• Fiber is the part of plants that cannot be broken down by the body.
  • Fiber helps to maintain regular bowel movements and lowers cholesterol. It also helps to prevent certain chronic diseases. 1
  • Getting enough fiber in the diet is very important for people with celiac disease.
  • It is suggested that adults eat 21-38g of fiber per day. 2 The amount that is right for you depends on your age, gender, and health conditions. Visit Level Two for a fiber chart to see how much fiber is right for you.
  • Fiber is taken out of grains when they are processed.
  • Many gluten-free foods are made with refined flour and/or starch which are low in fiber.
  • Good news! Dietary fiber is found in whole gluten-free grains, fruits, vegetables, dried beans, legumes (lentils, soybeans), nuts, and seeds.
  • Whole gluten-free grains add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the gluten-free diet.
  • Gluten-free grains high in fiber include: amaranth, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, teff, quinoa, and wild rice. You will read more about these grains and find recipes in Level 2 and 3 and in Resources below.
  • Choose foods that have whole grains listed in the beginning of the ingredient list.
  • Example: whole grain brown rice
  • Be sure to buy labeled gluten-free grains. If you would like to add oats to your diet, be sure they are specially produced labeled gluten-free oats. Talk to your doctor before trying them. Click here to visit the Oats page (see page 11 - 14).
  • Fiber needs water to work properly in your body. Be sure to drink plenty of water as you add fiber to your diet.
  1. Make sure a fruit or vegetable is part of every snack and meal.
  2. Add pre-cut fresh or frozen broccoli, green beans or other veggies to soups or stews.
  3. Make rice with half quinoa or brown rice.
  4. Cook chili with one-half lean meat and one-half black or pinto beans.
  5. Add berries, pears or apples with skin, bananas or mangoes to your hot or cold breakfast cereal or into a smoothie.s
  6. Make air-popped popcorn.
  7. Sprinkle ground flax seed or chia seed onto cereal, salad or yogurt. Make sure flax and chia seeds are labeled gluten-free.


  • Fiber can help lower the risk of heart disease because it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. 3
  • Add more fiber slowly to your diet. Fiber absorbs a lot of water as it moves through the digestive tract. If you add more fiber to your diet, be sure to drink enough water.
  • Cook or bake with a few of the gluten-free grains to add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet.


Whole Grains. Gluten Intolerance Group:

Whole Grains. Be Free for Me:

Add More Veggies to your Day! Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:


  1. Case, S. Gluten-free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Regina: Case Nutrition Consulting, 2008.
  2. Higgins, L. Whole Grains = Nutritional Gold. In Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free . Eds. Dennis M, Leffler D. AGA. Bethesda, MD. 2010.
  3. Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet. Mayo Clinic. Accessed March 5, 2013.

Revision Date: 4-24-13 
Authors: Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN and Nicolette Taggart 
Editors: Anne Lee, MSEd, RD, LD, and Daniel Leffler, MD, MS

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