A gluten-free diet is a diet that doesn’t contain any gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and (sometimes) oats. Many foods, like bread, pasta, pizza, cereals, and crackers, have gluten in them. People that are on a gluten-free diet should not eat any foods with gluten.
People with a condition called celiac disease should be on a gluten-free diet. Celiac disease is a condition that affects the body’s ability to break down certain foods. People with celiac disease get sick if they eat foods with gluten. They need to be on a strict gluten-free diet for their whole life.
If you think you have celiac disease, don’t start a gluten-free diet until after you are tested for the disease. That’s because what you eat can affect your test results.
More and more, though, people without celiac disease are eating a gluten-free diet. They might have heard that this diet can help them reduce or feel better. It’s true that a gluten-free diet can be healthy. But it also sometimes keeps people from getting all the nutrition they have. If you’re considering being on a gluten-free diet, ask your Gastroenterologist if it is a good selection for you.
To get started, you may work with a dietitian (food expert) or other professional who has experience with a gluten-free diet. He or she will:
• Teach you which foods are fine to eat and which foods you should avoid
• Help you plan balanced meals so that you get the nutrition you need
• Give you gluten-free recipes
• Help you find gluten-free substitutes for your favorite foods (such as pasta or cookies)
It may be hard to find a way to manage a gluten-free diet, especially initially. But it always gets easier with practice and over time.
Foods that are gluten free and fine to eat include the following:
• Rice, corn, potatoes, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and soybeans
• Special flours, pasta, and other products made from these foods and labeled “gluten free”
• Fruits and vegetables
• Meat and eggs
• Wine and distilled alcoholic drinks, like rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey
Milk, cheese, and other dairy foods are also gluten free. But many people with celiac disease have trouble digesting these foods, especially at first. Gastroenterologists usually recommend that people with celiac disease avoid eating dairy products, at least for a short time, while their intestines are healing.
You need to avoid all foods made from wheat, rye, and barley. Ask your Gastroenterologist or dietitian if you can eat oats.
Many types of foods contain or might contain gluten, such as:
• Flour, breads, crackers, muffins, and baking mixes
• Pasta, pastries, and cereals
• Some sauces, spreads, spices, condiments, and salad dressings
• Processed meats and meat substitutes (like vegetarian burgers)
• Beers, ales, lagers, and malt vinegars
To know exactly which foods you can eat, you will have to read ingredient labels. Foods that are labelled “gluten free” or say they’re made or processed in a “gluten-free facility” are fine to eat. Foods that contain wheat don’t seem to be fine to eat. If you are unsure whether a food is gluten free, call the company. Their phone number should be on the package.
Some medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter) and vitamin supplements contain a little amount of gluten. But you’ll still be able to take most sorts of pills if you’ve got a disorder. consult with your Gastroenterologist if you’re unsure.
You might. disorder can keep your system from normally absorbing the nutrients in foods. to induce all the nutrients you wish, your Gastroenterologist might recommend that you just take a daily vitamin.
Yes. Many restaurants now have gluten-free menus or foods. But always let the restaurant know you cannot have gluten. That way, they will be extra careful after they cook your food.
If your child is on a gluten-free diet, let his or her caregivers, teachers, and school know. Tell them which foods your child can and can’t eat. If your child goes to high school, you may want to leave a gluten-free treat with the teacher. That way, your child will have a secure treat when the class features a party.