Saturday, February 16, 2013

Guest Post: Gluten Free Eating Tips For Those With Celiac Disease

Those who suffer from celiac disease understand very specifically the problems that come along with eating gluten. Celiac is a very specific disease that causes upset in the digestive system when the intestines try to process foods containing gluten. Symptoms of celiac disease include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nutritional deficiency, and vitamin deficiency. Over time, the result of celiac disease can lead to organ damage if you continue to eat a diet high in gluten.

The disease can’t be cured at this time, but it can be properly managed. The most important tool you have to managing your condition is your diet. Simple dietary changes can guarantee you do not suffer the symptoms of the disease.

Thankfully, numerous restaurants and food manufacturers have recognized the need to offer gluten free foods. Because of this, you have access to more meals, and better tasting foods, than you once would have been able to choose. However, you still need to be smart about the choices you make so that you can avoid the impact of gluten on your body. Here are tips you can use to keep your diet gluten free and tasteful.

Know Your Grains

A gluten free diet can be especially confusing if you are new to it. There are certain grains considered perfectly safe and others that you can’t have.  Your first step to eating a healthy diet will include knowing your grains. It could be helpful to post a safe and unsafe list on your refrigerator.

Safe Grains

You can have the following grains without worry. With the exception of oats, which is still under controversy, these grains are completely gluten free and safe.

  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Amaranth
  • Oats (as mentioned, under controversy)

Unsafe Grains

The grains below do contain gluten, and they should never be included in your diet if you have celiac disease. Very specifically, you must avoid anything that contains wheat or is wheat based. Unsafe grains include:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Wheat Starch

Look for Gluten Free Baking Options

Many people think that cutting gluten from their diet means cutting out anything they would enjoy. However, as mentioned, numerous food manufacturers are recognizing the need for specialty foods and are producing tasty meals you can enjoy. These include baking mixes. These mixes use different types of gluten free flour, so you will need to try a few different options to determine which tastes best for you.

Many grocery stores include a specific aisle dedicated to these foods. However, if you have trouble finding options at your regular market, consider visiting a health foods store.

Foods to Be Careful Of Eating

Trying to lead a normal life while dealing with celiac disease can be quite difficult. Obviously, you want to eat normal foods, but there are numerous foods that may or may not contain gluten. The list below includes foods that you should be careful of. Make sure to read the label before consuming them.

  • Bread
  • Cake
  • Cereal
  • Beer
  • French Fries
  • Pasta
  • Salad Dressing
  • Candy
  • Sauce
  • Snack Foods
  • Soup
  • Sauced Vegetables

In order to ensure you are living a completely gluten free life, you will need to carefully read labels before you purchase anything in the grocery store. If you are eating in a restaurant, then you may need to avoid these foods or request a gluten free menu before ordering.

Celiac disease can be completely controlled with diet. You don’t have to suffer from the digestive upset if you choose to eat a diet free of gluten. The tips above can be very helpful in guiding you to the best dietary choices without having to give up your favorite foods.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

The above post contains information on maintaining a gluten free diet.  The information provided in the post is the opinion of the writer, and is not meant to replace the advice of a doctor. 

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