Published On: Thu, Sep 24th, 2015

Ask the Experts…How to Adopt a Healthy Gluten-Free Diet

healthy gluten-free

Q I am planning on losing weight for my wedding and have recently been diagnosed a coeliac. Do you have any tips on how to adopt a healthy wheat-free and gluten-free diet as I’m aware a lot of gluten-free products and substitutes can contain a lot of added sugar?

You are right in thinking there is often a lot of added sugar in gluten-free products; just because it says gluten free, it does not mean it’s automatically healthy. Adopting a gluten-free diet is all about finding tasty, nutritious alternatives, rather than replacing your past cupboard staples like white bread with white gluten-free bread.

Newly diagnosed coeliacs should be aware that many products labelled ‘low fat’ contain gluten, as it is used to thicken products giving the illusion of a creamy texture. The key to losing weight is to adopt a healthy lifestyle rather than just cut calories. This means eating low GI foods that release energy slowly throughout the day, like brown rice, sweet potato and quinoa – a lifesaver for a gluten-free diet – and cutting down on sugar and unhealthy fats.

In addition, limit your intake of dairy products, and instead use alternatives such as rice, soya or almond milk. You will not inhibit your calcium intake if you source it from foods such as nuts, tofu and green leafy vegetables. This way, you also get the additional benefits of other essential nutrients, like vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, which helps the body absorb and retain Calcium.

If you need some inspiration for healthy recipes, check out the Vitality section of the Kirsty’s website. All the recipes are easy to make and of course, gluten- and wheat-free. If you are running low on time or require a quick healthy lunch in the office, you can always try one of their chilled ready meals, all packed with nutrients, under 400 calories and contain at least one of your five a day.

Our Expert

kirsty henshawKirsty is the founder of award-winning gluten, wheat and dairy-free chilled ready meals: Kirsty’s.  A mum, whose business emerged after her son was diagnosed with several food allergies, Kirsty’s vision is not  just to sell nutritious and allergen-free foods, but she also wants to help people understand how good-quality nutrition and healthy living can have a direct impact on how we feel both mentally and physically. www.kirstys.co.uk

Do you need help with your free-from cooking, or do you have a nutritional query? Email your question to nick.gregory@anthem-publishing.com to ask the experts for advice.

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