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Gluten-Free Diet: Diet Tips To Manage Celiac Disease, As Suggested By An Expert

Gluten-free diet for Celiac Disease: Being intolerant to gluten can make you have celiac disease. Here are the diet tips that you need to follow if you are suffering form this condition.

Gluten-Free Diet: Diet Tips To Manage Celiac Disease, As Suggested By An Expert

Gluten-free diet excludes foods with gluten like wheat and barley

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Celiac disease causes problems in your intestines
  2. The condition usually runs in families
  3. Having a gluten-free diet can help if you have Celiac disease

Celiac disease is a disorder that causes problems in your intestines when you eat gluten, which is a kind of protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten can harm intestines of people with celiac disease. It prevents your body from taking in many of the nutrients from the food you eat. These include vitamins, calcium, protein, carbohydrates, fats and other important nutrients. Your body stops working well with these nutrients.

More on celiac disease


Mostly, celiac disease runs in the family. One may have a tendency for a while without getting sick. Then something like severe stress, physical injury, infection, childbirth or surgery can aggravate your celiac disease. Most people with celiac disease never know that they have it. Researchers think that as few as 20 % of people with the disease get the right diagnosis. The damage to your intestine is very slow and symptoms are so varied that it can take years to get a diagnosis.

Also read: Gluten-Free Diet: Is Millet Roti Really Better Than Wheat Roti? Know A Nutritionist's Take

If following a gluten-free diet helps in preventing symptoms, it is a proof that you have celiac disease. Blood tests, serology (looks for antibodies), imaging tests and genetic testing can help your doctor diagnose celiac disease. It's necessary to have these blood tests done before you start a gluten-free diet. Also, dermatitis herpetiformis (celiac rash) is one of common symptoms of celiac disease and appears more in adults than in children. It is more common in men than in women.

Few common symptoms in adults and children include abdominal pain, bloating. anemia, constipation, diarrhoea, weight loss, foul smelling poop, nausea and fatigue.

Dietary modifications for celiac disease 

Gluten-free diet excludes all foods containing any form of wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Items like roti, breads, cakes, biscuits, rusks, pasta, pastries made of wheat flour are obvious sources of gluten.

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You cannot eat wheat in a gluten-free diet
Photo Credit: iStock

Inclusion of gluten-free grains can help add variety to the diet and improve nutritional density as well.

Also read: 3 Nutritious Gluten-Free Foods You Must Add To Your Diet

Foods to be avoided in celiac disease (which contain gluten):

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Spelt (species of wheat)
  • Kamut
  • Triticale

Foods which do not contain gluten

  • Cereals: Rice, Buckwheat, Maize, Bajra
  • Vegetables
  • Pulses
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs
  • Cheese and Milk
  • Others: Spirits, Wine, Liqueurs and ciders
  • Whiskey (except Malt whiskey)

Please note it is very important to read the food labels properly for checking the presence of any gluten containing food, also even if they are milled in a factory that handles gluten- containing flours there is always a risk of cross contamination.

Also there can be some food items where there can be hidden gluten in some form:

  • Gulab Jamun, Jalebi, Ghevar
  • Heeng ( Asafoetida)
  • Mustard (Powder/ Paste)
  • Ketchup
  • Soy Sauuce
  • Chocolates (some varieties)
  • Ice cream (some varities)
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Haleem
  • Processed meats (some varieties)
  • Bhel Puri

So there is nothing special about gluten-free cooking other than the fact that some ingredients are replaced with alternatives that are varied and interesting. Once you familarise yourself with the list of foods that can be safely be served, it is simply a matter of making delicious dishes that everyone can enjoy.

(Vandita Jain is Delhi-based nutritionist and Diabetes educator)


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