Skip the processed foods and go for the real deals.

Looking to cut the gluten and carbs in your diet, but don’t want to resort to over-processed substitutions for cookies and cereal? Say goodbye to Frankenfoods. There are a host of whole foods that are now, have always been, and will always be proudly gluten-free. 

David Perlmutter, MD, author of the bestselling book Grain Brain, recommends eggs, avocado, grass-fed beef, olive oil, and above-ground vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts, to those looking to lower carbs and maintain a gluten-free program. “I also recommend foods that serve as prebiotics,” he explains, “meaning they will enhance the growth of good bacteria in the gut, like Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, and jicama.” 

Rachel Begun, MS, RDN, a nutritional consultant and author of The Gluten-Free RD blog, suggests replacing gluten-containing carbs with gluten-free whole grains such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and certified gluten-free oats. Nut and bean flours, such as almond flour and garbanzo bean flour, are also great options for gluten-free baked goods—usually healthier and far less expensive than the pre-packaged stuff.

Worried this all sounds far too complicated? Begun points out the upside: “Going gluten-free is an opportunity to expand your horizons and learn about new ingredients and recipes. Many gluten-free people, myself included, know more about interesting new foods now and cook with a wider variety of ingredients as a result of having to eat gluten-free.”

Read Has Gluten-Free Gone Too Far?