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How to Shop Gluten Free and Low Calorie

Author: Cara Walsh

August 25, 2014

How to Shop Gluten Free and Low Calorie

Author: Cara Walsh

August 25, 2014

Due to the increasing popularity of the gluten free lifestyle, purchasing gluten free products has become significantly easier. Store shelves remain stocked with an abundance of options for those who are intolerant or simply avoiding the consumption of gluten. Nonetheless some of the best gluten free choices you can make for your health are those that are naturally gluten free—such as products made with corn, potatoes and rice.  Some of your favorite foods and ingredients offer a variety of natural options.


While there is an array of ‘gluten free’ all-purpose flour available at your local grocer, experiment with chickpea or coconut flour. Each offers a different nutritional benefit: chickpea flour has 6 grams of protein in only a ¼ cup and coconut flour has 10 grams fiber in ¼ cup.


Corn tortillas are a great alternative while out at a restaurant or when cooking at home. By opting for a tortilla over a slice of bread, you’ll be saving 30 calories and 200 mg of sodium!


There are endless varieties of rice to choose from—and they are all gluten free! Brown basmati, jasmine, red rice and sticky rice are just a few of the types readily available. Rice can be utilized in both sweet and savory dishes, adding fiber, vitamins and minerals to every dish.

Rice Chex

Still want that crunch found when you bread chicken or fish? Try using Rice Chex instead of the traditional bread or panko. Not only is it gluten free, but you’ll save 180 calories!

Calorie comparison of gluten free foods verses the original version


  • Gluten Free: 370 calories, 13 g of fat, 31 g sugar
  • Original: 170 calories, 5 g fat, 12 g sugar

Hamburger Bun

  • Gluten Free: 190 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g sugar, 360 mg sodium
  • Original: 120 calories, 1 g fat, 3 g sugar, 280 mg sodium

Plain Bagel

  • Gluten Free: 290 calories, 9 g fat, 460 mg sodium
  • Original: 250 calories, 1.5 g fat, 310 mg sodium

Vanilla Cupcake

  • Gluten Free: 480 calories, 21 g fat (13 g saturated), 52 g sugar
  • Original: 370 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 34 g sugar


Shopping gluten free doesn’t automatically mean you are making a healthier choice. It’s important to choose the fresh, whole foods whenever possible. Find products that are naturally gluten free over those that are altered to be made that way.

Shopping Gluten Free

Source: Fry, Sidney, RD. “Substitutions and Shopping Strategies.” Cooking Light Aug. 2014: 36. Web.

About the Author:

Cara Walsh
Counselor at The Carmel Mountain Ranch Medifast Weight Control Center
Cara Walsh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Weight Control Counselor. Cara received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian through the Utah State University. Cara is currently completing her Masters in Dietetic Administration through Utah State University. Cara has always had a passion for healthy eating and cooking. She loves to focus on how food can heal and provide nutrition-while tasting delicious. Cara thrives on helping others reach their full potential nutritionally. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to Pilates and running the boardwalk on the Pacific Ocean with her son and husband.

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