What is Gluten Free?

It’s not just a diet buzzword. Gluten and Gluten Free have, in the last couple years, become an incredibly popular discussion topic. Initially, most people had no idea what gluten actually was. Gluten is a protein found in the endosperm of wheat and other grains such as rye and barley, that is responsible for the “chewy” texture in breads and doughs.

A Gluten Free diet is one of the most recent health trends and is often seen as just the latest fad diet. However, for people with gluten intolerance, eating gluten can cause severe health issues.

What is Gluten Free?

Gluten Free is a dietary approach to food that causes gastronomical inflammation. Some with gluten sensitivities like Celiac Disease or autoimmune issues can benefit from avoiding this protein. Inherently gluten, if consumed by those without sensitivities, will not cause any major side effects.

The degree to which one is gluten sensitive can range from mild sensitivity to full blown Celiac Disease (extreme sensitivity). In individuals with Celiac Disease, consumption of gluten can cause many health issues and nutrient deficiencies. Individuals with Celiac Disease, consumption of gluten causes an autoimmune response in which the body attacks and debilitates villi (which are responsible for nutrient absorption) on the small intestine. Lack of absorption can lead to a myriad of health issues and therefore individuals with Celiac Disease must be very careful to avoid gluten and cross contamination with gluten products.

What Gluten Free Is Not

Gluten Free is not just the latest fad diet. Going Gluten Free also does not guarantee better overall health or weight loss. Eating gluten free will improve digestive health of those who have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, but is not actually advantageous to those without such sensitivities. Many Gluten Free products substitute with processed ingredients which for someone without a gluten sensitivity, ultimately, is worse than consuming gluten.

How We Define Gluten Free

Tasteful emphasizes quality and wholeness of ingredients in all foods one cosumes. When excluding gluten from your diet, be sure to not fill the void with excessively processed replacement foods. Focus on whole, organic, unprocessed foods.

There are three types of Gluten Free restaurants we highlight. Restaurants that have a 100% Gluten Free Kitchen, restaurants with dedicated Gluten Free Prep areas and restaurants with Gluten Free Menu options. Depending on one’s sensitivity the level of different restaurants will help to ensure that gluten free meals will be the best to consume.

Do’s and Dont’s of Gluten Free

Do avoid gluten containing foods such as breads, crackers and pastas. Do check ingredient lists for other gluten-containing items such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, malt, semolina, and barley to name a few. Do substitute wheat flour with other types of flours, such as coconut flour, tapioca flour, buckwheat flour and rice flour.

Do not dine out unprepared.  Ask restaurants about cross contamination and how they prepare gluten free items. Do not replace breads and other gluten containing substances with processed, non-real food substitutes. Do not consume large portions of gluten-free items or confuse all gluten-free items for healthy. Portion sizes are still important when eating gluten free. Gluten free cake is still cake.

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What is the Paleo Diet?

Speaking plainly, thousands of articles and posts publish each day relating to food. Cuisine and Nutrition alone are multibillion dollar industries. Eat this; don’t eat that. With the average person forced to make over 200 decisions about food each day, it can all be overwhelming.

The word paleo often gets thrown into the category and we’re here to draw a line in the sand, cut through the noise, and resonate as one clear and simple resource for healthy, nutritious food.

What is Paleo?

Paleo is a framework for living and eating, viewed through the lens of evolutionary biology, applied to modern humans. Paleo is founded on a real food approach which includes whole, unprocessed, high-quality, nutritious foods. Paleo leaves the processed, packaged food behind and replaces it with natural, nutrient rich options that the human body was evolutionarily engineered to consume.

What Paleo Is Not

Paleo is not a diet, a cleanse or a weight loss gimmick. It is not a historical reenactment, nor should it be considered a “one-size fits all” approach. Gastronomically speaking, people are all very different, with unique dietary needs. And yet, there is room for everyone at the Paleo table. Paleo is not the end of “delicious,” and no, Paleo isn’t just an excuse to eat unlimited steak and bacon.

How We Define Paleo

Living and eating Paleo is a lifestyle that, nutritionally, balances proteins and healthy fats with nutrient rich vegetables. Most paleo dishes will feature a variety of simple ingredients and cooking processes that help you eat the rainbow.

Paleo Do’s

Animal protein: beef, lamb, poultry, pork, seafood, eggs, etc. that is grass-fed, pastured or wild-caught whenever possible. Organ meats (heart, liver, etc) are excellent as well. 

Good quality fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter or ghee are great paleo ingredients for cooking.

Vegetables: eat the rainbow of vegetables with a focus on “Non-Starchy” vegetables. “Starchy” vegetables like potatoes (sweet & white), beets should be eaten sparingly or in moderation.

Fermented Foods: Kimchi, raw sauerkraut, kombucha, etc. are great.

Fruit: focus on low sugar fruit – berries and melon are good options! Higher sugar fruit (dates, figs, bananas) should be eaten in moderation.

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamias, cashews, walnuts and various seeds should be eaten in moderation.

Grass-fed & lacto-fermented dairy: ghee, kefir, grass-fed butter are paleo compliant for cooking.

Hydrate!: drink plenty of water and, in moderation, tea or coffee is acceptable.

Paleo Dont’s

Grains: all grains, wheat and other gluten containing grains, rice, corn, quinoa, etc.

Beans and legumes: peanuts, lentils, soy, etc

Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt, conventional butter or cream

Refined Sugars and sodas

Refined Oils: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, “vegetable” oil

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A Tasteful Nation

Founded by people on individual journeys to live a healthier life, Tasteful Inc. has grown quite a bit. Today we are excited to announce the national launch of Tasteful, an all-inclusive table where everyone can find and eat healthy food, no matter what their dietary preference.

Vegan in Vegas? We’ve got you covered.

Vegetarian on a business trip to Seattle? No problem.

Paleo and vacationing in Denver? We’ve got your back.

Gluten Free in NYC? You too.

Low Carb in Miami? For real, we’ve got you.

Just want to eat healthy, better quality food? Us too.

In an attempt to lead the Real Food Movement – a national trend championed by celebrity chefs, food entrepreneurs, and healthy lifestyle people across the nation – Tasteful invites you to eat clean. We’re taking a stand against factory farming, GMO food and processed ingredients.

Where are we exactly? We are everywhere!

Tasteful boasts a database of over 100,000 healthy restaurants and over 200,000 dishes in over 1,000 cities across the country. And the number grows every single day thanks to our amazingly passionate healthy users. If there isn’t much coverage in your area, be the first to recommend great places to eat Real Food and we’ll help grow the tribe!

Love what we’re about? Download Tasteful App for iOS or Android and live a healthier life.

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Post a Shout Out or show us your #IAmTasteful life on social media!

 

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