Originally published in Celebrate Gluten-Free magazine.
By Vanessa Berenstein, Bastyr University Dietetic Intern & Masters in Food Studies Candidate at NYU
Some individuals with celiac disease may experience short-term difficulty with dairy products during the early stages of going gluten-free, due to the damage which gluten has caused to the small intestine. Others may have a long-term need to be dairy-free. Whether your dairy restriction is short or long-term, the following information and tips will guide you to a healthy and satisfying gluten-free, dairy-free diet.
Appropriately planned, balanced meals can meet the needs of most people on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. Choosing nutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, lean meats, and gluten-free whole grains can provide the nutrients you need. When combined, these food groups can create a delicious and well-balanced meal plan. At each meal, try to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables, about a quarter gluten-free whole grains or starches, and about a quarter vegetable or animal protein.
Some alternative milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals. However, do not rely on nondairy milk as a source of nutrients; they do not have as much protein as cow’s milk. It is important to find other sources of nutrients throughout the day. Look for low sugar varieties under 15g per serving.
Soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk
Look in your local natural market to find alternative cheeses such as daiya, nut cheese, or soy cheese
Fruits & Vegetables
Any type of fruit or vegetable is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, but also high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that help maintain health and protect against disease.
Fruit options: Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, oranges, figs, plums, grapes, berries, papaya, bananas, mangos, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, oranges, etc.
Vegetable options: Kale, collard greens, bok choy, spinach, turnip greens, zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, onions, peas, green beans, parsnips, turnips, beets, carrots, etc.
Lean Meats & Fish
Fish and lean meats are a good source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. However, gluten-free vegans who eliminate this group can still obtain adequate nutrients with proper planning.
Options: Wild salmon, mackerel, halibut, arctic char, cod, sardines, anchovies, trout, chicken, turkey, grass fed beef
Eggs are also a good protein source.
Gluten-Free Whole Grains & Starchy Vegetables
Whole grains are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also contain some protein. Starchy vegetables provide complex carbohydrates and some fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Options: Amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, wild rice, teff, millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin, taro root, plantains, corn tortillas, polenta, popcorn
High in fiber, complex carbohydrates and protein, they also contain essential vitamins and minerals.
Options: Lentils, split peas, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans kidney beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, soy beans, gluten-free tempeh, or tofu
Choose healthy sources of fat, especially monounsaturated fats.
Almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, cashews, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Avocado, olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, walnut oil
With oils or saturated fats, keep your serving size to about 1 tablespoon. With nuts and seeds, watch portion size, keeping it to about a fistful, as nuts and seeds are calorically dense.
Go easy on saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil. However, these can also be incorporated as part of a healthy diet as long as you monitor your portion size.