Celiac Disease: Gluten Free Diet (cont.)
Betty Kovacs, MS, RD
Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.
In this Article
- How does digestion work?
- What is celiac disease?
- What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
- What are the dietary restrictions for celiac disease?
- Foods containing gluten
- Are there any dietary deficiencies associated with celiac disease?
- What foods are safe to consume with celiac disease?
- Gluten-free foods
- What are resources for a gluten-free diet?
- Celiac Disease (Celiac Sprue) FAQs
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What are the dietary restrictions for celiac disease (gluten)?
Omitting gluten from the diet is the key to controlling celiac disease. In patients with celiac disease, strict dietary gluten elimination will heal the small intestine over time (weeks to months). It is imperative that your diet remains gluten-free. Any gluten in your diet will cause the damage to your intestine to reoccur. Learning to follow a gluten-free diet can be very daunting, but with time you will see that there are many options available.
Foods containing gluten
To begin with, you will need to become an expert in reading the ingredients on food labels and become a detective for gluten in the food that is not labeled.
These are the foods and products of gluten containing ingredients to AVOID:
- Bromated flour
- Durum flour
- Enriched flour
- Graham Flour
- Matzo meal/flour
- Malt or malt flavoring (can be made from barley)
- Malt vinegar (made from barley)
- Phosphated flour
- Plain flour
- Self-rising flour
- Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
- Wheat starch
- Wheat bran
- Wheat germ
- Cracked wheat
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- White flour
There are many other products that contain gluten that you will also need to avoid. Read the labels on each of these:
- Beer and other grain-based alcohol
- Brown rice syrup
- Caramel color
- Communion wafers
- Dairy substitutes
- Dry roasted nuts
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Imitation seafood
- Lipstick, lip gloss, chapstick
- Luncheon meats
- Malt flavoring
- Modified food starch
- Play clay
- Postage stamps
- Salad dressings
- Soups, bouillon, broths
- Soy sauce
- Wheat-free products - this does not mean gluten-free
so you still need to read the list of ingredients
- Medications - gluten containing fillers can be found in some prescription and over-the-counter medications. You can check the list of ingredients, ask the pharmacist or your doctor, and/or use the resource at the end for more information.
There is some controversy surrounding whether or not it is safe to consume oats. Studies have shown that it is safe for people with celiac disease to consume oats. Unfortunately, oats are frequently contaminated with wheat, rye, or barley.
There are many oat products that are gluten-free, but without the testing to ensure that they have not been contaminated it is best to avoid oats.
Cross-contamination is a potential problem in other areas that needs to be monitored. Whenever products containing gluten touch a bowl, utensil, or cutting board there is a risk of it getting into the gluten-free food. Other possibilities for cross-contamination are:
- Toaster/toaster oven - use a separate toaster
- Crumbs being left in jams, butter, condiments - use squeeze containers
- Storage - make a separate space in cabinets and refrigerator
- Double dipping - make sure that no one sticks utensils or food in gluten-free foods
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