Limiting or eliminating gluten altogether offers benefits for sufferers of celiac disease and those intolerant to gluten from improved health to weight loss. Avoiding wheat, rye and barley relieves pressure on the small intestine, however followers of the diet may be left with other concerns. Deficiencies in carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, zinc and B vitamins are just some easily avoided problems connected with following a gluten free diet. Here are some easy ways to avoid nutritional deficiencies and ensure your diet remains well rounded and complete.
Steer clear of hidden fats by reading the Nutrition Facts panel on product labels. Artery clogging saturated fat can be a problem, says Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, a nutrition consultant, speaker, and author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide. “Some people cut down on foods containing carbohydrates in an effort to eliminate gluten and end up eating more high-fat meats and dairy. The solution is to focus on gluten-free whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.”
To get more fiber, says Marlisa Brown, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, a chef, certified diabetes educator, “Choose gluten-free whole grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, legumes, millet, sorghum, soy, and teff.” Whole grains will add vital nutrients to the diet.
Bulk up your meals with B vitamins, folate, and iron. Gluten-free flours and starches typically have not been enriched with the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin; the mineral iron; or folate. Therefore, the only way to know if a bread or baked item is a good source of these vitamins is to look for the whole grain form or for products that are ‘enriched’ or ‘fortified.’
You can also get thiamin from eating pork, flax, sunflower seeds, potatoes, and eggs; riboflavin from dairy products; and niacin from chicken, beef, and dried beans.
For healthy weight management, consider adding a natural supplement like Garcinia Cambogia extract to your diet, and start enjoying gluten free living today.