictive diet, be sure to talk to your healthcare professional to receive guidance and support in planning a healthy diet.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Dairy Products and Health: Recent Insights (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Gluten-Free Diet: Is It Right for Me? (n.d., hopkinsmedicine.org)
- Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and How to Prepare Quinoa and Quinoa Flakes (2022, webmd.com)
- Pink Waffles (No Dye) (2022, cleaneatingkitchen.com)
- What gluten-free food can I eat? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Salad (2021,cleaneatingkitchen.com)