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