Can Meal Replacement Shakes Be Gluten Free?
For those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, it can be challenging to find foods that don’t contain gluten, the source of both groups’ problems. Gluten is a part of everything from dietary staples like bread to household products such as toothpaste, requiring those whose bodies can’t process it to scour ingredient labels and grocery store aisles in a lifelong search for alternatives. Thankfully, more and more products have begun emerging that cater to these groups, and to those who simply prefer to live a gluten-free lifestyle. But, can meal replacement shakes be gluten-free, and if so, what are the advantages? To find out, read on while the experts at ENU explain.
What Does “Gluten-Free” Mean?
Though many people are vaguely aware of the fact that gluten is associated with bread, fewer people know that gluten is a protein found in grains, including wheat, barley, rye, and triticale, a cross between rye and wheat. Gluten helps to hold foods together, maintaining the shape of a loaf of bread or the crust on a pizza. Many products use emulsifiers – substances used to thicken or preserve food – that can be made from gluten-containing grains. In short, gluten is everywhere.
This ubiquitousness of gluten makes it that much more challenging to eliminate from your diet. Although gluten-free foods have become more popular in recent years, they can be quite expensive, and many stores may not carry a wide selection of gluten-free products (if they carry any at all). Still, this has not deterred some people from adopting gluten-free eating habits out of a desire to reap health benefits that, truth be told, seem to have little to no evidence or support from the scientific community. As a result, gluten-free diets have become trendy, even if the advantages of such a diet are questionable.
Avoiding gluten when ordering at a restaurant or shopping for groceries can be tricky. Ingredients derived from gluten or made in proximity to gluten can be found in so many products that, short of finding a clear “gluten-free” label on the packaging, it is often difficult to discern whether something is truly devoid of this pesky protein.
And even when you manage to find foods that don’t have gluten, you still have to worry about what else that product might lack. Fortified breads and other grain-based foods are a major source of vitamins and minerals for many consumers; those who cut these products out of their diet might manage to sidestep the dangers of gluten, but they are also missing out on some key nutrients that must be replaced.
Gluten-Free Meal Replacement Shakes
Living gluten-free doesn’t have to eliminate all healthy, nutritious products from your diet; many brands cater to the gluten-free crowd, whether to target a specific demographic or just to ensure widespread access to their products. Meal replacement shakes are one such option, as many manufacturers offer shakes for weight management or sports nutrition that specifically avoid ingredients containing gluten to make their beverages helpful to a wider audience, including those in need of medical nutrition support.
More and more, food product manufacturers are learning to circumvent gluten while still providing nutritious carbohydrates by using whole grains that do not contain gluten, many of which are becoming popular in their own right. Quinoa is one such grain; in kitchens, TV shows, magazines, and supermarkets across the country, quinoa has enjoyed a newfound popularity as a gluten-free source of fiber, protein, and an array of additional vitamins and minerals.
Brown rice is another example of a gluten-free grain that offers health benefits. Unlike its pale counterpart, brown rice contains significant amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that make it stand out as a source of carbohydrates. Tapioca is another standout in this category, as are oats. (It should be noted, however, that oats can sometimes trigger symptoms in those with celiac disease, even though they contain no gluten.)
ENU meal replacement shakes are one example of how to make a healthful, well-rounded nutritional supplement without gluten. Not only is every shake made by ENU lactose-free and non-GMO, but each one is entirely gluten-free as well; that’s because every nutritional shake offered by ENU supplies carbs from whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, and tapioca. Plus, they come in tasty but neutral flavors that you can add to a protein shake recipe.
The lack of gluten in shakes like those from ENU is a great advantage to those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, but the real benefit of ENU meal replacement shakes comes from all the other nutrients they provide. Each carton contains 17 grams of protein from whey and soy sources, along with complex carbs for extended energy, heart-healthy fats provided by coconut oil and sunflower oil, and a blend of two dozen vitamins and minerals for a balanced source of nutrition perfect for supplementing a diet or serving as a snack at home or on the go.
Enjoy a Tasty Gluten-Free Nutritional Shake from ENU
Whether you want something convenient and nutritious to fit your hectic schedule or you’re looking for a drink to help gain weight after cancer, a meal replacement shake from ENU can fit your needs. Because we focus on creating a balanced, healthful product everyone can enjoy – even those who can’t consume gluten – we can confidently offer our shakes to anyone who needs them. To learn more about ENU’s products, visit us online or call (855) 266-6733 today.