Living With Coeliac Disease: Tips for a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

Living With Coeliac Disease: Tips for a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

June 13, 2024

Living With Coeliac Disease: Tips for a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

Adopting a gluten-free diet is essential for managing coeliac disease, but it can also be a challenging transition. Ensuring your diet remains balanced and nutritious while avoiding gluten requires careful planning and a good understanding of your nutritional needs. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy gluten-free diet.

Understanding Gluten and Its Impact

Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, oats and wheat (BROW). For individuals with coeliac disease, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine, leading to nutrient malabsorption and a variety of symptoms, from digestive issues and gut pain to fatigue and anaemia plus many more. You can read more here about what Coeliac Disease is. A strict, lifelong gluten-free diet is currently the only treatment for coeliac disease, which means eliminating all sources of gluten from your diet.

Focus on Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

One of the best ways to ensure a balanced diet is to focus on naturally gluten-free whole foods. These include:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
  • Meat and dairy: Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy that are rich sources of protein.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are naturally gluten free and satisfying.
  • Grains: There are many gluten-free whole grains to enjoy, such as quinoa, brown rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and sorghum.

When replacing wheat-based products, it’s important to consider the glycaemic response (or blood sugar response) of gluten-free alternatives. If a food causes a rapid spike in your blood sugars then this will lead to hunger and energy crashes in the short term and eventually, if this is a pattern of eating over time, increases risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Many gluten free over-processed foods contain flours based on rice, potato or tapioca starch for example, and these can cause a blood sugar spike. To manage this, try to minimise your intake of foods that will spike your blood sugars and eat mostly gluten free whole foods. These will moderate your blood sugar response and keep your energy levels on an even keel and stop the hunger every couple of hours, reducing the need to snack constantly. And reduce your longer term risk for diseases like Type 2 diabetes.


Prioritise Key Nutrients

Individuals with coeliac disease need to be particularly mindful of certain nutrients that can be affected by their condition. Here are some key nutrients to focus on:

  • Fibre: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of fibre. If you're not used to high-fibre foods, introduce them gradually to avoid digestive discomfort.
  • Iron: Red meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and dark leafy greens are rich in iron. Consider pairing plant-based iron sources with vitamin C-rich foods (like citrus fruits or bell peppers) to enhance absorption.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Dairy products, plant milks with added calcium, leafy greens, and fish like salmon and sardines are good sources of calcium. Vitamin D can be obtained through sunlight exposure and supplementation (particularly in winter).
  • B Vitamins: Whole grains, meat, dairy, eggs, nutritional yeast and legumes are good sources of B vitamins.


By focusing on naturally gluten-free foods, being mindful of the effect highly processed gluten free foods can have on our blood sugars and prioritising key nutrients, you can maintain a balanced and nutritious gluten-free diet.  All the foods we produce here at Wholo Foods are based on whole foods, contain little or no refined gluten free flours and are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients essential for living a healthy gluten free life. 

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.