Steps to follow to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients on the gluten-free diet.
- Choose naturally gluten-free and nutritious foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat milk and milk products.
- Increase your intake of whole grains including amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, sorghum, teff and rice (black, brown, red and wild). See my earlier column on using these healthy grains here.
- Energize with iron-rich foods. Good choices are lean meat, poultry, eggs, shrimp, clams, oysters, sardines, pulses, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, green peas, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, baked potato with the skin, amaranth, buckwheat, enriched cornmeal, flax, millet, quinoa, teff and enriched rice.
- Bone up with calcium-rich foods and beverages such as low fat milk, yogurt and cheese. If you cannot tolerate dairy, then choose calcium-fortified orange juice and gluten-free, non-dairy beverages. Other options include canned salmon and sardines with the bones crushed, amaranth, flax, soy, almonds and navy/white beans, to name a few.
- When purchasing gluten-free specialty products review the ingredient list and nutrition facts table. Compare products and choose ones with more protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and less fat, sugars and calories. Also look for products that are enriched/fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Shelley Case, RD, is an international celiac nutrition expert, consulting dietitian and author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. See www.glutenfreediet.ca. Shelley Case is on the advisory boards of the Canadian Celiac Association, the Celiac Disease Foundation and the Gluten-Free Intolerance Group. The editors at Allergic Living additionally highly recommend her book Gluten-Free Diet, a vital resource for those interested in celiac disease and living gluten-free.