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Fiber and the Gluten-Free Diet—Some Helpful Tips

Posted May 24 2012 12:50am

Undoubtedly, you’re on your way to enjoying a much healthier and satisfying quality of life if you’ve switched to a gluten-free diet due to gluten issues. If you’re like othergluten-intolerantpeople or sufferers ofceliac disease, adopting agluten-free diet( was probably a turning point for you, as you noted the alleviation of many of the painful physical and mental symptoms of gluten sensitivity or intolerance, such as bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. However, as healthy as it is cutting out the gluten allergen from your diet, you may find yourself experiencing the effects of insufficient fiber. It is important to realize and meet the challenge of getting enough fiber in your new diet, and it’s easy, too. With a few changes to your diet, you can be on your way to eating a diet rich in fiber as well as free of gluten.

     It can be more difficult to get enough fiber in a gluten-free diet.Gluten( is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, grains which are high in fiber. Rice flours and the starches commonly used in gluten-free diets are lower in fiber than many gluten-containing grains. You can still get plenty of fiber from other sources than whole wheat such as quinoa and brown rice, as well as fruits and vegetables.

     I highly recommend quinoa, which is is a great source of fiber and can be used in many tasty dishes. Quinoa is a high-fiber grain, yielding seven grams of fiber per serving, and as added bonus, it’s also high in protein with a whopping fourteen grams per serving. Look into quinoa flour which is great for making pizza dough and bread. I often like to eat quinoa by itself in the mornings as a gluten-free alternative to oatmeal.

     Brown rice is also serves as a useful alternative to gluten-containing alternatives with three grams of fiber per serving, and it retains the most nutrients of any variety of rice; whereas white rice loses some of the nutrients while it’s processed, brown rice holds onto its nutrients and fiber. This high-fiber substitute can be enjoyed in soups, puddings, and stir-fries, as well as on the side.

     Don’t forget that you can get enough fiber is by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, which are thankfully gluten-free. A simple salad, containing for spinach leaves, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes, adds seven grams of fiber to your meal. Apples make a great, high-fiber snack. For dessert or along with a meal, a fruit salad can add three to five grams of fiber. I also recommend dates, which have around four grams of fiber per serving.

     Aim for twenty-five to thirty-five grams of fiber a day. There are plenty of ways to add fiber to your gluten-free diet by including high-fiber gluten-free grains such as quinoa and brown rice as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. Not only will you continue to reap the benefits of a gluten-free diet, but you’ll be able to enjoy the healthy advantages of a well-balanced diet high in fiber.

Miranda Jade Turbin

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