Share

Gluten-Free Diet Contributions by ColleenO

Article Revisions

Enter section content...

... (more)

Following a gluten-free diet can be difficult to adjust to, especially if you have been recently diagnosed with celiac disease. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed MyPyramid, which provides guidelines for healthy eating and focuses on six food groups. While MyPyramid is intended for the general population, below are some suggestions for eating gluten-free while following the USDA’s food guidelines.

Grains

Out of all of the food groups, the grain group poses the most problems for people with celiac disease. This is because many of these products contain gluten. But there are gluten-free choices, including:

link text
Quinoa = Gluten Free!

- Amaranth - Bean flour - Corn flour and corn meal - Potato flour - Rice flour and rice - Soy flour - Flax - Millet - Quinoa - Oats—These are naturally gluten-free, but are often processed with wheat products. Some companies sell “uncontaminated” oats.

When shopping, check the food label to see if the product is labeled as “gluten-free.” Regular grocery stores may offer some of these products, but natural food stores will have a larger selection—like gluten-free breads, cereals, pasta, and tortillas. You can also order these products online.

How Much Per Day? 5-8 ounces, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Vegetables

link text
All Vegetables work (but avoid breaded!)

You can eat nearly all types of fresh, frozen, and canned veggies. You should avoid vegetables in sauce since sauces could contain gluten. Also avoid any veggies that are breaded, as well as French fries. Other than that, you can enjoy a variety of veggies during your day, like broccoli, lettuce, spinach, carrots, corn, peas, and eggplant.

How Much Per Day? 2-3 cups, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Fruits

As with the veggie group, you will be able to enjoy a range of fresh and frozen fruits. Most canned fruits are also safe to eat, especially those that are packed in natural juices. But double-check the label for any gluten additives. If you like dried fruit, remember to look at the list of ingredients. Some dried fruits have been dusted with flour to prevent the pieces from sticking together. You will need to avoid fruits in sauce and fruit pie fillings since these, too, may have additives.

link text
Dried fruits often contain wheat

A Note About Additives: Many additives contain gluten. To follow a gluten-free diet, familiarize yourself with these additives so that you will be able to spot them on food labels. There are some additives that are safe for you to eat. A few examples include gelatin, maltodextrin, sorbitol, and xanthan gum.

How Much Per Day? 1½ to 2 cups, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Dairy

All types of products made from milk fall into this category. Many people with celiac disease also develop a sensitivity to dairy. If dairy isn't a problem for you, good gluten-free options include aged cheeses, plain yogurt, and cream. Fresh, dried, and evaporated milk are all okay for you to consume. Avoid malted milk since it has barley and wheat. Also, keep in mind that chocolate milk and other flavored milk drinks may have gluten. Be sure to read the labels of cheese sauces and spreads, which may contain additives. In addition, flavored yogurt, frozen yogurt, and ice cream may have either additives or ingredients (like cookie dough or granola) that include gluten.

How Much Per Day? 3 cups

Meats and Beans

link text
Fresh Fish - Gluten-free & Delicious!

You have a lot of options with this food group. Fresh fish, poultry, and meat are all safe to eat. You can also have eggs, tuna canned in oil or water, plain nuts, and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils). Try to avoid processed meats, like cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausages, which may have wheat fillers. Meat marinades, flavorings, and seasonings should also be on the “do not eat” list. Also keep in mind that imitation seafood and meat (eg, veggie burgers), as well as anything breaded, contain gluten.

How Much Per Day? 5 to 6½ ounces, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Fats and Oils

Many people get fat in their diet by eating common oils like olive, canola, and corn oil. Other sources of fat include nuts, olives, oily fish (eg, salmon), avocados, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and butter. Mayonnaise and some salad dressings and margarines may contain gluten, but gluten-free varieties are available in stores and online.

How Much Per Day? 6-7 teaspoons, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

... (more)

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and numerous other foods and additives that contain or are made from these ingredients. Gluten can also be found in many non-food items, such as medicines, lipstick, and stamp adhesives.

Why Should I Follow a Gluten-Free Diet?

If you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, your body is unable to digest gluten. Consuming gluten may result in symptoms such as cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. The only treatment is to eliminate gluten from your diet. Following a gluten-free diet can reverse any intestinal damage and nutrient deficiencies that may have occurred as a result of consuming gluten.

People who do not have celiac disease and are not officially gluten intolerant still might benefit from reducing or eliminating gluten-containing foods in their diet. Many people who do this report positive outcomes such as a general sense of enhanced well-being, clearer thinking, and better energy levels.

Gluten-Free Diet Basics

On a gluten-free diet, gluten is completely avoided, as any amount of gluten can cause damage to the small intestine of someone with gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease. Learning how to eat gluten-free can be challenging, since gluten is found in many common foods, such as cereals, breads, and pasta. The Gluten Free Food Pyramid is a good guide for balancing the diet without these food groups.

Gluten is often found in unsuspecting foods, such as frozen yogurt, soy sauce, and beer. Fortunately, there are many gluten-free alternatives, making it possible—with a little practice and help from a nutritionist or registered dietitian—to still eat a well-balanced, satisfying diet. Some people also find online resources and support groups helpful.

Foods to Avoid

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid all foods containing:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (in most cases)

Note: This list includes most bread, pasta, cereal, and processed foods. Special gluten-free breads and pastas are available. They are made with potato, rice, soy, or bean flour. Doctors are still uncertain as to whether people with Celiac Disease must avoid all foods containing oats.

Many people with gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease also become lactose intolerant. If you are lactose intolerant, you may also need to avoid milk products. The good news is that, in some people, lactose intolerance resolves after following a gluten-free diet.

Managing the Diet

Maintaining a gluten-free diet requires a lot of vigilance since gluten is included in many unexpected foods and beverages. When buying processed and packaged foods, carefully read all labels. If you are unsure if a food contains gluten, don’t eat it until you find out definitively. Calling the manufacturer of the food can sometimes be helpful in this regard.

A short (but by no means exhaustive) list of other foods that contain gluten include:

  • Flavored coffee
  • Beer
  • Tuna in vegetable broth
  • Packaged rice mixes
  • Some frozen potatoes
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Commercially prepared vegetables, salads, and salad dressings
  • Pudding
  • Some ice cream

Eating Out

Ordering at restaurants can also be challenging since many foods on the menu may contain gluten. Rather than shying away from eating at restaurants, however, call ahead and see if you can get details on what ingredients they use in their foods. Many restaurants will be cooperative in this regard.

Shopping for Gluten-Free Foods

Due to an increased awareness of gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease, there are an increasing number of gluten-free foods available in mainstream grocery stores and health food stores. When shopping for foods, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the available food products and figuring out which are gluten-free. It helps to begin with loading up on fresh foods that are naturally gluten-free, such as fruits and vegetables, milk, unprocessed cheese, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and tofu. Then, add gluten-free sources of grain, such as rice, corn tortillas, and grits. These foods should be the staple of your diet. You can then supplement with snack foods, sweets, condiments, and special gluten-free items.

When choosing food products, be sure to read the labels carefully. In the US and Canada, food manufacturers must list whether a product has any of the most common allergens, including wheat.

... (more)

Celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/ . Accessed January 3, 2010.

The gluten-free diet. Canadian Celiac Association website. Available at: http://www.celiac.ca/EnglishCCA/egfdiet2.html#allowed . Accessed January 3, 2010.

Gluten-free diet guide for families. Children’s Digestive Health and Disease Foundation website. Available at: http://www.cdhnf.o... . Accessed January 3, 2010.

Raymond N, Heap J, Case S. The gluten-free diet: an update for health professionals. University of Virginia Health System website. Available at: http://www.healths... . Published September 2006. Accessed January 3, 2010.

... (more)

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and numerous other foods and additives that contain or are made from these ingredients. Gluten can also be found in many non-food items, such as medicines, lipstick, and stamp adhesives.

Why Should I Follow a Gluten-Free Diet?

If you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, your body is unable to digest gluten. Consuming gluten may result in symptoms such as cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. The only treatment is to eliminate gluten from your diet. Following a gluten-free diet can reverse any intestinal damage and nutrient deficiencies that may have occurred as a result of consuming gluten.

People who do not have celiac disease and are not officially gluten intolerant still might benefit from reducing or eliminating gluten-containing foods in their diet. Many people who do this report positive outcomes such as a general sense of enhanced well-being, clearer thinking, and better energy levels.

Gluten-Free Diet Basics

On a gluten-free diet, gluten is completely avoided, as any amount of gluten can cause damage to the small intestine of someone with gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease. Learning how to eat gluten-free can be challenging, since gluten is found in many common foods, such as cereals, breads, and pasta. The Gluten Free Food Pyramid is a good guide for balancing the diet without these food groups.

Gluten is often found in unsuspecting foods, such as frozen yogurt, soy sauce, and beer. Fortunately, there are many gluten-free alternatives, making it possible—with a little practice and help from a nutritionist or registered dietitian—to still eat a well-balanced, satisfying diet. Some people also find online resources and support groups helpful.

Foods to Avoid

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid all foods containing:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (in most cases)

Note: This list includes most bread, pasta, cereal, and processed foods. Special gluten-free breads and pastas are available. They are made with potato, rice, soy, or bean flour. Doctors are still uncertain as to whether people with Celiac Disease must avoid all foods containing oats.

Many people with gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease also become lactose intolerant. If you are lactose intolerant, you may also need to avoid milk products. The good news is that, in some people, lactose intolerance resolves after following a gluten-free diet.

Managing the Diet

Maintaining a gluten-free diet requires a lot of vigilance since gluten is included in many unexpected foods and beverages. When buying processed and packaged foods, carefully read all labels. If you are unsure if a food contains gluten, don’t eat it until you find out definitively. Calling the manufacturer of the food can sometimes be helpful in this regard.

A short (but by no means exhaustive) list of other foods that contain gluten include:

  • Flavored coffee
  • Beer
  • Tuna in vegetable broth
  • Packaged rice mixes
  • Some frozen potatoes
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Commercially prepared vegetables, salads, and salad dressings
  • Pudding
  • Some ice cream

Eating Out

Ordering at restaurants can also be challenging since many foods on the menu may contain gluten. Rather than shying away from eating at restaurants, however, call ahead and see if you can get details on what ingredients they use in their foods. Many restaurants will be cooperative in this regard.

Shopping for Gluten-Free Foods

Due to an increased awareness of gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease, there are an increasing number of gluten-free foods available in mainstream grocery stores and health food stores. When shopping for foods, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the available food products and figuring out which are gluten-free. It helps to begin with loading up on fresh foods that are naturally gluten-free, such as fruits and vegetables, milk, unprocessed cheese, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and tofu. Then, add gluten-free sources of grain, such as rice, corn tortillas, and grits. These foods should be the staple of your diet. You can then supplement with snack foods, sweets, condiments, and special gluten-free items.

When choosing food products, be sure to read the labels carefully. In the US and Canada, food manufacturers must list whether a product has any of the most common allergens, including wheat.

... (more)

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and numerous other foods and additives that contain or are made from these ingredients. Gluten can also be found in many non-food items, such as medicines, lipstick, and stamp adhesives.

Why Should I Follow a Gluten-Free Diet?

If you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, your body is unable to digest gluten. Consuming gluten may result in symptoms such as cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. The only treatment is to eliminate gluten from your diet. Following a gluten-free diet can reverse any intestinal damage and nutrient deficiencies that may have occurred as a result of consuming gluten.

People who do not have celiac disease and are not officially gluten intolerant still might benefit from reducing or eliminating gluten-containing foods in their diet. Many people who do this report positive outcomes such as a general sense of enhanced well-being, clearer thinking, and better energy levels.

Gluten-Free Diet Basics

On a gluten-free diet, gluten is completely avoided, as any amount of gluten can cause damage to the small intestine of someone with gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease. Learning how to eat gluten-free can be challenging, since gluten is found in many common foods, such as cereals, breads, and pasta. The Gluten Free Food Pyramid is a good guide for balancing the diet without these food groups.

Gluten is often found in unsuspecting foods, such as frozen yogurt, soy sauce, and beer. Fortunately, there are many gluten-free alternatives, making it possible—with a little practice and help from a nutritionist or registered dietitian—to still eat a well-balanced, satisfying diet. Some people also find online resources and support groups helpful.

Foods to Avoid

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid all foods containing:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (in most cases)

Note: This list includes most bread, pasta, cereal, and processed foods. Special gluten-free breads and pastas are available. They are made with potato, rice, soy, or bean flour. Doctors are still uncertain as to whether people with Celiac Disease must avoid all foods containing oats.

Many people with gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease also become lactose intolerant. If you are lactose intolerant, you may also need to avoid milk products. The good news is that, in some people, lactose intolerance resolves after following a gluten-free diet.

Managing the Diet

Maintaining a gluten-free diet requires a lot of vigilance since gluten is included in many unexpected foods and beverages. When buying processed and packaged foods, carefully read all labels. If you are unsure if a food contains gluten, don’t eat it until you find out definitively. Calling the manufacturer of the food can sometimes be helpful in this regard.

A short (but by no means exhaustive) list of other foods that contain gluten include:

  • Flavored coffee
  • Beer
  • Tuna in vegetable broth
  • Packaged rice mixes
  • Some frozen potatoes
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Commercially prepared vegetables, salads, and salad dressings
  • Pudding
  • Some ice cream

Eating Out

Ordering at restaurants can also be challenging since many foods on the menu may contain gluten. Rather than shying away from eating at restaurants, however, call ahead and see if you can get details on what ingredients they use in their foods. Many restaurants will be cooperative in this regard.

Shopping for Gluten-Free Foods

Due to an increased awareness of gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease, there are an increasing number of gluten-free foods available in mainstream grocery stores and health food stores. When shopping for foods, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the available food products and figuring out which are gluten-free. It helps to begin with loading up on fresh foods that are naturally gluten-free, such as fruits and vegetables, milk, unprocessed cheese, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and tofu. Then, add gluten-free sources of grain, such as rice, corn tortillas, and grits. These foods should be the staple of your diet. You can then supplement with snack foods, sweets, condiments, and special gluten-free items.

When choosing food products, be sure to read the labels carefully. In the US and Canada, food manufacturers must list whether a product has any of the most common allergens, including wheat.

... (more)

A lifelong, gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. Fortunately, it is extremely effective. Symptoms often go away within days of starting the diet. (Some symptoms, such as certain dental problems, may be permanent). Complete healing, however, of damaged villi lining the intestines may take months or years.

Additional intake of gluten can damage the intestine, even if you have no symptoms. Nutritional supplements, given intravenously, may be needed if the intestinal damage is significant and does not heal.

Since gluten is present in many foods (eg, bread and pasta) and it is often an additive to many foods, the diet can be complicated and frustrating. Many patients people seek the help of a dietitian in meal planning. Some patients find support groups helpful.

... (more)

Following a gluten-free diet can be difficult to adjust to, especially if you have been recently diagnosed with celiac disease. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed MyPyramid, which provides guidelines for healthy eating and focuses on six food groups. While MyPyramid is intended for the general population, below are some suggestions for eating gluten-free while following the USDA’s food guidelines.

Grains

Out of all of the food groups, the grain group poses the most problems for people with celiac disease. This is because many of these products contain gluten. But there are gluten-free choices, including:

  • Amaranth
  • Bean flour
  • Corn flour and corn meal
  • Potato flour
  • Rice flour and rice
  • Soy flour
  • Flax
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Oats—These are naturally gluten-free, but are often processed with wheat products. Some companies sell “uncontaminated” oats.

When shopping, check the food label to see if the product is labeled as “gluten-free.” Regular grocery stores may offer some of these products, but natural food stores will have a larger selection—like gluten-free breads, cereals, pasta, and tortillas. You can also order these products online.

How Much Per Day? 5-8 ounces, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Vegetables

You can eat nearly all types of fresh, frozen, and canned veggies. You should avoid vegetables in sauce since sauces could contain gluten. Also avoid any veggies that are breaded, as well as French fries. Other than that, you can enjoy a variety of veggies during your day, like broccoli, lettuce, spinach, carrots, corn, peas, and eggplant.

How Much Per Day? 2-3 cups, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Fruits

As with the veggie group, you will be able to enjoy a range of fresh and frozen fruits. Most canned fruits are also safe to eat, especially those that are packed in natural juices. But double-check the label for any gluten additives. If you like dried fruit, remember to look at the list of ingredients. Some dried fruits have been dusted with flour to prevent the pieces from sticking together. You will need to avoid fruits in sauce and fruit pie fillings since these, too, may have additives.

A Note About Additives: Many additives contain gluten. To follow a gluten-free diet, familiarize yourself with these additives so that you will be able to spot them on food labels. There are some additives that are safe for you to eat. A few examples include gelatin, maltodextrin, sorbitol, and xanthan gum.

How Much Per Day? 1½ to 2 cups, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Dairy

All types of products made from milk fall into this category. Many people with celiac disease also develop a sensitivity to dairy. If dairy isn't a problem for you, good gluten-free options include aged cheeses, plain yogurt, and cream. Fresh, dried, and evaporated milk are all okay for you to consume. Avoid malted milk since it has barley and wheat. Also, keep in mind that chocolate milk and other flavored milk drinks may have gluten.

Be sure to read the labels of cheese sauces and spreads, which may contain additives. In addition, flavored yogurt, frozen yogurt, and ice cream may have either additives or ingredients (like cookie dough or granola) that include gluten.

How Much Per Day? 3 cups

Meats and Beans

You have a lot of options with this food group. Fresh fish, poultry, and meat are all safe to eat. You can also have eggs, tuna canned in oil or water, plain nuts, and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils). Try to avoid processed meats, like cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausages, which may have wheat fillers. Meat marinades, flavorings, and seasonings should also be on the “do not eat” list. Also keep in mind that imitation seafood and meat (eg, veggie burgers), as well as anything breaded, contain gluten.

How Much Per Day? 5 to 6½ ounces, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

Fats and Oils

Many people get fat in their diet by eating common oils like olive, canola, and corn oil. Other sources of fat include nuts, olives, oily fish (eg, salmon), avocados, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and butter. Mayonnaise and some salad dressings and margarines may contain gluten, but gluten-free varieties are available in stores and online.

How Much Per Day? 6-7 teaspoons, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity

... (more)

A gluten-free diet is an a necessary and effective treatment for celiac disease. By eliminating gluten, the offending substance, you can halt the damage and many of the symptoms caused by the body's reaction to gluten. Abstaining from gluten allows the villi lining the intestines to heal. This may take months or years. Eventually, the intestines will be more capable of performing their essential role of absorbing nutrients from the diet.

... (more)

Following a gluten-free diet can be challenging in our gluten-filled world. Fortunately, an increasing number of gluten-free products are available to help. Also, due to rising awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, more people are coming together online and in person to support each other and share resources.

Foods to Avoid

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid all foods containing:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (in most cases)
  • Note: This list includes most bread, pasta, cereal, and processed foods. Special gluten-free breads and pastas are available. They are made with potato, rice, soy, or bean flour.

Doctors are still uncertain as to whether people with celiac disease must avoid all foods containing oats. Research is currently underway to answer this question. Until these studies are completed, ask your doctor for advice about eating oats. Many people with celiac disease also become lactose intolerant. If you are lactose intolerant, you may also need to avoid milk products. In some people, lactose intolerance resolves after following a gluten-free diet.

Managing the Diet

Maintaining a gluten-free diet requires a lot of vigilance since gluten is included in many unexpected foods and beverages. When buying processed and packaged foods, carefully read all labels. If you are unsure if a food contains gluten, don’t eat it until you find out definitively. Calling the manufacturer of the food can sometimes be helpful in this regard.

A short (but by no means exhaustive) list of other foods that contain gluten include:

  • Flavored coffee
  • Beer
  • Tuna in vegetable broth
  • Packaged rice mixes
  • Some frozen potatoes
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Commercially prepared vegetables, salads, and salad dressings
  • Pudding
  • Some ice cream

Ordering at restaurants can also be challenging since many foods on the menu may contain gluten. Rather than shying away from eating at restaurants, however, call ahead and see if you can get details on what ingredients they use in their foods. Many restaurants will be cooperative in this regard.

... (more)

If, despite maintaining a gluten-free diet, your symptoms worsen or do not improve, contact your doctor.

... (more)

Following a gluten-free diet can be challenging in our gluten-filled world. Fortunately, an increasing number of gluten-free products are available to help. Also, due to rising awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, more people are coming together online and in person to support each other and share resources.

Foods to Avoid

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid all foods containing:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (in most cases)
  • Note: This list includes most bread, pasta, cereal, and processed foods. Special gluten-free breads and pastas are available. They are made with potato, rice, soy, or bean flour.

Doctors are still uncertain as to whether people with celiac disease must avoid all foods containing oats. Research is currently underway to answer this question. Until these studies are completed, ask your doctor for advice about eating oats. Many people with celiac disease also become lactose intolerant. If you are lactose intolerant, you may also need to avoid milk products. In some people, lactose intolerance resolves after following a gluten-free diet.

Managing the Diet

Maintaining a gluten-free diet requires a lot of vigilance since gluten is included in many unexpected foods and beverages. When buying processed and packaged foods, carefully read all labels. If you are unsure if a food contains gluten, don’t eat it until you find out definitively. Calling the manufacturer of the food can sometimes be helpful in this regard.

A short (but by no means exhaustive) list of other foods that contain gluten include:

  • Flavored coffee
  • Beer
  • Tuna in vegetable broth
  • Packaged rice mixes
  • Some frozen potatoes
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Commercially prepared vegetables, salads, and salad dressings
  • Pudding
  • Some ice cream

Ordering at restaurants can also be challenging since many foods on the menu may contain gluten. Rather than shying away from eating at restaurants, however, call ahead and see if you can get details on what ingredients they use in their foods. Many restaurants will be cooperative in this regard.

When to Contact Your Doctor

If, despite maintaining a gluten-free diet, your symptoms worsen or do not improve, contact your doctor.

... (more)

Since gluten is present in many foods (eg, bread and pasta) and it is often an additive to many foods, the following a gluten-free diet can be complicated and frustrating. Many patients people seek the help of a dietitian nutritionist in meal planning. Some patients find support groups helpful. Due to an increasing awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, online and in-person support resources are on the rise.

... (more)

Following a gluten-free diet can be challenging in our gluten-filled world. Fortunately, an increasing number of gluten-free products are available to help. Also, due to rising awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, more people are coming together online and in person to support each other and share resources.

Foods to Avoid

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid all foods containing:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (in most cases)
  • Note: This list includes most bread, pasta, cereal, and processed foods. Special gluten-free breads and pastas are available. They are made with potato, rice, soy, or bean flour.

Doctors are still uncertain as to whether people with celiac disease must avoid all foods containing oats. Research is currently underway to answer this question. Until these studies are completed, ask your doctor for advice about eating oats. Many people with celiac disease also become lactose intolerant. If you are lactose intolerant, you may also need to avoid milk products. In some people, lactose intolerance resolves after following a gluten-free diet.

Managing the Diet

Maintaining a gluten-free diet requires a lot of vigilance since gluten is included in many unexpected foods and beverages. When buying processed and packaged foods, carefully read all labels. If you are unsure if a food contains gluten, don’t eat it until you find out definitively. Calling the manufacturer of the food can sometimes be helpful in this regard.

A short (but by no means exhaustive) list of other foods that contain gluten include:

  • Flavored coffee
  • Beer
  • Tuna in vegetable broth
  • Packaged rice mixes
  • Some frozen potatoes
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Commercially prepared vegetables, salads, and salad dressings
  • Pudding
  • Some ice cream

Ordering at restaurants can also be challenging since many foods on the menu may contain gluten. Rather than shying away from eating at restaurants, however, call ahead and see if you can get details on what ingredients they use in their foods. Many restaurants will be cooperative in this regard.

... (more)

A gluten-free diet is a necessary and effective treatment for celiac disease. By eliminating gluten, the offending substance, you can halt the damage and many of the symptoms caused by the body's reaction to gluten. Abstaining from gluten allows the villi lining the intestines to heal. This may take months or years. Eventually, the intestines will be more capable of performing their essential role of absorbing nutrients from the diet.

... (more)

Since gluten is present in many foods and it is often an additive to many foods, following a gluten-free diet can be complicated and frustrating. Many people seek the help of a nutritionist in meal planning. Some patients find support groups helpful. Due to an increasing awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, online and in-person support resources are on the rise.

... (more)

A lifelong, gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. Fortunately, it is extremely effective. Symptoms often go away within days of starting the diet. (Some symptoms, such as certain dental problems, may be permanent). Complete healing, however, of damaged villi lining the intestines may take months or years.

Additional intake of gluten can damage the intestine, even if you have no symptoms. Nutritional supplements, given intravenously, may be needed if the intestinal damage is significant and does not heal.

Since gluten is present in many foods (eg, bread and pasta) and it is often an additive to many foods, the diet can be complicated and frustrating. Many people seek the help of a dietitian in meal planning. Some patients find support groups helpful.

... (more)

A gluten-free diet is a necessary and effective treatment for celiac disease. By eliminating gluten, the offending substance, you can halt the damage and many of the symptoms caused by the body's reaction to gluten. Abstaining from gluten allows the villi lining the intestines to heal. This may take months or years. Eventually, the intestines will be more capable of performing their essential role of absorbing nutrients from the diet.

... (more)

Experiences

Shared experience with Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Diet 8 years ago

I don't have celiac disease, but I've experimented with gluten-free eating to test myself for gluten sensitivity and also understand more about the experience of avoiding gluten. Most people would probably benefit from at least reducing the amount of gluten-containing foods in their diet, because those foods aren't usually all that nutritious (bread, pasta, cookies, etc.). It's an easy way to improve the quality of your overall diet.

I don't have celiac disease, but I've experimented with gluten-free eating to test myself for gluten sensitivity and also understand more about the experience of avoiding gluten. Most people would...

...
(more)