Gluten-free and fiber

by Kelli

Gluten-free fiber

Q: How can people on a gluten-free diet get enough fiber?

A:Gluten-free diets omit wheat, rye and barley, but just because you aren’t eating whole-grain breads and cereals doesn’t mean your diet has to be low in fiber. Recommended amounts of dietary fiber for most adults range from 21 grams to 38 grams, depending on age and gender. Vegetables and fruits typically supply 3 grams of dietary fiber in a half-cup serving. If you eat five servings a day, that at least gets you to about 15 grams of fiber; aiming for seven or more servings provides even more nutrition and at least 20 grams of dietary fiber. Dried beans and peas are an excellent source of fiber and nutrients, and each half-cup (after cooking) usually provides about 8 grams of fiber. Each ounce of nuts adds a couple more grams of fiber.

Many of the special “gluten-free” breads, crackers and pasta products are made of refined grain, offering only a small amount of fiber. But you can include a few servings of gluten-free whole grains daily for more fiber and the added nutritional value of whole grains over refined grains. This doesn’t just mean endless brown rice (though that is one great option); other gluten-free whole grains include quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice and corn. And check with your doctor and registered dietitian about oats; if your medical condition is stable, research now suggests that if you get special pure, uncontaminated oats, this is another safe whole-grain choice.

By Karen Collins

About the author...

, diagnosed with an auto-immune disease as a child, has always paid close attention to her health. But when that disease went beyond the care of traditional care medicine, she found answers, and healing, through lifestyle improvements and working with a functional medicine doctor.

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