By Kristin Kessler, Registered Dietician
For most of us, consuming foods like bread, pasta, and tortillas is not a problem. However, for about 1% of the population the protein called gluten can cause major gastrointestinal damage1. Luckily, fruits and vegetables are gluten-free! In honor of May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month, here are some helpful tips and gluten-free recipes that everyone can enjoy.
Thankfully there are plenty of foods available at the grocery store to help fill the gluten gap. Brown rice and corn tortillas are excellent replacements for whole wheat foods. Try this Creamy Coconut & Veggie Brown Rice Pilaf with Honey Roasted Pecans or Corn and Crab Salad Tortilla Cups for your next weekday meal. Really craving bread or pasta? There are more choices than ever made from gluten-free ingredients such as brown rice bread and quinoa pasta.
Read the Label
The trickiest part of following a gluten-free diet is often the “hidden” gluten. Opt for gluten-free soy sauce, such as Tamari-style sauce, marinades and dressings. If you’re not sure whether something has gluten in it or not, look at the ingredient list, searching for key words such as “wheat,” “malt,” and “spelt.” This recipe for Quick and Healthy Fried Quinoa with Mixed Vegetables is a wonderful recipe that can easily be adapted to be gluten-free by using Tamari-style sauce instead of soy sauce.
Now that you’ve learned the hard stuff, the great news is that Libby’s fruit and vegetables are all naturally gluten-free! Use them to fill any dish without having to worry. Since a deficiency in fiber intake can be a concern for gluten-free diets, the fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and beans will not only keep you full for longer between meals but is also great for your health!
1 Celiac Disease: Fast Facts. (2015, April 29). Retrieved from Celiac Central: http://www.celiaccentral.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/