A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein, gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.
A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
Initially, following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating. But with time, patience and creativity, you’ll find there are many foods that you can eat and enjoy while observing a gluten-free diet.
Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. It’s not clear whether oats are harmful for most people with celiac disease, but doctors generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free. The question of whether people eating a gluten-free diet can consume pure oat products remains a subject of scientific debate. Many other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth may contain gluten. Such as:
- Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
- Lipstick and lip balms
- Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
- Play dough
Cross-contamination may also occur anywhere ingredients come together, such as on a cutting board or a grill surface. You may be exposed to gluten by using the same utensils as others, such as a bread knife, or by sharing the same condiment containers-the condiment bottle may touch the bun, or a knife with bread crumbs may contaminate a margarine stick or mayonnaise jar.
|GLUTEN-FREE FOODS||FOODS TO AVOID|
|Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)||Kamut|
|Hominy grits||Matzo meal|
|Pure corn tortillas||Semolina|
|Quinoa*||Speit (a form of wheat)|
|Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)||Beers|
|Most dairy products||Cakes and pies|
|Wine and distilled liquors, ciders and spirits||Croutons|
|Imitation meats and seafood|
|Processed luncheon meats|
|Sauces (including soy sauce)|
*check the label when buying amaranth, buck wheat and quinoa. These can be contaminated with gluten during processing.
***Not sticking to a gluten-free –
If you accidentally eat a product that contains gluten, you may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some people experience no signs or symptoms after eating gluten, but that doesn’t mean it’s not damaging their small intestines. Even trace amounts of gluten in your diet may be damaging, whether or not they cause signs or symptoms.