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Whole Grains: Get Enough on the Gluten-Free Diet


When you follow a gluten-free diet, it’s important to realize that all cereals are not the enemy. In fact, gluten-free whole grains are superb for your diet and essential to good health. Studies show that those who regularly eat whole grains have lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.

What Are They?

Whole grains are the seeds or kernels of plants that are composed of:

Gluten-free whole grains include amaranth; buckwheat; corn; millet; pure, uncontaminated oats [1]; quinoa; rice (black, brown, red, wild); sorghum and teff.

Getting Whole Grains on the Gluten-Free Diet

The typical gluten-free diet is built around white rice and baked products, cereals, snack bars and pasta – often made from white rice flour and starches (corn, potato and tapioca). If you see your own diet in that description, it’s time to change how you eat since these refined flours and starches do not contain the bran and germ. That means you’re missing out on important nutrients. By using gluten-free whole grains, you can boost the quality of your diet.

How to incorporate whole grains into your meals and snacks:

For more ideas about adding whole grains to the gluten-free diet see http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/img/WholeGrainHandoutFinal2012.pdf [3].

Next page: Cooking with Whole Grains

Cooking Whole Grains

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, with a tight fitting lid, bring water or gluten-free broth to a boil. Slowly add the whole grain and simmer on low until all the liquid is absorbed. Cooking times will vary, depending on the grain you choose. For more on cooking times, see this handy chart [4].


Following are some tasty recipes that use whole grains:
Chickpea Burgers with Buckwheat Tabbouleh Salad [5]
Blueberry Flax Muffins [6]
Carrot Apple Energy Bars [6]
Carol Fenster’s Wild Rice Salad [7]

See also: Cooking with Whole Grains on a Gluten-Free Diet [10]

Shelley Case, RD, is an international celiac and gluten-free expert, a featured columnist in Allergic Living magazine and author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. [11]

For more information about the GF diet see:
www.glutenfreediet.ca [12]