Gluten-Free and the Government's New Food Guide PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 19 June 2011 12:20

By James Shirley

Part one of a four-part series.

In this series, we'll talk about ideas for how to approach the government's new MyPlate guide while eating gluten-free. Each part in the series will cover a section of the MyPlate icon starting with Grains and then covering Protein, Dairy, and Fruits and Vegetables.

On June 2, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled the federal government's new primary food guide called MyPlate, which replaces the former MyPyramid and Food Guide Pyramid. The idea behind the new design is to make it easier to build a well-balanced, healthy meal.

This article will focus on gluten-free foods to fill the "Grains" portion on your plate. People with celiac disease or who have gluten intolerance must avoid wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten will mostly be found in the Grains portion so much of the work will be finding alternative grains in this food group.

The Grains portion is made up of breads, cereals, pastas, or rice. If you're new to the gluten-free diet, you may not be aware of all the grain-related options you have available. The following is a list of brands or manufacturers who offer excellent options:


  • Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery - they make a variety of breads including basic breads, buns, and pizza crusts. Their bread is widely available around the country. I like their Original bread the best. It tastes great and it has the size and qualities of gluten bread making it the most versatile option for cooking.
  • Udi's Gluten Free Bakery - they too make breads, buns, pizza crusts, and bagels. I like their Whole Grain loaf the best for taste, but its smaller size limits its usability in my kitchen. The bagels are outstanding.


  • General Mills - the Chex line of cereals including Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Cinnamon Chex, Honey Nut Chex, and Chocolate Chex are fortified with vitamins and minerals. These are available everywhere.
  • Nature's Path - they offer a wide variety of cereals including Koala Crisp, Leapin' Lemurs, and Whole O's Cereal. Other options are available, but these are the most popular in my family.


  • Annie's - Gluten Free Rice Pasta and Cheddar is an excellent macaroni and cheese option
  • Tinkyada - All of their pastas are made from rice flour. They are an excellent replacement for gluten pastas.


Rice makes an excellent alternative grain to wheat. These are suggestions for rice-based sides:

  • Lundberg Family Farms - they have a variety of Risotto sides which are quite good. I like the Creamy Parmesan Risotto best.
  • Carolina Rice and Mahatma Rice - they offer a variety of rice sides including Authentic Spanish Rice, Broccoli Cheddar Rice, and Long Grain & Wild Rice.

Check out these brands and be sure to verify for yourself what products are acceptable. Generally, these brands can be found in major grocery markets across the United States. If they aren't available in your area, you can often order them online.

Finally, while it is relatively easy to fill the Grains portion of your plate with gluten-free options, it can be a challenge to get the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Most gluten-containing breads, cereals, and pastas, are fortified meaning that they have added vitamins and minerals.

Gluten-free breads, cereals, and pastas are not usually fortified; therefore, you have to pick up your vitamins and minerals in other ways. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources, as are some of the proteins we'll talk about in part two of this series.

Did you know gluten also has desirable properties as a binder and/or thickener? It can be hiding as an ingredient in other food groups like meats and proteins. In the next part of this series, I'll explore gluten-free options in the Proteins food group.

James L. Shirley (or Jim as most people call him) is author of a new book titled Gluten-Free Diet: A Shopping Guide. He and his wife also have a blog that highlights important topics in the gluten-free community and helps promote outstanding gluten-free products.

Want to learn more about being gluten-free? Visit my blog at:

Find out more about my book Gluten-Free Diet: A Shopping Guide at:

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Why Eggs Are Good For You PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 June 2011 11:01

By Charlene Thelma

Eggs are one of the great sources of not only protein but many other nutrients, minerals and vitamins. In fact, research on the nutrition facts of eggs have found that eggs, the egg yolk in particular, provides 100% of your recommended daily value of quite a bit of nutrients. Some of them include Carotenoids, Vitamins A, E, D and K. These are all essential for good health and functioning of our bodies. Protein, amongst many other things, aids in the strengthening, building and repairing of muscle tissue. It is therefore especially helpful to have a high protein meal or snack right after exercise to help repair any damaged or strained muscle tissue. As well as provide energy of course.

Quite contrary to the belief that many people have had over the years, eggs do not cause heart diseases and related ailments. Most individuals prefer to eat the egg without the yolk due to the cholesterol content. It is however important to note that it's actually the yolk that contains most of the nutritional benefits we can ever hope to get from an egg. Without the egg yolk, you will not gain all that you would have gained from eating an egg. Although the egg yolk does contain a high amount of cholesterol, research and studies have found that the type of cholesterol found in eggs does not have any harmful effects on our health.

In fact, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you could add to your diet. It is the egg yolk that contains Iron, Folate, Protein, Potassium, Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and many other nutrients and minerals which are essential for our bodies. Even the diet of expecting mothers.This is because an egg is also a source of Iron, Folate and Choline. These are all essential nutrients and minerals for the good and healthy development of the unborn child, as well as the mother.

If you are on a weight loss quest, adding eggs to your diet may also help you achieve your goal. This will obviously also have to be in conjunction with exercise and having healthy, well-balanced meals. The reason why eggs may help in weight loss is because they are part of the foods that are said to be high in high quality protein. This kind of protein helps to keep you satiated for longer periods. Foods high in high quality protein not only provide proteins to your body, but also bring along with them all the essential amino acids that our bodies need in just the right amounts. Now that's something that should get you thinking. It may be small, but an egg is loaded with minerals, nutrients and vitamins that are important in keeping our bodies healthy with low to medium calories depending on how it has been prepared. Now that's a great deal!

Learn more about eating healthy and egg nutrition facts by following the links.

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