Top Foods to Avoid with Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease Diet: Tips for Celiac Disease Nutrition and Following a Gluten Free Diet

Gluten free diets have come into the limelight recently.  Some may believe that a gluten free diet is a “fad” diet or an eating plan that is hard to follow.  You may have even heard that a gluten free diet should not be followed because you won’t get enough fiber and will be short on nutrients if you eat this way.


The above statements couldn’t be further from the truth.  Eating a whole foods, gluten free diet is easy, full of nutrition, and can bring you immense digestive relief and can improve your health in ways you never imagined.  

For some with Celiac disease, eating gluten free is a must.  In celiac disease, consumption of gluten actually damages the intestinal lining and impairs the ability to absorb nutrients.  For those with gluten intolerance, eating gluten free is imperative as well and can help improve conditions ranging from IBS (bloating, constipation, reflux), skin irritations like eczema, brain fog, joint pain, and many other chronic conditions.  

Overview of Celiac Disease 

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs in people who are intolerant to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and when individuals with celiac disease consume it, their immune system triggers a harmful response that attacks the lining of the small intestine. This leads to damage and inflammation in the intestine that can cause chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, malabsorption of nutrients, and other health problems. Celiac disease affects approximately 1% of the global population and can be diagnosed at any age.

People who have Celiac Disease often experience a range of symptoms that can vary in severity depending on the individual. These symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition. For children, celiac disease can also delay growth and puberty. Celiac disease can increase the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes and thyroid disease, and can lead to complications such as anemia, osteoporosis, and neurological problems. The only known treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet, which requires avoiding all sources of gluten. With proper adherence to the diet, symptoms can improve, and intestinal damage can heal. However, it can be challenging to maintain a gluten-free diet, and accidental exposure to gluten can cause symptoms to return or worsen.

10 Foods to Eat with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance:

So, what can you eat on a gluten free diet?  Foods to focus on include:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Nuts, Seeds, Nut butters and Seeds butters
  4. Eggs, Fish, Beef, Poultry, Pork
  5. Cooking fats like Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, etc.
  6. Dairy Products (Butter, Cheese, Milk, Yogurt, etc)
  7. Beans and Legumes (black beans, lentils, etc)
  8. Herbs, spices, salt, pepper
  9. Naturally occurring gluten free grains like rice, quinoa, popcorn, gluten free oats, corn
  10. Beverages like water, 100% fruit juice, coffee, tea, kombucha, carbonated water

There are also plenty of gluten free alternatives on the market.  Gluten free alternatives such as gluten free bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, pizza, baked goods, flours, and so on are widely available.  Please note, if you do have celiac disease, choose gluten free alternatives that are verified by the celiac disease foundation in order to avoid cross contamination in your gluten free alternative products.  

9 Foods to avoid with celiac disease or gluten intolerance include, but aren’t limited to:

1. Wheat

2. Barley

3. Rye

4. Spelt

5. Malt and Malt Flavoring, and malt beverages

6. Semolina

7. Triticale

8. Modified Food Starch (if the starch is a wheat starch)

9. Oats (gluten free oats are suggested to avoid the cross contamination that occurs with processing oats)

Reading food labels can help you identify which food products contain gluten.  Some products to double check for gluten can include soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce, cream-based soups, some salad dressings, ice cream and candy. Also, those with celiac disease need to take care to ensure their topical products (lotion, chapstick, toothpastes, etc) are gluten free.  

Celiac Disease Meal Ideas and Recipes:

Eating gluten-free with Celiac Disease doesn't have to mean sacrificing taste or nutrition. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious gluten-free recipes and meal plans available. 

Here are some meal ideas and recipes for people with celiac disease:

  1. Gluten-free breakfast ideas:
  • Omelet with vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, peppers)
  • Gluten-free toast with avocado and eggs
  • Greek yogurt with berries and gluten-free granola
  1. Gluten-free lunch ideas:
  • Grilled chicken or fish with roasted vegetables (asparagus, zucchini, sweet potatoes)
  • Gluten-free wraps with grilled veggies, hummus, and beans
  • Gluten-free quinoa salad with mixed veggies and herbs
  1. Gluten-free dinner ideas:
  • Gluten-free pasta with tomato sauce and grilled vegetables
  • Gluten-free pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, and vegetables
  • Grilled fish or chicken with gluten-free bread crumbs and mixed veggies
  1. Gluten-free snack ideas:
  • Fresh fruits (apples, bananas, grapes, oranges)
  • Gluten-free rice cakes with hummus or nut butter
  • Gluten-free energy balls made with oats, nuts, and dried fruits
  1. Gluten-free dessert ideas:
  • Gluten-free apple crisp with almond flour and oats
  • Gluten-free chocolate pudding made with avocado and cocoa powder
  • Gluten-free fruit sorbet made with frozen fruit and coconut milk

Living with Celiac Disease requires a strict gluten-free diet. However, with the right recipes and ideas, people with celiac disease can enjoy a healthy and delicious diet. Working with a dietitian can help create a practical and diverse meal plan that accommodates the individual's preferences, lifestyle, and nutritional needs. They can assist with modifying recipes to make them gluten-free, ensuring that meals remain flavorful, balanced, and enjoyable.

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Tips for Eating Out With Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance:

When eating out on a gluten free diet or following a celiac disease diet, communicate your dietary needs with the wait staff/kitchen staff.  If you are diagnosed with celiac, a safe, gluten free facility is imperative to avoid cross contamination with gluten containing foods.  

When dining out with celiac disease, it's important to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and gluten-free dining experience. Here are some tips to help you navigate dining out with celiac disease:

1. Research and Plan Ahead: Before choosing a restaurant, do some research to find establishments that offer gluten-free options or have experience catering to individuals with dietary restrictions. Check their website or call ahead to inquire about their gluten-free offerings and their knowledge of cross-contamination prevention.

2. Communicate Clearly: When you arrive at the restaurant, inform your server about your dietary needs and the severity of your celiac disease. Clearly communicate that you require a strict gluten-free meal and emphasize the importance of avoiding cross-contamination.

3. Ask Questions: Don't hesitate to ask questions about the ingredients, preparation methods, and potential sources of cross-contamination. Inquire about shared cooking surfaces, fryers, or utensils that may have come into contact with gluten-containing ingredients.

4. Be Wary of Cross-Contamination: Even if a restaurant offers gluten-free options, there is still a risk of cross-contamination. Request separate utensils, cookware, and surfaces to prepare your meal. Ask if the kitchen staff can take extra precautions to avoid cross-contamination, such as using a clean area or changing gloves.

5. Study the Menu: Carefully review the menu for gluten-free symbols or dedicated gluten-free sections. Look for naturally gluten-free options like grilled meats, fish, salads, and vegetables. Be cautious with sauces, dressings, marinades, and gravies, as they may contain hidden sources of gluten.

6. Avoid Risky Dishes: Certain dishes are more likely to contain hidden gluten. Steer clear of breaded or fried items, battered foods, and dishes with creamy sauces unless you can verify their gluten-free status. Be aware that some condiments, soy sauce, and seasonings may contain gluten.

7. Customize Your Order: Don't hesitate to ask for modifications or substitutions to make a dish gluten-free. For example, request a gluten-free bun or lettuce wrap for burgers, or ask for gluten-free pasta or rice as a substitute.

8. Trust Your Intuition: If something doesn't feel right or you're unsure about the restaurant's ability to accommodate your needs, it may be best to choose another dining option where you feel more confident about their understanding of celiac disease and their ability to provide a safe gluten-free meal.

9. Carry a Gluten-Free Restaurant Card: Consider carrying a gluten-free restaurant card that clearly explains your dietary needs and restrictions. This card can be presented to the server or kitchen staff to ensure a better understanding of your requirements.

10. Enjoy Gluten-Free Restaurants: Seek out restaurants that specialize in gluten-free or allergen-friendly cuisine. These establishments often have strict protocols in place to avoid cross-contamination and offer a wide range of safe gluten-free options.

By following these tips and being proactive in communicating your needs, you can increase the likelihood of having a safe and enjoyable dining experience while maintaining a gluten-free diet with celiac disease. Remember to trust your instincts, advocate for your health, and choose restaurants that prioritize gluten-free accommodations.

Meet with a Celiac Dietitian 

Working with a Foodsmart Registered Dietitian can make the transition to a gluten free lifestyle an easy process.  Your dietitian can help guide you on food choices, product recommendations, recipes and meal plans, as well as methods to heal your digestive system and calm any gluten-related health implications.  Book your appointment today and find yourself a step closer to digestive peace, better nutrition, and a healthier you!

Foodsmart offers one-on-one nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian, with nutrition programs such as our Celiac Nutrition Program. This program is designed to help you manage celiac disease treatment or gluten intolerance, and will be customized specifically to you. 

Additional Support and Resources 

In addition to meeting with a dietitian to help navigate following a Celiac Disease Diet, here is a list of resources and support for Celiac Disease: 

When creating a page focused on celiac disease, it's essential to provide users with access to reputable resources and support. Here are some valuable links to include:

1. Celiac Disease Foundation: A leading organization providing comprehensive information about celiac disease, including diagnosis, treatment, and gluten-free living. They offer resources, support groups, and educational materials for individuals with celiac disease and their families.

2. Beyond Celiac: An advocacy organization dedicated to raising awareness about celiac disease and supporting those affected. Their website offers resources, recipes, a research center, and information on participating in clinical trials.

3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK): NIDDK provides in-depth information on celiac disease, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Their website offers resources for healthcare professionals and patients, including fact sheets, research updates, and clinical trial information.

4. Gluten Intolerance Group: This organization focuses on providing support, education, and resources for individuals living with gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease. Their website offers information on safe food choices, gluten-free certification programs, and local support groups.

5. Celiac Support Associations: Find local or regional celiac disease support associations or groups. These organizations often provide localized resources, support meetings, and events that can be valuable for seeking community and assistance.


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