The Gluten-Free Diet


Gluten-Free

Eating a gluten-free diet is essential for people with celiac disease. You must avoid all foods that contain wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye and barley (malt). This means avoiding most grain, pasta, cereal, and many processed foods.

The good news

Despite these restrictions, people with celiac disease can eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods, including breads and pasta made from non-wheat flours, such as flours made from potato, rice, soy or beans. A growing number of food companies now sell gluten-free bread, pasta, and many other satisfying foods and snacks.

Getting good takes practice

  • Following a gluten-free diet can seem challenging at first. After all, you need to take a whole new approach to eating. People with celiac disease must always be careful about what they eat at school or at work, at parties, for snacks on the run. It means learning to study menus for hidden sources of gluten. It's often necessary to ask the waiter or chef about ingredients used in preparing dishes. However, with practice, screening for gluten becomes second nature and people learn to recognize which foods are safe and which are off limits.

There's help in going gluten-free

Dieticians are healthcare professionals who specialize in food and nutrition. It's a good idea to make one a part of your healthcare team if you have celiac disease. They can help create a diet plan that works for you. Ask your doctor if you need help finding a dietician. Support groups can also help with tips for adjusting to a new way of eating with celiac disease.