Frequently Asked Questions About Grain Free
At Caveman Foods, we strive to make foods with ingredients that are nutritionally friendly to everyone. That means we make healthier, better-for-you products that skip fillers and artificial ingredients like corn and soy. We support those who eat kosher, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and peanut-free due to allergies and sensitivities. Our snacks are friendly to paleo, vegans, and ketogenic eaters alike. Depending on your needs we have a snack for you. Including ones without grains. Read some popular questions about grain-free eating to learn more:
- What is a grain-free diet?
A grain-free diet is a way of eating that is free from all grains and products made from grains. For example, corn is a grain, so it is avoided on a grain-free diet, as well as foods made from corn like corn tortillas, corn starch, and corn syrup.
- Which foods are grains?
Some grains are obvious such as wheat, barley, corn, rice, rye, and sorghum. Those foods are considered true grains because they come from the dried seeds of grasses. Another group of grains, pseudo (false) grains, come from the dried seeds of broadleaf plants. These are foods like buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. These are classified as grains and avoided on a grain-free diet because their nutrient profile is similar to whole grains.
- Are grain-free and gluten-free the same?
No. Not all grains contain gluten, the protein portion of grains like wheat, barley, rye, and traditionally-grown oats. Individuals on a gluten-free diet avoid gluten-containing grains, but are able to eat foods like rice, quinoa, amaranth, and corn if they choose.
This is an important distinction for individuals with celiac disease (CD), a genetic autoimmune disorder. When people with CD consume gluten, their immune system attacks the small intestine tissue, causing serious health issues.
Individuals following a grain-free diet avoid all grain-free foods and grain-derived products, with no distinction regarding which ones are gluten-free.
- Does grain-free mean keto or carb-free?
Every grain-free food is not necessarily suitable for someone on the ketogenic diet, which is high-fat and extremely low-carb. Individuals on a keto diet avoid grains due to their high carb count, but they also avoid certain naturally grain-free fruits and vegetables, like bananas and carrots, for the same reason.
- Are there any side effects from eating grain-free?
With any diet, it’s wise to consult your health care provider for a discussion about the changes you plan to make. For most people, going from a traditional diet to eating grain-free means replacing highly-processed foods with nutrient-dense whole foods. This often results in benefits like:
- Reduced inflammation due to the removal of highly-refined grains like white rice, boxed processed cereals, commercial pasta products, and corn tortillas from the diet.
- Improved digestion for individuals who are sensitive to grains. For example those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or gluten sensitivity.
Keep in mind, avoiding grains can also mean removing a significant amount of fiber and certain nutrients from the diet. Adequate fiber is essential for regular digestion, so to avoid constipation, enjoy high-fiber grain-free foods like avocados, berries, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, nuts, and chia seeds.
As for nutrients, grains contain vitamins and minerals – naturally-occurring or added – that the body needs. To avoid nutrient deficiency issues, incorporate foods rich in B vitamins and minerals like iron into your grain-free diet. For example, meat (including organ meat), fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, and dark leafy greens.
- Is grain-free eating restrictive or is it sustainable?
There are so many satisfying foods that can replace grains in the diet, the only limits are your imagination when it comes to grain-free eating. Consider options like veggie “rice” that can be incorporated into countless dishes, spiral vegetables like zucchini that make great stand-ins for noodles, and even pizza crusts made from veggies like cauliflower.
With a little creativity, making swaps like these goes a long way in how you feel, too. That’s because most grains people consume are highly processed. Those aren’t the best for overall health. Feeling better, having more energy, and thinking clearer are bonuses that make grain-free eating something you’ll want to continue.
- Will I have to give up dessert to eat grain-free?
No way! In fact, grain-free desserts can actually curb your sugar cravings if you make them higher in protein and lower in sugar. Consider ingredients like nut-based yogurt with low-sugar add-ins like berries. Getting an edge on healthy eating that satisfies your sweet tooth can help you stick to your grain-free lifestyle. Give these Banana Yogurt Parfaits and this Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl a try!
- How can I eat grain-free on the go?
Eating on the go is a prime concern for nearly everyone, regardless of what they eat. When you make health-forward choices like adopting a grain-free diet, a little planning is all it takes to have countless options at your fingertips when time is short, and you need a portable meal or snack.
Try a quick parfait in a Mason jar for breakfast or a big salad with chopped chicken and diced veggies for lunch. Keep nuts, individual nut butter packs, and grain-free granola bars handy for snacking on the go.
- What are some tips for making grain-free eating easy?
Grain-free eating is naturally easy. In fact, most people who switch to a grain-free diet find it saves time in the kitchen. There’s no cooking rice, soaking oats overnight, or boiling pasta. That means there’s no cleanup for those tasks, either. No one is going to complain about not having to wash the pasta pot!
To help make eating grain-free super easy, keep grain-free alternatives on hand:
- Stock up on riced vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and butternut squash, which most grocery stores stock fresh and frozen. These can round out a meal as a simple side dish, be substituted for rice or couscous in a recipe, or provide a base for your favorite protein and seasonings for a quick meal.
- Use leaf lettuce for making sandwich wraps, shell-less tacos, bunless burgers, and use what’s left for salads so there’s no waste.
- Keep a few fresh whole zucchini on hand. Spiral cut them for “noodles” or slice them lengthwise into thin strips to sub for lasagna noodles.
- Stock your pantry with healthy grain-free foods like canned vegetables, almond butter, nuts, seeds, grain-free granola, and grain-free granola bars.
- Food prep to keep grain-free options like hard boiled eggs, cooked proteins like chicken and grass-fed ground beef, and chopped veggies like onions, cucumbers, and peppers ready when hunger hits.
Use these grain-free food ideas to make a general grocery list. Keep it handy so that you’re never at a loss for what to buy when you’re at the market.
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