Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can I Include Fiber in a Gluten Free Diet?

To keep your digestive system working properly and avoid constipation, it's important to include fiber in your diet. There are also studies that show increasing fiber intake reduces the risk of various types of cancer and other serious health problems such as ischaemic heart disease.

When people talk about including fibre (or "roughage" as my grandad used to call it) in their diet, they are mostly thinking of wheat bran - proprietary products such as All Bran, Sultana Bran and Weetabix are often recommended by GPs, along with wholegrain bread. But what if you're trying to exclude gluten from your diet? Are there any other sources of fiber available?

Dried Fruit

In fact, despite the overwhelming attention paid to wheat bran as a source of fiber, there are many other sources available. Fiber is found in plant stems, roots, leaves, pods and seeds. Rice bran or soy bran is probably the easiest like-for-like substitute for wheat bran, but you can get your fiber from peas and beans, nuts or dried fruit, and many fruits and vegetables.

Some sources are fairly obvious. For example, celery is very noticeably fibrous, particularly the older outer stems.

Sources of fibre suitable for the gluten intolerant include:

rice (brown or white, though the brown has a greater fiber content) and rice products, rice bran

possibly oats (although these may also cause symptoms in some people)

pulses/legumes: baked beans, broad beans, butter beans, French beans, haricot beans, runner beans, soya beans, soya bran, lentils, peas

salad and stirfry vegetables: beansprouts, beetroot, celery, cucumber (with the skin on), lettuce, peppers, radishes, spring onions, tomatoes, watercress

green vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sprout tops, spring greens, spinach

root vegetables: carrots, parsnips, potatoes (especially if eaten with their skins), swede, turnips

other vegetables: cauliflower, leeks, mushrooms, parsley, sweetcorn

crisps (especially if prepared with the skin left on)

fruit: apples, apricots (fresh or dried), avocado pears, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, blackcurrants, cranberries, gooseberries, goji berries, grapes, grapefruit, huckleberries, lemons, melon, oranges, passion fruit, peaches (fresh or dried), pears, pineapple, plums, raspberries, strawberries, currants, dates, figs (fresh or dried), prunes, raisins and sultanas

So, can you include fibre in a gluten free diet? Yes, yes, and yes again.

Can I Include Fiber in a Gluten Free Diet?

Take my fun quiz Are you Gluten Intolerant? to see if gluten is affecting your life.

And Now! get your FREE COPY of Gluten Free-Easy or Gluten and Dairy Free-Easy here: Free-Easy Publications

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