21 Quick and Nutritious Gluten-Free Snacks
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, avoiding gluten is imperative (1).
However, you may struggle to find good snack options.
Though many convenient gluten-free snacks are available in stores, some may be unnecessarily high in calories or added sugars.
However, you don't have to rely on packaged foods for your next snack. It's also simple to make your own.
People with celiac disease should choose snacks rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as dietary restrictions and gluten-related intestinal damage may increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies (2, 3).
Here are 21 quick and nutritious gluten-free snacks.
1. Popcorn with Fruit, Chocolate and Peanuts
For a snack, lightly drizzle air-popped popcorn with melted dark chocolate and toss in fiber-rich dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or cherries. Add peanuts for a good source of healthy fat and plant-based protein (5).
Chocolate and peanuts are naturally gluten-free. However, some may have additives, so be sure to choose products that are certified gluten-free.
2. Turkey-Wrapped Cheese Sticks
Notably, intolerance to lactose — the natural sugar in dairy products — is common in people with celiac disease, but this often improves as your intestine heals on a gluten-free diet (1).
3. Instant Oatmeal with Apple, Walnuts and Cinnamon
Oats are naturally gluten-free but may be contaminated with wheat and other grains during growing, harvest, transportation, and manufacturing. Therefore, you should only buy certified gluten-free oats (1, 8).
For a warm, filling snack, combine plain, instant oatmeal with apples, walnuts, and cinnamon.
4. Cucumber-Hummus Sandwiches
Hummus is a nutritious, protein-rich dip made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds. Premade gluten-free hummus is sold in supermarkets.
To make mini sandwiches, spread hummus on thick, round slices of cucumber. If you desire, add another slice on top of the hummus.
5. Grass-Fed Beef Jerky
The protein in beef jerky makes it a filling snack. High-quality beef jerky, including gluten-free and grass-fed options, has become more widely available. Notably, grass-fed beef is higher in nutrients like anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and antioxidants (5, 6, 9).
6. Fruit and Nut Tortilla Roll-Up
Warm the tortilla briefly in the oven, then spread one side with a thin layer of chunky, unsweetened almond butter. Top with fresh berries or half of a diced apple and roll the tortilla tightly.
7. Toast with Beans and Olive Oil
To make a satisfying, protein-rich snack, heat canned navy beans and spread them over toast. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The toast can also be topped with fresh herbs.
To avoid gluten contamination from toasters, it's a good idea to invest in a new one and only use it for gluten-free foods. When you're away from home, reusable toaster bags can prevent contact with crumbs (1).
8. Yogurt Parfait with Granola
To make this snack, alternate layers of plain Greek yogurt with berries or other fruit, then top with gluten-free granola and nuts or seeds.
Many yogurts contain live and active bacterial cultures that help break down lactose. Thus, you may tolerate these yogurts even if you don't digest milk well (9).
9. Bite-Size Zucchini Pizzas
Gluten-free pizza can be hard to find, but you can make your own with vegetables in place of crust.
Cut zucchini into thick, round slices and brush each side with olive oil. Put the slices on a lined baking sheet in the oven and broil each side for about two minutes, or until they start to brown.
Next, spread pasta sauce on each slice and top with shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Broil for one minute to melt the cheese.
10. Sweet and Crunchy Stuffed Dates
For a simple snack, fill pitted dates with unsweetened, crunchy peanut butter or a mix of chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes.
Three dates (72 grams) have 5 grams of fiber, which is 18% of the RDI. People on gluten-free diets are sometimes deficient in fiber and may experience constipation, so these dates may aid your digestive system (5, 16).
11. Mango with Lime Juice and Chili Powder
Chili powder may either be a blend of spices or simply ground chili peppers. To avoid contamination, make sure yours is labeled gluten-free.
12. Tomato-Basil Mozzarella Skewers
Skewered foods make festive appetizers for gatherings. Plus, they're easy to make and enjoyable whether or not you're gluten-free.
For a twist, try serving them with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
13. Black Bean Salad with Avocado
For an easy, filling snack, toss half of a cubed avocado with 1/4 cup (43 grams) of black beans. Add chopped onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
14. Do-It-Yourself Trail Mix
Nutritious trail mix ingredients include nuts, seeds, and unsweetened, dried fruit, such as goji berries and apricots.
It's best to buy these foods in packages rather than bulk bins due to the risk of gluten contamination from containers and scoops.
15. Vegetable Soup
A serving of gluten-free canned soup makes for a great snack. You can also freeze homemade soup in small glass containers for eating later.
Always check that canned soup is certified gluten-free. Besides obvious glutenous ingredients like noodles and barley, some soup is thickened with wheat flour.
16. Tuna Lettuce Cups
Avoid canned tuna with gluten-containing ingredients, such as broth made with wheat protein.
17. Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter and Banana
Rice cakes are commonly made with whole-grain brown rice. Some also contain other nutritious gluten-free whole grains, such as quinoa or sorghum.
Thin rice cakes are about half the thickness of regular ones and work well as sandwiches. Top them with unsweetened peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon.
18. Sweet Potato Chips with Tzatziki Sauce
For extra flavor, pair the chips with tzatziki sauce, which is a yogurt and cucumber dip. You can buy it premade or make your own.
You can also make your own chips. Toss thin slices of sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt, then spread on a pan and bake at 400℉ (204℃) for about 25 minutes or until the edges brown. Flip the chips once during cooking.
19. Honeydew with Raspberries
For a refreshing snack, toss cubed honeydew melon with raspberries, then sprinkle with fresh mint.
Honeydew and raspberries are naturally gluten-free and packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins, including vitamin C.
20. Egg-Salad-Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers
Miniature bell peppers are perfectly sized for snacking. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds before adding egg salad.
To make the salad, chop a hard-boiled egg and mix it with diced green onion and plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Eggs are a good source of vitamin B12, which up to 41% of people newly diagnosed with celiac disease are deficient in. This vitamin is essential for energy production, nerve function, and DNA synthesis (3, 5, 21).
21. Pear Drizzled with Dark Chocolate
For a sweet snack, melt gluten-free dark chocolate and drizzle it over a sliced pear, then top with crushed walnuts for a boost of protein and healthy fat. Pear slices are also tasty dipped in unsweetened almond butter.
The Bottom Line
Gluten-free snacks don't have to be difficult to make. Plenty of tasty, unique snack combinations can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet.
To avoid nutritional deficiencies, choose whole foods packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
If you're craving healthy, homemade snacks, try some of these ideas today.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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By Sara Lindberg
Whether you've hit a workout plateau or you're just ready to turn things up a notch, adding more strenuous exercise — also known as high-intensity exercise — to your overall fitness routine is one way to increase your calorie burn, improve your heart health, and boost your metabolism.
However, to do it safely and effectively, there are some guidelines you should follow. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of vigorous exercise and how to safely dial up the intensity of your workouts.
What Is Considered Strenuous Exercise?<p>When it comes to exercise, the intensity of how hard you work out is just as important as the duration of your exercise session. In general, exercise intensity is divided into three categories:</p><ul><li>low</li><li>moderate</li><li>vigorous or strenuous</li></ul><p>For an activity to be vigorous, you need to work at 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, according to the<a href="https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates" target="_blank"> American Heart Association</a>. Examples of vigorous exercise include:</p><ul><li>running</li><li>cycling at 10 mph or faster</li><li>walking briskly uphill with a heavy backpack</li><li>jumping rope</li></ul><p>Low to moderate exercise is easier to sustain for longer periods since you work below 70 percent of your maximum heart rate and, sometimes, well below that level.</p><p>To reap health benefits, the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html" target="_blank">Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans</a> recommends that people age 18 and older get one of the following:</p><ul><li><strong>150 minutes</strong> of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week</li><li><strong>75 minutes</strong> of vigorous aerobic activity per week</li><li><strong>combination of both types</strong> of activity spread throughout the week</li></ul>
Strenuous Exercise Vs. Moderate Exercise<p>Increasing your exercise intensity is fairly simple to do. You can still participate in your favorite activities — just at a more vigorous pace.</p><p>One of the benefits of more strenuous exercise is that you can reap the same rewards as moderate-intensity exercise but in less time. So, if time is of the essence, doing a more strenuous 20-minute workout can be just as beneficial as doing a slower 40-minute workout session.</p><p>Here are some examples of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/pa_intensity_table_2_1.pdf" target="_blank">strenuous vs. moderate exercise<span></span></a>.</p><table><tbody><tr><th>Moderate intensity</th><th>Strenuous intensity</th></tr><tr><td>bicycling at less than 10 mph</td><td>bicycling at more than 10 mph</td></tr><tr><td>walking briskly</td><td>running, or hiking uphill at a steady pace</td></tr><tr><td>jog-walk intervals</td><td>water jogging/running</td></tr><tr><td>shooting baskets in basketball</td><td>playing a basketball game</td></tr><tr><td>playing doubles tennis</td><td>playing singles tennis</td></tr><tr><td>raking leaves or mowing the lawn</td><td>shoveling more than 10 lbs. per minute, digging ditches</td></tr><tr><td>walking stairs</td><td>running stairs</td></tr></tbody></table>
Benefits of Vigorous Exercise<p>Besides being more efficient, turning up the heat on your fitness sessions can benefit your health in a variety of ways. Let's take a closer look at some of the evidence-based benefits of a higher intensity workout.</p><ul><li><strong>Higher calorie burn.</strong> According to the <a href="https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen-consumption-epoc/?utm_source=Rakuten&utm_medium=10&ranMID=42334&ranEAID=TnL5HPStwNw&ranSiteID=TnL5HPStwNw-hYlKnAcfzfixAUsvnO6Ubw" target="_blank">American Council on Exercise</a>, working out at a higher intensity requires more oxygen, which burns more calories. It also contributes to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the "afterburn effect" that allows you to continue burning calories even after you finish working out. This means your metabolism will stay elevated for longer after a vigorous exercise session.</li><li><strong>More weight loss.</strong> A <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/interval-workouts-will-help-you-lose-weight-more-quickly" target="_blank">higher calorie burn</a> and an elevated metabolism will help you lose weight more quickly than doing low- or moderate-intensity exercise.</li><li><strong>Improved heart health.</strong> According to a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16377300" target="_blank">2012 study</a>, high- and moderate-intensity exercise appears to offer low chance of cardiovascular events, even in those with heart disease. Cardiovascular benefits may include improvements in:<ul><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/diastole-vs-systole" target="_blank">diastolic blood pressure</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1" target="_blank">blood sugar control</a></li><li>aerobic capacity</li></ul></li><li><strong>Improved mood.</strong> High-intensity exercise may also boost your mood. According to a large <a href="https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jpts/27/4/27_jpts-2014-736/_article" target="_blank">2015 study</a> that analyzed the data of more than 12,000 participants, researchers found a significant link between strenuous exercise and fewer depressive symptoms.</li><li><strong>Lower risk of mortality.</strong> According to a 2015 <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844882" target="_blank">study</a>, researchers found that vigorous activity may be key to avoiding an early death. The study, which followed 204,542 people for more than 6 years, reported a 9 to 13 percent decrease in mortality for those who increased the intensity of their exercise sessions.</li></ul>
How to Measure Exercise Intensity<p>So, how do you know for sure that you're exercising at a strenuous level? Let's look at three ways to measure the intensity of your physical activity.</p><h3>1. Your heart rate</h3><p>Monitoring your heart rate is one of the most reliable methods for measuring exercise intensity. Exercising at 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate qualifies as vigorous exercise intensity.</p><blockquote><strong><strong>WHAT IS YOUR MAXIMUM HEART RATE?</strong></strong>Your maximum heart rate is the fastest your heart can safely beat. To find out what your maximum heart rate is you need to subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 40-year-old person: <ul><li>220 bpm (beats per minute) minus age</li><li>220 – 40 = 180 bpm</li></ul>To work out at a vigorous pace, you'll want to exercise within 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. For example: <ul><li>180 x 0.70 (70 percent) = 126</li><li>180 x 0.85 (85 percent) = 153</li></ul>For a 40-year-old person, a vigorous training range is 126 to 153 bpm.<br></blockquote><p>You can check your heart rate while you're working out by wearing a heart rate monitor or <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-check-heart-rate" target="_blank">taking your pulse</a>.</p>
How to Add Vigorous Activity to Your Workout<p>Adding strenuous activity to your weekly workout routine requires some careful planning. Fortunately, many of the activities that you do at a moderate level can easily be performed at a higher intensity.</p><p>One way of incorporating vigorous aerobic activity into your routine is to do a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit" target="_blank">high-intensity interval training (HIIT)</a> workout. This type of workout combines short bursts of intense activity — typically performed at 80 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate — with recovery periods at 40 to 50 percent maximum heart rate.</p><p>To sustain this level of training, consider following a 2:1 work to rest ratio. For example, a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/treadmill-weight-loss#hiit" target="_blank">treadmill workout </a>or outdoor running session could include:</p><ul><li>running at 9 to 10 mph for 30 seconds</li><li>followed by walking at 3 to 4 mph for 60 seconds</li><li>alternating this work-to-rest ratio for 20 to 30 minutes</li></ul><p>Playing a fast-paced sport like soccer, basketball, or racquetball is another effective way to add strenuous activity to your fitness routine. Participating in <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-a-spin-class" target="_blank">cycling classes</a> or swimming laps are other ways to build more strenuous exercise into your workouts.</p>
Safety Tips<p>Before you turn up the intensity on your workouts, it's important to keep the following safety tips in mind.</p><h3>Check with your doctor</h3><p>If you have a health condition or you haven't been active in a while, make sure you talk to your doctor before you start a high-intensity exercise routine. Your doctor can advise you on a safe level of exercise or how to become more active in the safest way possible.</p><h3>Build up the intensity slowly</h3><p>Going from low- or moderate-intensity workouts to vigorous exercise requires time and patience. While you may be ready to jump in with both feet, the safest way to add more vigorous exercise is to do it in bite-size increments. Pushing yourself too quickly can result in injuries and burnout.</p><p>For example:</p><ul><li><strong>Week 1:</strong> Swap out one moderate-paced cardio session for a HIIT workout.</li><li><strong>Week 2:</strong> Swap one moderate-paced session with a HIIT workout, and also add a circuit strength training session to your weekly routine.</li><li><strong>Week 3 and 4: </strong>Repeat weeks 1 and 2 before you start adding more high-intensity exercise to your weekly routine.</li></ul><p>It's also a good idea to space out your vigorous workouts throughout the week. Try not to do two strenuous sessions back-to-back.</p><h3>Don't forget the recovery time</h3><p>Your body requires more time to recover from a vigorous workout compared to a low- or moderate-intensity session.</p><p>To help your body recover, make sure to always include a cooldown and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/static-stretching" target="_blank">stretch routine</a> after strenuous physical activity.</p><h3>Stay hydrated</h3><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water" target="_blank">Staying hydrated</a> is especially important when you're exercising hard. Not drinking enough fluids can affect the quality of your workout and make you feel tired, lethargic, or dizzy. It may even lead to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/dehydration-headache" target="_blank">headaches</a> and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-relief/how-to-stop-leg-muscle-cramps" target="_blank">cramps</a>.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Turning up the intensity of your workout sessions can be an effective way of boosting your overall health and fitness. It's also an easy way to save time when trying to fit a workout into your day.</p><p>To play it safe, always start slow and pay attention to how your body feels.</p><p>While vigorous exercise offers many health benefits, it's not appropriate for everyone. If you have a health condition or you haven't been active in a while, make sure to talk with your doctor before working out at a more strenuous level.</p>
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By Jeffrey Miller
In January 2015, food sales at restaurants overtook those at grocery stores for the first time. Most thought this marked a permanent shift in the American meal.
Solving the Age-Old Problem of Spoiled Cheese<p>People have eaten pasta and cheese together for hundreds of years. Clifford Wright, the doyen of Mediterranean food history, says <a href="http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/topic_id/16/id/105/" target="_blank">the first written recipe</a> for macaroni and cheese was created in the court of the king of Naples in the 13th century, while <a href="https://food52.com/blog/9916-the-history-of-macaroni-and-cheese" target="_blank">the first reference</a> in an English language cookbook likely appeared in Elizabeth Raffald's 1769 book "The Experienced English Housekeeper."</p><p><span></span>An internet search for macaroni and cheese recipes will turn up over 5 million hits, but many still prefer to get theirs in a box – the kind with pasta that comes in shapes ranging from shells to Pokemon characters, accompanied by a packet of powdered cheese sauce.</p><p>Boxed macaroni and cheese was one outcome of the quest for ways to keep cheese longer. Some cheese gets better as it ages – a well-aged cheddar is one of life's delights – but once most cheeses hit their prime, <a href="https://www.dairyfoods.com/articles/91548-how-to-maximize-cheese-shelf-life" target="_blank">they tend to quickly go bad</a>. Before household refrigeration became common, many retailers wouldn't even stock cheese in the summer because it spoiled so quickly.</p><p>Processed cheese solved this age-old problem.</p>
When Natural Was Nasty<p>Today, food that's simple, pure and natural is <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-was-french-cuisine-toppled-as-the-king-of-fine-dining-66667" target="_blank">all the craze</a>, while <a href="https://apnews.com/c06a1200807c4b82a03452d08d480692" target="_blank">disdain for processed foods</a> is practically a credo among sophisticated consumers.</p><p>But when Kraft's different forms of processed cheese came out, they found widespread acceptance despite their strange textures. The fact that it wasn't natural didn't seem to bother consumers at all. In fact, as international food historian Rachel Laudan <a href="https://online.ucpress.edu/gastronomica/article/1/1/36/93394/A-Plea-for-Culinary-Modernism-Why-We-Should-Love" target="_blank">has noted</a>, back then, "natural was something quite nasty." She describes fresh milk as warm and "unmistakably a bodily secretion." Throughout the history of cookery, most recipes aimed to transform an unappetizing raw product into something delightful and delectable.</p><p>So for most consumers, processed foods were a godsend. They kept well, tended to be easily digestible and, most importantly, they tasted good. Many of them could be easily prepared, freeing women from spending entire days cooking and giving them more time to pursue professions and avocations.</p><p>In some ways, processed foods were also healthier. They could be fortified with vitamins and minerals, and, in an era before everyone had access to mechanical refrigeration, the fact that they kept well meant consumers were less likely to contract diseases from spoiled, rotten foods. Pasteurization of dairy products virtually <a href="https://www.the-scientist.com/foundations/rethinking-raw-milk--1918-65126" target="_blank">eliminated diseases like undulant fever</a>, while foods processed and canned in large factories were less likely to harbor food-borne illnesses that could crop up due to faulty or improperly sanitized equipment used by home canners.</p>
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Some fires won't die.
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