Gluten-Free Vegetarian Diets
It can be challenging enough on gluten-free diet, but what if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet? It’s well established that there are health benefits to reducing the amount of meat in the diets of most Americans, and the lifestyle has appeal for some people based on ethical and/or environmental reasons. Fortunately, with extra planning, a well-rounded and delicious gluten-free vegetarian diet is possible.
The good news is that many vegetarian staples, like beans, lentils, tofu, dairy, nuts, seeds and eggs are already naturally gluten-free. And some of the best sources of vegetarian and vegan protein are gluten-free pseudo-grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth. Also, grains, such as millet, teff and sorghum are very nutritious. In addition to protein and fiber, they all have other vital nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.
It’s vital for everyone with Celiac disease to get enough iron, calcium, Vitamin D, fiber and B vitamins (including B12), because these are often lacking due to damage from the disease process and eating patterns often seen in gluten-free diets. Pair that with a vegetarian diet, which can be lacking in protein, iron, calcium, B12, omega fats, and Vitamin D, and it’s easy to miss out on necessary nutrients.
So what’s a vegetarian to do?
- Focus on typical vegetarian staples that are gluten-free, like beans, tofu, nuts and seeds, and, of course fruits and veggies and. If your diet includes dairy, eggs, fish, etc. these are very nutrient rich as well.
- Watch out for the miso! Surprisingly, sometimes it contains barley.
- Eat a good source of protein with each meal.
- Try quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth etc.
- Get your vitamin D, iron and B vitamin levels checked.
- Consider a vegan or vegetarian omega 3 supplement from algae if you don’t eat fish.
- When possible, include fortified gluten-free foods, like cereals, breads, etc.
- Work with a Registered Dietitian to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet.
On May 4th, the world’s largest Gluten-free cake was made in Washington, DC for a good cause. Gluten-free labeling laws were due out in August, 2008. Thanks to a lot of great press for the event, hopefully there will soon be progress on this front, and FDA officials said they’re paying attention. Only time (and continued attention) will tell!
While you’re at it, do stop by the 1 in 133 website and sign the petition and/or donate to the cause.
Gluten-Free Watch Dog
Gluten Free Watchdog will be fully operational Monday May 16. Preview the site www.glutenfreewatchdog.org. This site will test selected products without gluten ingredients listed and provide a detailed report of the gluten content of the selected products.
DC Area Events
Next Meeting Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011, 2:00–4:00 pm
Meeting Topic: TBD
Speaker: Anne Roland Lee, MSEd, RD, LD, Director of Nutritional Services, Schar USA
Vendors: One Dish Cuisine
Location: DC Public Library: Tenley-Friendship Branch
4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016
Join the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center on Tuesday May 17th for a FREE educational session called “Solving the Puzzle: The Many Faces of Celiac Disease.” The session will provide information about celiac disease as well as how it relates to orthopedics, allergy, neurology, endocrinology and psychology. The educational forum includes complimentary gluten-free breakfast and lunch.
Great people always know other great people…
We are moving locally, and although I will continue to see clients in Alexandria, I’m also looking for a spot to see clients near Fairfax/Burke. Anyone thoughts of wonderful offices/people near by to connect with would be greatly appreciated!