Shelley Case, RD, explains why whole grains are an important part of the gluten-free diet.
By Shelley Case, RD
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.
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*, quinoa, rice (black, brown, red, wild), sorghum and teff.
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 this Whole Grain Handout.
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.
Following are some tasty recipes that use whole grains:
Learn more about the health benefits of whole grains.
Read Shelley’s previous column: Control Your Weight on a Gluten-Free Diet
*For more information about gluten-free oats, read
Are Oats OK on the Gluten-Free Diet?
About Shelley Case, RD