Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats.
Although Celiac disease cannot be prevented, its symptoms and effects can be reversed or controlled with a gluten-free diet. As with any special diet, there are certain foods to avoid, and there are others that work with the body to maintain a healthy, balanced digestive system.
Foods to Avoid
- Breaded foods
- Breads, bagels, croissants, buns
- Cakes, donuts and pies
- Pancakes and waffles
- Cereals (except those made without barley or malt)
- Cold cuts, hot dogs, salami or sausage
- Crackers and many other packaged snacks, such as potato chips and tortilla chips
- Pasta and pizza
- Soups (most)
- Candies (some)
- Communion breads
- Marinades, sauces, soy and teriyaki sauces
- Salad dressings (some)
- Self-basing turkey
Many food manufacturers are responding to the need for more gluten-free food choices. You may be able to purchase or prepare a gluten-free alternative for some of the above items.
*Check food labels for the risk of cross-contamination. Items that are naturally gluten-free may become contaminated if they are made on the same production line as, or moved together in same place as foods containing gluten.
- Cereals made without wheat or barley malt, such as rice or corn cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry and fish (not breaded or made with regular gravies)
- Milk-based items, such as milk, cream buttermilk, natural yogurt, natural cream cheese, natural cottage cheese and natural sour cream (avoid products with additives, flavors or seasonings, which may be potential gluten sources)
- Potatoes, rice, corn, beans
- Bread items made with alternative grains (pasta, bread, pancakes and pastries); alternative grains may include, rice, buckwheat, tapioca, potato or corn flours and starches
There are a number of gluten-free apps available for smartphone users (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.) which may be particularly useful for newly diagnosed patients.