If you're eating gluten free due to celiac disease or another health condition, you probably already feel as if you can't eat many foods. If you need to follow a low-fat diet at the same time, the restrictions can feel overwhelming. But the good news is, many gluten-free foods naturally contain little fat, and suit a low-fat diet well.
The grains wheat, barley, rye and some oats all contain gluten, a protein the plant uses to store nutrients. If you've been diagnosed with the genetic condition celiac disease, you can't digest gluten, and it can cause multiple health problems ranging from diarrhea to depression, according to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Although in most cases, celiac disease doesn't affect fat digestion, your physician may have advised you to follow a low-fat diet to address a different health concern, or you may be following one to lose weight.
To comply with a gluten-free diet, you'll need to make sure you don't eat any foods containing the prohibited grains: wheat, barley, rye and oats. That means you can't eat most conventional grain products, including pastas, breads and other baked goods, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. You can, however, eat specialty "gluten-free" versions of these common foods. Or try grains such as rice and quinoa and flour made from potatoes, soy, buckwheat or beans.
Meanwhile, to comply with a low-fat diet, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your fats to 2 to 3 servings per day. This includes 2 to 3 servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy foods, 3 to 6 ounces of lean meats and poultry and 4 to 5 servings each of fruits and vegetables. Look for gluten-free grain products that contain less than 5 grams of fat per serving.
Putting it Together
Almost all fruits and vegetables are both gluten-free and low in fat, so eat plenty of these, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. Fresh fish and meats with no added ingredients also contain no gluten, so you can have as much of these as you're allowed to have on your low-fat diet. Watch out for the fat levels in many prepared gluten-free baked goods, as many of those tend to be high in fat. You may need to stick with gluten-free bread, which generally doesn't have as much fat in it.
Watch out for both hidden gluten and hidden fat in your diet to successfully eat gluten free and low fat. Massachusetts General Hospital lists several foods that may have gluten that you wouldn't expect, including soy sauce, processed meats, gravies, creamy soups and even some candy. Fat is easier to spot, but watch your consumption of salad dressings, some of which also aren't gluten free.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.