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3 Myths That Make You Fat On A Gluten Free Diet April 1, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Living It.

Excluding wheat can mean a complete mind shift in the food combinations we select. Many people gain weight because their body is suddenly able to absorb nutrients that were blocked previously by the irritation wheat brought about in their digestive system. The transition to a gluten free diet can result in a healthy diet.

Here are three myths that will turn your gluten free diet into a fat fest:


Myth 1: I can’t eat this without the sauce

Let’s face it, we lose the sauce. Most finishing touches and texture like crusted macadamia or tempura contain flour. So we turn to butter, cheese and cream for comfort. You will end up packing on thousands of extra calories intended to nurture small calves into cows, let’s rethink this approach.

First, let’s dispel our own personal myth that we need to smother our food with something to make it better. My Oma (grandma) taught me early on with her simple German “farm to table” cooking that the natural flavor of food is wonderful. She would get disgusted when as a five year old I would ask for cheese on my veggies. “You’re smothering the natural flavor” she would say, “try it first.” When is the last time you had a high quality steak without gravy smothering its natural taste? Or really tasted your potato, instead of a mouth full of sour cream? Ask for your food to be prepared in olive oil vs. butter. Purchase butter substitute that contains olive oil. I like Best Life Buttery Spread. I’m not saying to eat dry food, use oil and sauce in moderation.

A little olive oil, salt and pepper can bring out the natural flavor of your food and you’ll rediscover eating. Listen to Oma. Unlike Oma, I’m willing to make a deal. If you do not like it, don’t eat it at all.

Myth 2: Meat is my only option

When the gluten options are eliminated from your restaurant menu what’s often left is meat or a salad. I know. I’ve been there. A steak with veggies no sauce. A burger no bun. And who wants salad for dinner? OK I’m raising my hand I do occasionally because I really, really like veggies. I am not a vegetarian. I am for a week every year when I go on my cleansing diet (to lose toxins not weight). Each time I go through this exercise it’s apparent that I have the false perception a “meal” must contain meat, fish or chicken to qualify as a main course. Untrue by the end of the week. I am fully satisfied with my grains and veggies. Eating vegetarian requires eating more frequently but what it does for digestion is a beautiful thing. My craving for savory flavor will prevent me from ever going full veg. But I become aware that in our culture we can give non-meat dishes a little more love.

One of my favorite lunch dishes is called mujadra – lentils mixed with rice and spices, topped with salsa fresca and sliced avocado. It traditionally includes pita which is a wheat flour bread so I pass on that and add the avocado. When eating at a steakhouse I go for the petite filet (although I love rib eye it’s a monster) and order two sides of veggies or rice and every time I eat dinner I start with a salad. That leads our discussion on dressings….

Here’s how it translates to real life – eat more grains, beans and veggies than meat each meal. If you hate veggies, completely legit. Experiment. If you are not willing to try them at all, not legit.

Myth 3: Salads are low fat

The truth is a salad is as low fat as YOU make it. If you sit down at a restaurant and say to yourself “I’m going to eat healthy” then continue to order the buffalo chicken salad smothered in cheese with ranch dressing, you may as well have ordered the burger. We need fat in our bodies. Just not as much fat that’s served up in America’s processed foods and dining establishments.

The easiest way to lower your fat intake is to keep your meal simple. And, watch out for junk dressings. I categorize junk dressings as those containing corn syrup, milk, cheese, and preservatives. Dressings to check out: italian, french and thousand island. Ask what’s in them and if it comes from a bottle, pass. In the grocery store read the label and select a natural, high quality dressing. If there is not a good option available to you, try olive oil and balsamic and mix it up yourself. I’ve yet to find a restaurant that doesn’t have this on hand. And, the simplicity of this dressing allows the natural flavors of your food to come through. If you need cheese on your salad opt for a sprinkle of goat cheese or parmesan. Keyword sprinkle. Good to fatty foods: grilled chicken breast, lean steak, salmon, avocado, and beans.

Keep it simple, avoid junk dressing, and eat good fat.




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