It can sometimes feel like a gluten intolerance is a life sentence, with the list of foods you can’t eat longer than your arm, and stopping to read food labels in the supermarket taking up the majority of your time. But those with a gluten intolerance or celiac gluten sensitivity know there is a wide variety of naturally gluten free foods for you to enjoy as part of a gluten free diet.
For those with a gluten intolerance simply finding foods they can eat and enjoy can be tough, let alone hitting their nutritional targets. There are a number of key vitamins and minerals which must be consumed through certain foods or otherwise must be supplemented.
But what about protein? Protein is key for a number of reasons and ensuring you get protein is important to ensure a balanced diet. There are a number of ways to get some gluten free protein into your life, so let’s take a look at a few.
What is Protein?
Let’s not jump too far ahead of ourselves, first we need to make sure we know exactly what protein is. Protein is a macronutrient made up of amino acids, protein is the building block of muscle growth and is essential for gaining muscle mass.
Protein is made up of amino acids. There are 21 total but the nine most important are known as essential amino acids. These work to help with vital functions within the body and aren’t produced in large amounts by the body, so must be supplemented.
Getting the right amount of protein into the body is important for a number of different reasons. Protein contributes actively to the building and maintenance of muscle. The body needs muscle to be able to carry out day to day activity. Often protein is associated with health, fitness and bodybuilding, but simply getting your daily recommendation is important to a healthy lifestyle.
Is Whey Protein Gluten Free?
The short and sweet answer to this question is yes. Whey protein comes in three forms, Whey Concentrate, Whey Isolate, and Hydrolysed Whey, all three of these provide a gluten free protein powder.
Pure Whey protein powders should all be gluten free, but make sure to double check individual products to make sure they are in fact gluten free. Protein powders are a great way to boost your protein intake with most having over 20g of protein per serving. In fact protein powders mixed into shakes are a great meal replacement for those on a diet too.
Whey protein is the most popular form of protein powder and with good reason. It gives a high quality protein content and is quick working. Its diverse ability to build muscle has made it popular with casual users and bodybuilders alike.
There is also gluten free vegan protein powders available for those following a vegan diet. These can be a bit more tricky to find thanks to the added ingredients but once again do your research and you should be fine. So protein powders are a great gluten free protein source for those with an intolerance or people with celiac disease.
What About Gluten Free Snacks?
So we know whey protein is gluten free, but what about some high protein, gluten free snacks? Well luckily there has been an influx of gluten free protein bars and snacks to make your life even easier.
There are a number of different gluten free protein and energy bars available today all offering great protein value. Most range from offering fifteen to twenty grams of protein in a super tasty, gluten free bar. If you look around you will see just how many options you have, so don’t be afraid to try them all to see what is best for you.
Plus, with so many different recipes online, you can even make your own homemade protein bars with gluten free ingredients so you know exactly what is going in to each bar. There are so many different snack ideas the possibilities are endless. This means that you can tailor the protein content to what you need.
Gluten free vegans are covered too, with a great selection of high protein, gluten free vegan bars available. We've just launched our very own Millionaire Crunch which is a perfect example of this. 15g of protein and low sugar, the Crunch is also gluten free to make it accessible to just about anyone!
Naturally Gluten Free Foods With High Protein
It’s not just all powders and man made bars however, there are naturally gluten free foods which also offer fantastic protein content. For meat eaters those options are obvious but there vegan and vegetarian options too.
For those who consume meat as part of their diet the main source of protein is easy to get, even for those with gluten intolerance. Lean meats and poultry are the best option, with chicken containing around 25g of protein per serving. Make sure to purchase your meats or poultry as fresh as possible, frozen or processed alternatives may contain less protein and could have been cross contaminated while being prepared.
Although those who are gluten free can’t eat wheat, barley or rye, whole grains offers a great alternative with no gluten. Buckwheat is a great alternative and offers around 6g of protein per cup. If you can eat oats they are a great gluten free protein source too, with 11g of protein per cooked cup. Even rice, not necessarily a protein rich food, can provide a little extra to boost the amount you are consuming. Brown rice protein is a great way to do it if you can incorporate a cup into a meal.
Nuts and seeds are a perfect choice too. Walnuts contain around 15g of protein per cup while brazil nuts have around 19g of protein per cup. Peanut butter is another great way to add some extra protein, with around 7g per spoonful. Beans are another great option with beans such as soybeans containing around 14g of protein per half cup. There are also kidney beans which provide around 8g of protein per half cup. Beans are prone to being cross contaminated so be sure to get them from a 100% gluten free source.
To Sum Up
Getting the correct amount of protein into your body is vital for a healthy and happy lifestyle. But don’t let your gluten intolerance make you think you can’t get the protein you need. You will find protein in a number of great sources, from protein powders, protein snacks, and natural foods. All of these are gluten free and high in protein to keep your levels high and contribute towards a healthy lifestyle.