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Tricia Thompson, MS, RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide and has a MS degree in nutrition from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and a BA degree in English Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont.

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Living Gluten-Free
by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, The Gluten-Free Dietitian

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As someone who follows a gluten-free diet you undoubtedly are exposed to a wide variety of grains many Americans have never heard of, including teff, sorghum, millet, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. All of these grains are healthy and nutritious.

You also may eat plenty of gluten-free breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals made from unenriched refined flour and starch, such as white rice, milled corn, and tapioca starch.

In general, foods made primarily from these ingredients are not very healthy. Simple steps you can take to make sure the gluten-free grain foods you eat pack a nutritional punch include:

Choosing breads, cereals, pastas, and mixes made from gluten-free whole grains and flours over those made from refined grains and flours. When choosing between products, read the ingredient list making sure the first ingredient of the food you buy is a whole grain - amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, teff, wild rice, sorghum, millet, whole corn, brown rice, or oats (gluten-free varieties only).

Also, compare the fiber content of the foods you are considering purchasing. There are an increasing number of manufacturers of gluten-free whole grain products, including Nu-World Amaranth (nuworldamaranth.com), Bob's Red Mill (bobsredmill.com), Quinoa Corporation (quinoa.net), Arrowhead Mills (arrowheadmills.com), Only Oats (onlyoats.com), Authentic Foods (authenticfoods.com), Cream Hill Estates (pureoats.com), and The Birkett Mills (thebirkettmills.com).

Choosing enriched and refined breads, breakfast cereals, pasta, and mixes over varieties that are unenriched and refined. You can tell whether a food is enriched by reading the ingredient list. For grain foods, the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid will be listed along with the mineral iron. Currently only a handful of manufacturers ...    Continue

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