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Healthy Gluten-Free Foods

June 21, 2011

Question:

I have known about my celiac disease for 3 years. During this 3-year time frame, I really have mastered which foods to avoid.  However, I have not mastered what to eat to stay healthy. What foods will really help me maintain a healthy diet and avoid irregular bowels?

From,

Jen

Answer:

Hi Jen.  I am very happy that you feel like you have mastered the gluten-free diet!  The good news is that there are many healthy foods that are naturally gluten-free. The USDA just came out with new dietary guidelines for Americans to help us choose healthy foods. Check out the website: www.choosemyplate.gov.  You will see that the old pyramid-style guideline has been changed and a plate is now used to show approximate proportions of the various food groups. Notice that fruits and vegetables make up ½ the plate, while there is a small portion of lean protein and then grains to finish up the plate.  There is a side serving of dairy.  

The USDA also makes the following recommendations:

Balance Calories:    

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions

Foods to Increase:

  • Make half your plate fruits & veggies
  • Make at least 1/2 your grains whole grains
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk

Foods to Reduce:

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals - and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks

Source: USDA website, www.choosemyplate.gov

You could also make an appointment with a registered dietitian who would have you keep a food journal for a couple of days. The dietitian can then help you analyze your current intake and make recommendations more specific to your needs.

Sincerely,

Nancy Dickens, BS, RD, LDN

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