A balanced gluten free diet

A balanced gluten free diet

We’ve compiled lots of helpful information about cutting gluten out of your diet, along with tasty meal ideas and advice to help you get the balance right. Maintaining a healthy weight helps you feel good and also:

 

  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves blood sugar control for diabetics
  • Improves blood cholesterol levels
  • Reduces stress on your joints

What is a healthy diet?

A healthy diet is one that includes a well-balanced variety of nutritious, wholesome foods. The Eatwell plate shows how much you should eat from each food group to get a good balance throughout your day, including meals and snacks.

Eat starches for energy...

Starchy foods provide essential energy as well as being a good source of fibre, calcium, iron, and some B vitamins. All your meals should be based on this filling food group, which contains less than half the calories per gram than fat.

Naturally gluten free starches include rice and potatoes. Other starches that usually contain gluten, such as bread and pasta, are available in gluten free versions which help to make it easier to enjoy a healthy, varied diet.

Learn more about Schär breads and rolls at https://www.schaer.com/en-uk/fw/bakery

 

Five a day for good health...

Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day will help you get the fibre, vitamins and other essential nutrients you need as part of a healthy diet. Whether you choose to eat them fresh, frozen, dried or canned in juice (rather than syrup), they all count. Just remember that dried fruit is very high in sugar, and potato is included as a starch, and isn’t one of your five a day.

 

What counts as a portion? 

 

Food Portion
Melon 1 slice
Dried apricots 3 apricots
Banana, apple, orange or pear 1 medium-sized fruit
Plum or Kiwi 2 small-sized fruits
Strawberries or grapes 1 small handful
Vegetables 3 heaped tablespoons
Fruit Juice 150ml

Foods to limit

Fried and fatty foods

We all need a certain amount of fat in our daily diet. But some fats are healthier than others. Eating too many saturated fats, like those found in butter, margarine, cheese, and fatty meats like sausages and burgers can make you gain weight and increase your risk of heart disease. Healthier choices include foods containing mono-unsaturated fats instead, such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, reduced fat spreads, reduced fat cheese, and lean meat like chicken (without the skin).

Easy ways to lower your saturated fat intake include grilling instead of frying, and using skimmed and semi-skimmed milk and dairy foods instead of full fat options.

 

Sugar

Sugary foods tend to be high in empty calories that have little nutritional value and the potential to make you gain weight. To satisfy a sweet tooth, it’s healthier to choose reduced sugar foods and drinks, or look for naturally sweetened options.

Remember to check that they’re gluten free too. Coeliac UK’s Food and Drink Directory is a great resource for checking which foods are gluten free.

 

Salt

A pinch of salt can help bring out the flavour in your food, but too much in your diet can contribute to high blood pressure. Over time, this can lead to heart disease or a stroke. The recommended salt intake for an adult is no more than 6g a day. Processed foods such as soups, sauces and ready meals are often high in salt, which is labelled as sodium on nutritional panels. Look for low sodium options or check the sodium content to make healthier choices. When you’re preparing meals at home, you can leave out the salt during cooking and let people add their own amounts at the table.

Use plenty of herbs and spices for fuller flavours.

 

Alcohol

This includes lagers, stouts and ales all contain gluten, although gluten free beers and lagers are becoming more widely available. Check Coeliac UK’s Food and Drink Directory for gluten free brands.

Wine, whisky, port, sherry, cider, liqueurs, spirits and Champagne are all gluten free and coeliac friendly. Best enjoyed in moderation, of course.

 

How much is a unit?

 

Product Unit
25ml spirit 3
175ml glass of red/white wine 2
1 Pint of ordinary strength cider 2

Sizing up your portions

As well as making healthy choices about what you eat, the amount of food you eat affects your health too. The UK Department of Health recommends that a woman should eat approximately 2,000 calories a day and a man should eat 2,500 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, a healthy way is to reduce your daily calories by around 500-600. This should lead to a gradual, safe weight loss of roughly 1lb/ 0.5kg a week.

 

More healthy eating tips

• Choose healthy food that you enjoy

• Keep your diet interesting with lots of variety

• Eating slowly makes it easier to feel when you’re full

• Eat foods rich in starch and fibre

• Include plenty of fruit and veg with meals and as snacks

• Keep fatty foods to a minimum

• Sugary foods and drinks are ok as an occasional treat

• Use salt sparingly and enjoy salty foods such as cheese, bacon and crisps in moderation