What are considerations for diet for celiac disease?

A recommended diet for celiac disease is free of gluten (found in most cereal, grains, pasta, many processed foods), rye, and barley. Removing gluten from the diet will improve symptoms, help heal damage to the small intestine, and prevent further damage over time.

Gluten free foods such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, rice are part of a well-balanced diet. Other options are gluten-free types of bread, pasta, potato, soy, quinoa, buckwheat, or bean flour instead of wheat flour.

In the past, doctors and dietitians advised against eating oats for people with celiac disease. Evidence suggests that most people with the disease can safely eat moderate amounts of oats, as long as they did not come in contact with wheat gluten during processing.

When shopping and eating out, remember to:

  • read food labels especially on canned, frozen, and processed foods—for ingredients that contain gluten
  • identify foods labelled “gluten-free” …. by law, these foods must contain less than 20 parts per million, well below the threshold to cause problems in the patients with celiac disease
  • ask restaurant servers and chefs about how they prepare the food and what is in it
  • find out whether a gluten-free menu is available

Always discuss gluten-free food choices with a dietitian or health care professional who specializes in celiac disease, and check whether to include items such as oats your diet.


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