When first diagnosed with coeliac disease, the first step is to learn how to eat gluten free. It is equally important that your gluten free diet is healthy and nutritionally balanced.
Eat a variety of nutrient dense foods every day and limit your intake of energy dense, nutrient poor foods to special occasions.
7 serves of vegetables, legumes and fruit
Vegetables, legumes and fruit are naturally gluten free and should be included daily.
|One serve of vegetables/legumes includes:||½ cup cooked vegetables
1 cup salad vegetables
½ cup legumes
|One serve of fruit includes:||1 medium piece of fruit
1 cup fruit salad or tinned fruit pieces
2 small pieces (i.e. 2 kiwi or 2 plum etc.)
eat more legumes
Legumes are a great source of fibre, protein, low glycaemic index carbohydrate and other nutrients. They should be included at least twice a week (more often if you are vegetarian).
|One serve of legumes includes:||1 cup cooked beans, lentils or chickpeas|
A serve of legumes also contributes to your daily requirement of vegetables.
wholegrain breads and cereals with a low glycaemic index
Cereals are an important part of every diet as a vital source of energy, B vitamins and fibre. Common gluten free cereals include rice, corn (maize), amaranth, quinoa and millet.
Wholegrain cereals should be chosen, as they provide more fibre and give better glycaemic control (see separate sheets on Fibre and Glycaemic Index).
eat nuts and seeds every day
Nuts and seeds contain little saturated fat, and are a good source of fibre, vitamin E, folate, magnesium and protein. Walnuts, pecans and linseeds are also good sources of omega 3 fats.
Try the following ideas:
Sprinkle a mixture of nuts or seeds over breakfast cereal
Try adding LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond) mix when baking
Have nuts as a mid morning or afternoon snack (a serve of nuts is approx
30g, or a small palmful)
include low fat dairy or alternatives
Milk, cheese and yoghurt are all dairy foods and a good source of protein, calcium, vitamin A and some B vitamins.
2-3 serves of dairy are recommended each day (requirements can vary – check with your dietitian).
Most dairy products have a low glycaemic index and are a good source of protein. Low fat dairy options are recommended for anyone older than two years.
One serve of dairy includes:
250ml (1 cup) low fat milk or calcium fortified gluten free soy milk
40g (2 slices) reduced fat cheese
200g (1 tub) low fat yoghurt
250ml low fat custard
include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives
Foods that are a good source of protein include:
- Unprocessed meats (include lean cuts of red meat 2-3 times/week)
- Fish (eat fish 2 times each week)
- Nuts and legumes
- Dairy products
All meats, poultry, fish, shellfish and eggs are excellent sources of vitamin B12, which is only found in animal based foods.
One protein serve is:
65g raw lean meat or chicken
½ skinless chicken breast
⅓ cup cooked lean mince
2 medium eggs
drink plenty of water
Water is essential for life, making up about ⅔ of our body weight. It is needed to absorb nutrients from food, transport them around the body and flush away waste products.
The best source of fluid is water itself. It provides the fluid we need without any added kilojoules or caffeine. Dehydration can lead to mental and physical tiredness and a drop in metabolism.
Depending on the climate, activity levels and body size, 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid should be consumed daily to help prevent dehydration.