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Q. Besides eating gluten-free, what else can I do to stay in nutritional balance?

A. Getting a well-balanced diet is important. When following a gluten-free diet, some people find they do not get adequate amounts of B-complex vitamins, fiber, calcium and sometimes iron. What’s more, some gluten-free foods are more concentrated in carbohydrates and have more calories than their wheat-containing counterparts. It’s important to be aware of this as we are seeing more people with celiac disease having issues with excess weight.

To keep calories down and nutrition up, try a naturally gluten-free diet. This is less costly and possibly healthier than using a lot of packaged gluten-free, highly refined desserts and bread products. Instead, rely on naturally gluten-free potatoes, brown rice, beans and legumes, corn and other starches. Get creative: use corn tortillas to make a sandwich, buy Asian rice noodles to make spaghetti or try a lettuce-wrapped hamburger. For a sweet treat, instead of cookies or cake try fresh fruit, pudding or a gelatin cup, or a small piece of chocolate.

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