Keeping a gluten-free diet balanced

Senior dietitian Victoria Taylor explains how to keep your diet balanced and heart-healthy if you're avoiding gluten.

A range of breads, pastas and crackers 

A gluten-free diet rules out of some starchy carbohydrates, but doesn’t mean you need a low-carbohydrate diet. According to the Eatwell Guide (the government’s recommendations for healthy eating), just over a third of our food should be starchy carbohydrate. A gluten-free diet can include potatoes, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, gluten-free oats and gluten-free muesli.

Remember, gluten may be present in many pre-prepared products

Fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, pulses, beans and eggs are all healthy gluten-free foods to add to your diet. Cooking from scratch with these ingredients means you can prepare meals which are gluten-free and heart-healthy – low in saturated fat and salt and providing fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Remember, gluten may be present in many pre-prepared products such as soups, sauces, ready meals, cakes, biscuits, crackers and even beer. Check nutritional information on all the foods you consume.

Look for high-fibre and low-salt versions of gluten-free products like breads and pasta. Many gluten-free cakes and biscuits are now available, but remember they are still high in sugar, fat and calories. Choose healthier snacks such as unsalted nuts, dried fruit or low-fat plain yoghurt.

More useful information