Protein is an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy body. Not only does it supply your body with energy, it also plays an important role in cell building and repair. According to the Dietary Reference Intake or DRI, between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from protein sources, but meeting that goal can be tricky if you're on a gluten-free diet, which doesn't include as many fortified foods as an unregulated diet. Get familiar with high-protein gluten-free foods to ensure that your body is getting the protein it needs to do its job, and use a tool like The Daily Plate to help you track how much protein you're getting with each meal.
Lean Meats and Poultry
One of the best sources of protein is lean meats and poultry, and as long as you choose fresh rather than processed or prepared versions of your favorite meat or poultry, you can consume your favorite meats without worrying about their gluten content. Meats and poultry are all gluten-free in their fresh form. Cooked turkey and chicken breast have 25 and 26 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving, while 3 strips of bacon contain only 6 grams of protein.
Low-fat milk contains no gluten and is an excellent source of lean protein, with 8 grams in one cup. Just be sure you don't add any flavorings to it that contain gluten, and you can meet part of your protein needs with low-fat milk. Drink milk with meals instead of soda or tea or add it to gluten-free cereal.
Fresh eggs are full of healthy protein and are gluten-free. Boil them, or prepare them in any way that doesn't introduce gluten, and you can boost your daily protein intake. One whole egg contains 6 grams of protein.
Beans don't have any gluten by themselves, so as long as you prepare them without adding any gluten, they're a gluten-free meal component. Beans are also a good source of protein, so including them in your diet is a good way to ensure you meet your body's protein needs. Serve them over rice and veggies for a complete meal, make them into a soup using water or add them to your meal as an easy side dish. A 1/2-cup serving of boiled soybeans contains 14 grams of protein while a 1/2-cup serving of canned kidney beans contains 7 grams of protein.
Nuts are a good source of protein, and as long as you opt for plain versions rather than those with added flavors or preparations, they're also gluten-free. Try tossing them in a salad or eating a handful instead of chips with your lunch. A 1/2-cup serving of dry, roasted peanuts contains 14 grams of protein, and a 1/2-cup serving of walnuts contains 9 grams.