How Does The Gluten Free Mediterranean Diet Work? Simple Steps

    What Is The Gluten-Free Mediterranean Diet? A Simple Guide

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 12/3/2022

    When one thinks of the cuisine of the Mediterranean region, images of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, substantial pieces of bread, pasta, fish, and, of course, red wine may come to mind. But were you aware that eating typical of the Mediterranean region is among the healthiest, if not the most beneficial, in the world? What Is The Gluten Free Mediterranean Diet? Let's know.

    Although the Mediterranean diet has been around for quite some time, it is just recently beginning to acquire favor in the United States. A diet of Mediterranean is encouraged by the United States Dietary Guidelines, published in 2015.

    It can prove the nutritional profile of a gluten-free diet by increasing the number of foods prepared in a Mediterranean style. Additionally, it helps manage or prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. To maintain a Mediterranean lifestyle, you should engage in athletic pursuits.

    Health And Past Benefits

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    In the wake of the Seven Countries Study not long after World War II, Ancel Keys, Ph.D., was the first researcher to advocate for a diet more like that of the Mediterranean region. Thirteen thousand males worldwide participated in the study and analyzed their eating patterns.

    People who lived in regions such as the Mediterranean, where fruits, vegetables, fish, grains, beans, herbs, spices, and healthy fats were typical, had better cardiovascular health than Americans. In the United States, most people eat a diet low in fruits, vegetables, fish, grains, beans, herbs, and spices.

    Additionally, it helps manage or prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. To maintain a Mediterranean lifestyle, you should engage in athletic pursuits.

    Mediterranean diets can lower heart disease risk by as much as 50 percent, which is more protective than regular exercise. According to some evidence, a Mediterranean-style diet can cure metabolic syndrome, a condition that can lead to diabetes and heart disease.

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    Those with type 2 diabetes who followed a Mediterranean diet had better control of their blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and weight, according to a 2015 analysis that looked at nine studies involving nearly 1,200 patients. The advancement of diabetes can be slowed by following a Mediterranean diet, according to a study conducted in 

    However, these advantages do not stop there. Additional research has indicated that following a diet similar to the Mediterranean region can enhance cognitive performance, ocular health, sleep apnea, and the ratio of weight to body mass. Additionally, the diet lowers one's propensity to acquire Alzheimer's disease and inflammation in the body and assists in cancer prevention.

    Building A Foundation

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    The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats; nevertheless, fish and shellfish are the primary sources of protein in this diet, and chicken, eggs, and cheese are only consumed in moderation. Both red meat and sweets are reserved for special occasions and are not consumed regularly.

    Red wine may be consumed in moderation as long as it is accompanied by lots of water and is limited to one drink of five ounces for women and two for men. Exercises, both severe and easy, performed daily are essential additions. In addition, the diet promotes the communal act of eating together during mealtimes.

    Positive Effects On One's Health For Individuals Who Suffer From Celiac Disease

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    Even those who have celiac disease can get the health advantages of a diet based on Mediterranean principles. A Mediterranean diet can provide nutrients that a standard gluten-free diet might otherwise lack, says Kelly Toups, R.D., nutrition education manager for the Whole Grains Council. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes olive oil, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    A small study published in January 2016 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with celiac disease who followed gluten-free diets and Mediterranean diets improved their nutritional status without becoming overweight or obese. Following a gluten-free diet may result in unwanted side effects, such as weight gain; however, adopting a Mediterranean diet may help to mitigate or even eliminate this complication. People who followed the Mediterranean diet lost more weight than those who followed a conventional low-fat diet, according to research published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2011.

    Med Diet Pyramid


    In addition, research conducted in 2010 and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that the diet helps people avoid the age-related weight increase that is commonly considered to occur. Toups recommends that patients who want to reduce their weight structure their meals according to the Mediterranean diet pyramid. This means that the foundation of each dish should be vegetables, whole grains, and pulses such as peas, lentils, and chickpeas. Olive oil should be the significant fat utilized, and other flavoring ingredients should include fruits, nuts, and seafood. "There is no need to calculate calories or grams of various nutrients if the diet is focused on satisfying meals that are high in nutrients," she adds. "There is no need to count calories or grams of different nutrients."

    Anemia is a typical issue for those who have just been diagnosed with celiac disease, and the Mediterranean diet may be beneficial for individuals who suffer from this condition. A study published in 2009 in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition discovered that adolescent boys who switched from a regular diet to a Mediterranean diet had increased iron absorption and retention, even though the amount of Iron in their diet did not improve. It was the case even though the Mediterranean diet contained no more iron.

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    Any individual diagnosed with anemia should, as a matter of course, discuss the possibility of taking an iron supplement with their attending physician or nutritionist. On the other hand, following a diet that is more typical of the Mediterranean region can help maintain enough iron reserves.

    Toups makes the observation that the traditional recipes and food combinations of the Mediterranean diet serve as a template for the creation of nutritionally sound meals. For instance, lentils, spinach, chickpeas, and sardines are excellent sources of Iron and are staples in the Mediterranean diet. In addition, they are often made with vitamins, and tomatoes and red peppers are both excellent sources of vitamin C.

    According to Toups, the combination of these meals can assist boost the amount of non-heme Iron absorbed by the body. May find the form of Iron that in plants, known as non-heme Iron, is more difficult to absorb than Iron in animal diets. Even more spectacular are the traditional foods of the Mediterranean. For instance, one cup of canned white beans contains approximately half of the Iron's recommended daily dietary allowance.

    Wonderful Cereals

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    The Mediterranean diet significantly emphasizes the consumption of whole grains, most wheat-based. However, they may easily substitute gluten-free alternatives for these grains.

    People who follow a gluten-free diet have difficulty consuming the number of whole grains suggested. According to research conducted in 2005 by Tricia Thompson, R.D., roughly 37 percent of males and 79 percent of women experienced this condition.\

    Rice flour is still widely used in gluten-free goods, even though more gluten-free foods are being prepared using whole grains. And gluten-free consumers are only just starting to include whole grains into their meal planning at this point.

    Toups suggests eating polenta, which is prepared using whole-grain cornmeal. She claims that it was a mainstay in the traditions of the Italians and the Greeks who lived in the Mediterranean and that it is the ideal receptacle for any legumes or seasonal vegetables.

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    You may also make a gluten-free variation of the traditional tabbouleh salad by mixing quinoa with tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley and tossing the mixture. Toups also suggests using gluten-free whole-grain spaghetti for a speedy evening supper and gluten-free whole-grain bread and crackers for spreads such as hummus.

    "My favorite secret weapon for making creamy, whole-grain risotto is gluten-free steel-cut oats," explains Toups. "Parboiled brown rice provides a fine stand-in, though." A label stating that a grain product is gluten-free assures consumers that the product complies with the Food and Drug Administration's requirement for gluten-free foods.

    Oil Change

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    In the Mediterranean diet, olive oil serves as the primary source of fat and is consumed regularly, and it is relatively high.

    In contrast to the saturated fats that are present in animal products, which are found in monounsaturated fats

    According to the American Heart Association, the Mediterranean diet may have as much as 25 to 35 percent fat; more than half of the calories from fat come from this diet. Originate from monounsaturated fats, which can be mainly attributed to the widespread usage of olive oil. For a mild flavor for salads or vegetables, consider extra-virgin olive oil. In its pure form, Olive oil works very well for frying and roasting. When shopping for olive oil, it is essential to check the bottling date and steer clear of bottles older than 18 months. In addition, be on the lookout phrase "cold pressed," as a method of extracting oil maintains the flavor as well as the nutritional value of the product. At home, olive oil has to be kept in a cold, dark environment to maintain its quality. Olive oil is a versatile cooking medium to sauté vegetables, scramble eggs, or toss gluten-free pasta. You may use it as a substitute for butter in popcorn, a marinade for chicken or fish, or a dip for gluten-free bread. Other uses include these. In gluten-free baking, you may also substitute olive oil for butter in place of butter.

    Concepts For The Time-Pressed

    Concepts For The Time-Pressed

    Adding another diet on top of the gluten-free diet might sound complex, but it's not that difficult in practice. Both use foods that are naturally free of gluten as their primary building blocks. It is possible to use lentils in place of rice while stuffing peppers and add them to soups and stir-fries. You can produce your own.

    Veggie patties are made with quinoa, lentils, gluten-free oats, and various spices. Prepare traditional spaghetti and baked ziti with gluten-free pasta made from healthy grains. The next day, leftovers make for an excellent and speedy lunch option.

    You may make fish cakes from canned salmon by mixing the salmon with onions, egg, salt, and pepper in equal parts. You can use mashed potatoes or gluten-free panko crumbs to keep the ingredients from falling apart. Avocados are a Mediterranean "superfood" that can be used in various ways and are rich in healthy fats. Spread mashed avocado over a slice of gluten-free whole-grain bread, or add diced avocado to omelets, veggie salads, or fruit salads prepared with berries, apples, and mango. Both of these options are gluten-free. Avocados may also be sliced and used as a layering ingredient for sandwiches and wraps.

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    It is possible to use hummus, which is produced from chickpeas, in place of mayonnaise in various dishes, including tuna salad, chicken salad, and deviled eggs. Hummus is a versatile condiment.

    Additionally, it may be used as a dip for veggies in place of more calorically dense ranch dressing. Spread some hummus on a tortilla or bagel that does not contain gluten. Before baking:

    1. Spread hummus over a gluten-free dough.
    2. Add veggies, olives, and feta cheese.
    3. Bake the pizza.

    It will produce a healthy pizza. As a quick snack option, serve gluten-free crackers made with nutritious grains alongside hummus.

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    Because it contains far less lactose than other types of dairy products, Greek yogurt is an excellent choice for individuals who have lactose intolerance. You may sprinkle it on top of veggies or a bowl of gluten-free oatmeal that has a layer of fruit on top to finish it off. Try using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to make dips or topping for baked potatoes. It works well in smoothies and may be made into a delectable dessert by sprinkling with honey and walnuts. If you rethink your attitude toward snacking, you'll quickly discover that eating nutritious nuts and seeds is just as quick and portable as eating the packaged food you're used to. Nuts and bases come in a wide variety of flavors and textures, and Additionally, they are simple to include in many cooking methods.

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    Spread peanut butter over gluten-free waffles or combine with honey and Dijon mustard to make a dipping sauce for gluten-free chicken tenders. You can also use peanut butter as a topping for gluten-free pancakes. You may construct a morning meal from gluten-free oatmeal or cooked buckwheat cereal and then top it with walnuts. Greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey, and walnuts are blended in a smoothie.

    On the Oldways website,, you may discover further information and suggestions about how to easily include Mediterranean foods in your gluten-free diet.

    A cheerful Dining Area

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    The Mediterranean diet strongly focuses on eating as a communal activity, which is one of the many reasons it is so popular. This component of the Mediterranean diet may be refreshing for those unable to eat gluten and who frequently experience feelings of isolation when others gather around the table. According to Toups, "an essential component of the Mediterranean diet is sharing meals with friends and family, relishing the social connection as much as savoring the food's exquisite tastes." "The cuisine of the Mediterranean diet is reminiscent of a less complicated era when uncomplicated mixed meals packed to the brim with fresh vegetables were the standard.

    "Don't discount the value of a delicious soup and salad combination. "Soups and stews were an inventive method for Mediterranean families to utilize locally grown vegetables or produce left over into meals that were healthful and substantial." Toups also recommends that persons who have celiac disease choose gluten-free spaghetti at restaurants whenever it is an option at the establishment. Make sure to ask for it to be topped with olive oil, tomato sauce, vegetables, seafood, and fresh herbs before you order it.

    Small Steps

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    According to research, adopting even the most essential aspects of a diet typical of the Mediterranean can result in positive health changes. 

    According to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology, every one-point increase in a Mediterranean diet, score-which assessed the degree to which people followed the diet-was associated with a 3 percent decline in heart disease risk.

    If making significant lifestyle adjustments sounds daunting, try transitioning toward a Mediterranean diet by taking one baby step weekly. As an illustration, one may begin by substituting olive oil for vegetable oil when one cooks. After that, add different beans and nuts over the following several weeks. Because these meals contain more fiber, increasing the amount of water you consume is essential, so you do not get constipation. Because it consists of a wide variety of foods prepared in straightforward but delectable ways, the Mediterranean diet might help alleviate the culinary monotony that some individuals experience while adhering to a gluten-free diet. While you are working to improve the nutritional content of your diet, you will soon find that you have a greater appreciation for the foods you eat and that you feel better than ever. Oregano, Feta cheese, and Cucumbers are tossed with Sorghum Pasta for the Salad.

    Sorghum pasta salad

    Sorghum pasta salad


    • Nine glasses of water

    • One tablespoon of coarse sea salt and a pinch for boiling. Three cups' worth of sorghum

    • One-quarter cup of finely chopped fresh oregano

    • Six scallions, chopped, including both the white and delicate green portions

    • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

    • Nine tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

    • The zested rind of three tablespoons of lemons

    • Three cups of diced cucumbers from England

    • 1 cup roasted pine nuts

    • 3 cups crumbled feta cheese

    • One-fiftieth of a teaspoon of ground red pepper


    • Bring the water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a big saucepan. Next, add the sorghum to the water that is boiling. Simmer uncovered for
    • 30–40 minutes, or until the sorghum reaches the consistency of cooked rice and all of the water has been absorbed. That's cool, man.
    • Room temperature, with the occasional use of a fork to fluff it up.
    • Combine the oregano, the scallions, the olive oil, the lemon juice, the lemon zest, the cucumbers, and the pine nuts in a medium bowl.

    There are a handful of almonds, some feta cheese, some red pepper, and some salt. Once the sorghum has been added, mix it in.


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    A manner of eating that is gluten-free and focused on eating fresh and unprocessed foods is called the Mediterranean Diet. In addition, alcohol is allowed in the diet, but only in moderation, and olive oil is the primary source of fat. The gluten from your diet while still supplying your body with the essential nutrients it requires for good health. It has been demonstrated that adhering to a diet typical of the Mediterranean region can help one keep a healthy weight while also improving lipid profiles. It has even been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease! Those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity may find that adhering to a gluten-free diet makes it easier for them to lead healthy lives free of symptoms. This article will explain how the gluten-free Mediterranean diet works, discuss the benefits of following such a diet and provide suggestions on how to begin this new way of life. The typical eating patterns of individuals living in countries around the Mediterranean Sea have served as the basis for an eating plan known as the Mediterranean diet.

    Mediterranean diets consist of a high intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains; moderate consumption of fish and poultry; consumption of dairy products; consumption of red meat or processed meats; and excessive or excessively small consumption of wine. A Gluten Free Mediterranean Diet can be adapted in several ways while adhering to its fundamental principles.