The Hindu - - HEALTH -

I find that I get con­sti­pated when I eat gluten, so I plan to elim­i­nate it. How­ever, is there any nu­tri­ent I may be miss­ing out on, that I should get from some other food source?

As long as you’re sub­sti­tut­ing gluten with home-cooked foods made with sorghum, ama­ranth, rice and lentils, you are nu­tri­tion­ally well-cov­ered. Steer clear of gluten-free pro­cessed foods such as cakes, cook­ies, and breads, as they use starch, re­fined potato or rice flour that may worsen con­sti­pa­tion. If you use rice as your sta­ple, be sure to soak it in wa­ter for two to three hours and rinse well be­fore cook­ing, as rice is more prone to ar­senic con­tam­i­na­tion. Even though In­dian white rice, par­tic­u­larly bas­mati, is nat­u­rally lower in ar­senic, it adds up, so use a va­ri­ety of whole grains to re­place gluten. My mother-in-law is ask­ing me to eat chicken liver, for iron, as I am preg­nant. I have heard that or­gan meat is bad. What’s your take on this?

■ Chicken liver is a rich source of iron, but it is also high in choles­terol. When a per­son is preg­nant, it poses a dif­fer­ent con­cern. Chicken liver has high vi­ta­min A lev­els, which are not rec­om­mended for preg­nant women, as it can cause liver tox­i­c­ity or birth de­fects. You can rely on other sources of iron such as chick­peas, ra­jma and lentils. Lovneet Ba­tra is a nu­tri­tion­ist, a mem­ber of the Academy of Nu­tri­tion and Di­etet­ics, USA; lec­turer at IHM Pusa; a con­sul­tant to the Sports Author­ity of In­dia and For­tis Hos­pi­tals, Delhi Noth­ing in this col­umn is in­tended to be, and is not, a sub­sti­tute for pro­fes­sional med­i­cal ad­vice, di­ag­no­sis or treat­ment. Please seek in­de­pen­dent ad­vice from a li­censed prac­ti­tioner if you have any ques­tions re­gard­ing a med­i­cal con­di­tion. Email your ques­tions to us at [email protected]­hindu.co.in

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