Fight Celiac Disease With These Foods

  • Celiac disease is a condition that prevents the proper digestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Unless patients with celiac disease adhere to a lifelong gluten-free diet, they run the risk of damaging their small intestine. That, in turn, prevents the absorption of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed to stay healthy. If you've just been diagnosed and are faced with a making a major change in your eating habits, it may seem overwhelming. But here are some good foods that can make the transition a little easier:
  • Meats and Fish You can still eat fresh beef, poultry and fish. But steer clear of prepackaged meat – lunch meat, hot dogs – because these can contain additives that are harmful to you.
  • Grains You’ll have to avoid wheat, rye and barley. But there are some good substitutes, including buckwheat. Other foods to try: chickpeas and sunflower seeds.
  • Produce No fresh fruit or vegetable is off limits on a gluten-free eating plan. You can also add herbs and spices for more flavorful dishes.
  • Fats and Oils You can still use vegetable, canola and olive oils. Some manufacturers of salad dressing have agreed to include gluten in their ingredient list if it’s there. If you have any doubt about a particular dressing, visit the company’s website, or find out from one of the many websites devoted to gluten-free eating.
  • Refrigerated Foods Good news: You can still eat dairy products such as milk, half and half, cheese, butter and margarine, cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, rice and tapioca puddings.
  • Nuts Plain nuts, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, as well as dried beans and peas are all acceptable.
  • Canned fruits and apple and cranberry sauces like are okay to eat. Canned beans, lentils, sardines, gluten-free pastas and sauces, and corn tortillas are all great sources for a gluten-free diet.
  • Condiments Steer clear of malt vinegar, but other types of vinegars are acceptable. You’ve got a number of other choices, too: Mustard, ketchup, horseradish sauce, different types of jelly, maple syrup, relish, pickles, and olives.
  • Drinks Check the labels of flavored coffee and flavored tea to ensure that gluten isn’t an ingredient. Fruit juices and most sodas and sparking waters are all OK to drink.
  • Baking Supplies The essentials like salt and pepper are still okay to use in moderation. As mentioned before, most spices are ok to use as well. You can use baking soda, baking powder and cocoa. But be very careful that the flour you use is gluten-free.