An Ideal Diet for Celiac Disease: Healthy Eating Tips to Remember

gluten-free market labels

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  • As the Celiac Disease Foundation points out, a strict and lifelong gluten-free diet is the “remedy” for this chronic and autoimmune illness
  • A gluten-free diet isn’t as simple as just buying and eating gluten-free foods — you need to have commitment and diligence to watch what you eat

Unlike other illnesses, celiac disease does not require medication or surgery.1 As the Celiac Disease Foundation points out, a strict and lifelong gluten-free diet is the "remedy" for this chronic and autoimmune illness.2

Incorporate These Gluten-Free Options Into Your Diet

Here's a guide to help you pick the best foods for celiac disease:3,4

Beans (red kidney, garbanzo, pinto, black eyed or large lima5)

Seeds (chia, pumpkin or sunflower)

Nuts (pecans, macadamias, pistachios or walnuts)

Organic and pasture-raised eggs

Organic, raw and grass-fed meats (aren't breaded, batter-coated or marinated)

Fish (wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and herring that aren't breaded, batter-coated or marinated)

Unlimited amounts of organically grown, GMO-free fruits and vegetables

Raw, grass-fed milk or yogurt

Healthy fat sources (raw and grass-fed butter, coconuts and coconut oil, olives and olive oil and avocados)

Although there are grains that contain high amounts of gluten, there are varieties that are "celiac disease-friendly," namely:6

Amaranth

Arrowroot

Buckwheat

Flax

Millet

Quinoa

Sorghum

Tapioca

Include these beverages too:7,8

Water: filtered using a high-quality filtration system and not bottled

Black coffee: made from fresh, organic and whole coffee beans that are properly dried and roasted and without added sugar or cream

Green tea: ideally organic and grown in a pristine and clean environment

Vegetable or fruit juices: made with organic vegetables or fruits. Fruit juices should be consumed in moderation, though, because of potentially high amounts of fructose

Foods to Avoid If You Have Celiac Disease

Celiac disease patients must refrain from eating foods with gluten. First, eliminate foods that are made from or contain these grains and flours:9,10

Grains Flours
Barley11 Durum flour
Rye Graham flour
Triticale White flour
Wheat Self-rising flour
Wheat products like farina, kamut, semolina, spelt and tabbouleh
Couscous

Moreover, don't eat these unless they're labeled "gluten-free" or made from gluten-free ingredients:12,13,14,15

Baked goods like croutons, breads, pies, cakes, pastries,16 biscuits or crackers

Pasta or udon noodles

Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Processed foods like imitation meat or seafood and luncheon meats

Seasoned rice mixes and snacks like tortilla or potato chips

Gravies, sauces (such as soy sauce) and salad dressings

Vegetables in sauce

Soups and soup bases

Refrain from drinking these beverages, since they might be made using ingredients with traces of gluten:17

Instant drinks (coffee, herbal teas or cocoa with grains)

Malted milk

Chocolate or flavored milk with cereal fillers

Rice or soy beverages containing barley enzymes

Beer and root beer

Ales

Lagers

Malted wine coolers

Beverages with flavoring syrups that are of unknown origin

Cereal grain or malt beverages

Additional Reminders When Looking for Gluten-Free Options

A gluten-free diet isn't as simple as just buying and eating gluten-free foods18 — you need to have commitment and diligence to watch what you eat. Here are techniques that can help make you feel like you're having a positive lifestyle change, and not doing a chore:19

Read labels: According to Gluten Free & More, "The key to understanding the gluten-free diet is to become a good label reader." Always read ingredient lists to make sure they don't have gluten.20 This is very important when you're just starting out, because gluten can be found in unexpected places or foods.21

Wheat-free isn't the same as gluten-free: Wheat-free products may still contain spelt-, rye- or barley-based ingredients that aren't gluten-free.

Better to be safe than sorry: If you're unable to verify if a particular food is gluten-free, isn't derived from gluten-rich grains or if the ingredients list itself is missing, don't eat it. Even if you eat a small portion of gluten that you weren't able to account for, this can lead to small intestine damage and may trigger symptoms.

Try one new food at a time: When adding new foods to your diet, introduce them to your system one by one. If your body experiences side effects after the introduction of a new food, you may want to recheck the label or do a "rechallenge" test of the same food, first, before adding another food item.

MORE ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac Disease: Introduction

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease In Children

Celiac Disease Causes

Celiac Disease Types

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Celiac Disease Treatment

Celiac Disease Prevention

Celiac Disease Diet

Celiac Disease FAQ

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