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Gluten-Free and Low-Glycemic Diet

September 13, 2011

Gluten-Free and Low-Glycemic Diet

September 13, 2011


My physician has advised me to go on a gluten-free diet and also switch to a low-glycemic diet. Are you aware of sugar causing problems for celiacs? I’ve seen nothing about that.




Hi Anita. Assuming you have no other medical conditions that might warrant a low-glycemic diet, there is no reason sugar in the diet would be any more problematic for someone with celiac disease than for someone without.

Some physicians and other healthcare professionals advise their patients to follow a low-glycemic diet as a means to keep blood sugar levels balanced to help promote weight loss and reduce the risk for certain chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

While I certainly think it’s a good idea to minimize added sugars in the diet and keep blood sugar levels stable, in my opinion, simply following a low glycemic diet is not necessarily the best choice. It excludes some otherwise healthy foods, such as watermelon and red potatoes, which are high on the GI scale.

I suggest you ask your physician about his rationale behind having you follow a low-glycemic diet. Assuming you have no other underlying medical conditions, a healthy diet includes lots of vegetables and fruit; lean protein, including legumes; eggs, if desired; dairy products or non-dairy sources of calcium; healthy fats, such as nuts, avocados, and olive oil; and even some sweets in moderation. Consuming these foods and balancing your intake of carbohydrates, protein and fat at meals and snacks will promote good health, keep blood sugar levels stable, and should sustain your energy levels.

In good health,

EA Stewart, MBA, RD

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