Gluten-Free MyPlate

MyPyramid logo People who have celiac disease and those who are sensitive to gluten must follow a gluten-free diet to ease symptoms. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. It is also found in food additives. Gluten can damage the small intestine in people with celiac disease. This prevents the body from absorbing all of the nutrients from food.

It can be hard to get used to a gluten-free diet. ChooseMyPlate can help. It was created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide guidelines on healthy eating. Here are some tips for eating gluten-free from the five ChooseMyPlate food groups.

Grains

The grain group causes the most problems for people with celiac disease. Many products contain gluten. Some gluten-free choices are:

  • Amaranth
  • Bean flour
  • Corn flour and corn meal
  • Potato flour
  • Rice flour and rice
  • Soy flour
  • Flax
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Oats—These are naturally gluten-free, but make sure to choose oats that have not been processed with wheat products.

Check food labels to make sure a product is labeled gluten-free. Grocery stores may have some of these products, but natural food stores will have things like gluten-free breads, cereals, pasta, and tortillas. These items can also be ordered online.

How Much Per Day?

A person should aim for 6 to 8 ounces of gluten-free grain per day. It also depends on the person's age, gender, and activity level.

MyPlate Reminder

A person should try to make half of the grains that they eat whole grains, such as amaranth, millet, quinoa, and oats.

Vegetables

A person can eat nearly all types of fresh, frozen, and canned veggies. They should not eat veggies in sauce because they could contain gluten. French fries and veggies that are breaded should also be avoided.

Other than that, a person can enjoy a variety of veggies during the day, such as broccoli, lettuce, spinach, carrots, corn, peas, and eggplant.

How Much Per Day?

A person should aim for 2 to 3 cups per day. It also depends on the person's age, gender, and activity level.

MyPlate Reminder

A person should try to fill up half of their plate with fruits and veggies.

Fruits

As with the veggie group, a person can enjoy a range of fresh and frozen fruits. Most canned fruits are also safe to eat, especially those that are packed in natural juices. Look at the label to double-check for any gluten additives. For example, some dried fruits have been dusted with flour to prevent the pieces from sticking together. Fruits in sauce and fruit pie fillings will also need to be avoided. Many of these items have additives.

A Note About Additives

Many additives contain gluten. Learn how to spot these additives on food labels. Some additives with gluten are:

  • Modified food starch
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Dextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maltodextrin

How Much Per Day?

Aim for 1-½ to 2 cups of fruits and veggies. It depends on the person's age, gender, and activity level.

MyPlate Reminder

A person should try to fill up half of their plate with fruits and veggies.

Milk

All types of products made from milk fall into this category. Safe options are aged cheeses, plain yogurt, and cream.

Fresh, dried, and evaporated milk are all okay to eat. Avoid malted milk since it has barley and wheat. Chocolate milk and other flavored milk drinks may also have gluten.

Be sure to read the labels of cheese sauces and spreads, which may have additives. Flavored yogurt, frozen yogurt, and ice cream may also have additives or ingredients (like cookie dough or granola) that have gluten.

How Much Per Day?

Aim for 3 cups a day.

MyPlate Reminder

Use fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Meats and Beans

There are a lot of options with this food group. Fresh fish, poultry, and meat are all safe to eat. So are eggs, tuna canned in oil or water, plain nuts, and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils).

Try to avoid processed meats, like cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausages. These may have wheat fillers. Meat marinades, flavorings, and seasonings may also contain gluten. Imitation seafood and meat, as well as anything breaded, may also contain it.

How Much Per Day?

Aim for 5 to 6-½ ounces per day. It depends on the person's age, gender, and activity level.

Living Gluten-Free

Following the ChooseMyPlate guidelines and becoming familiar with gluten-free food can help a person get all of the nutrients that they need. A dietitian can help with meal planning. There are also many online resources and gluten-free cookbooks that can help.

RESOURCES:

Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture
http://www.choosemyplate.gov
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Celiac Association
http://www.celiac.ca
Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

References:

Celiac disease: an introduction. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. Available at: https://www.eatright.org/health/diseases-and-conditions/celiac-disease/celiac-disease-an-introduction. Accessed September 1, 2020.
Gluten-free eating. Canadian Celiac Association website. Available at: https://www.celiac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Gluten-Free-Eating-PEN.pdf. Accessed September 1, 2020.
Gluten-free food pyramid. Food Guide Pyramid website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 1, 2020.
What foods contain gluten? Gluten Free Society website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 1, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Last Updated: 9/1/2020

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

advertisement