This post was sponsored by Udi’s Gluten Free.
My recent visit to the Natural Products Expo confirmed to me that the gluten-free trend is here to stay. Gluten free products are being gobbled up by way more than the 1% of the population with Celiac’s Disease and the 10% with gluten sensitivity, and the sheer quantity of new product introductions at the expo was good evidence of that.
Why are we so crazy for gluten free?
There’s clearly a perception that a gluten free diet can be a healthier way of eating for some people. Having participated in Udi’s 14-day Gluten Free Challenge last year, I concluded that while I am not officially sensitive to gluten, there are some benefits to lowering my intake. Here are some of the changes people notice while going gluten free:
- Better digestion – Many people who skip the gluten report less after-meal bloating and fewer stomach aches and digestive issues.
- Increased energy and focus – Without the struggle to digest gluten, your body will have more energy for other things. Wouldn’t you rather have your energy going to your brain than your stomach?
- Reduced joint pain and better athletic performance – Since wheat is a natural inflammatory, it makes sense that eliminating it may help your body move more smoothly. Some athletes swear by a gluten free diet.
- Better nutrition – When you eliminate gluten, you eliminate a lot of junky, processed food. Of course, you need to be very careful not to simply substitute junky gluten free food, but if you make the effort to eat nutritious, real food, and keep snacks and desserts to a minimum, the benefits will be evident.
Keep in mind, the only way to tell whether or not you are negatively affected by gluten is to give it up completely for at least 2-4 weeks. Once you understand how gluten makes you feel (and as long as you do not have Celiac’s Disease) you can choose to add it back as you see fit.
New Udi’s products
Udi’s has only been baking gluten free products for about 6 years, but they have clearly stepped up as the leader in the gluten free foods category. Why? Pretty simply – they make gluten free products that taste great! Udi’s mission is to bring joy to people who do not eat gluten, by making delicious food that does not feel like a compromise in any way. After trying a bunch of Udi’s products, I’d have to say – mission accomplished!
What I appreciate most about Udi’s is that they add healthy ingredients to their products – like flax and chia seeds to breads and Omega 3′s to granola bars – boosting the nutrition up over many conventional alternatives. I also appreciate that all of their baked goods are verified non-GMO by 3rd party testing and both Granola Clusters and Granola Bars carry the Non-GMO Project seal on the packaging. Here are a few of my fav Udi’s products:
Ancient Grains Crisps – Need a salty snack fix but don’t want to totally bust the diet? These crunchy crisps made with a blend of ancient grains like amaranth, quinoa, flax, sesame, and millet will give you the salty crunch you need with fewer calories, carbs and fat than regular chips.
Omega, Flax & Fiber Bread - Trying to get my boys to eat healthy bread can be a challenge, but make a grilled cheese with this power-packed bread and we’re all happy! Each 2 slice serving contains 530 grams of Omega’s, 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies - No big health benefits here but these soft-baked cookies are just plain delicious. When I don’t have time to bake homemade cookies, these will be on my shopping list for sure. Definitely living up to their motto of gluten-free without compromise!
Have you thought about reducing the gluten in your diet? What’s stopping you?
(Disclosure: I participated in this program on behalf of Udi’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.)