celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which foods that contain gluten cause the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestines. Over time, this erodes the intestinal lining and causes a wide range of symptoms, including digestive issues, abdominal pain, and headaches.
It’s important for people with celiac disease to avoid foods that contain the protein gluten—found in wheat, rye, and barley, as well as a variety of packaged foods—to prevent damage to the intestines from occurring and to manage their symptoms. The only effective treatment option for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet.
This article will explain what can be eaten on a gluten-free diet, what foods to avoid, and how to navigate dining out with celiac disease.
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What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1 in every 100 people.
The condition can develop at any age. Some children exhibit celiac symptoms as soon as gluten-containing grains are introduced into their diets, while many women begin to experience celiac symptoms following pregnancy and birth. Genetics and stress are also thought to play a role in the development of the condition.
When people who have celiac disease consume even a small amount of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley), their body’s immune system reacts by attacking the small intestine. This attack can cause damage to the small fingerlike structures within the small intestine called the villi.
Your villi play an important role in nutrient absorption. If the villi become damaged, you are unable to absorb essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food. This can lead to malnourishment regardless of how much you eat.
Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet for Those With Celiac Disease
The only effective treatment option for those with celiac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet. Those who have celiac disease must stay on a gluten-free diet for life.
When people with celiac disease adopt a gluten-free diet, they typically experience a significant improvement in symptoms within days or weeks. If they stay the course on a gluten-free diet, symptoms often disappear entirely.
Those with celiac disease who follow a gluten-free diet may see improvement in the following symptoms:
- Recurring stomach pain
- Recurring bloating
- Rash that may be painful or itchy
- Muscle cramps
- Pain in the bones
- weight loss
- Numbness in the legs
- Pale, foul smelling stools
- Early-onset osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones)
- Low blood count
- Change of teeth color
Eliminating gluten usually helps to heal the damage done to the small intestine, as well as prevent further damage from occurring.
In most cases, the small intestine should be completely healed within three to six months of beginning a gluten-free diet. When this happens, the villi will be able to work again as normal.
In people who are older, it may take up to two years for the small intestine to heal completely.
List of Foods to Avoid
On a gluten-free diet, those with celiac disease must not ingest anything containing gluten. This includes foods, beverages, some medications, and even products like cosmetics.
Gluten is a protein that acts like glue to help foods hold their shape. It is mostly found in products containing the grains wheat, barley, rye, and triticalebut it can be used as a thickening agent or filler in certain packaged food products, like salad dressings, sauces, and soups.
As such, if you have celiac disease, it’s important to read the labels of any packaged products to ensure they don’t list gluten in the ingredients. Look for products that are third-party tested and certified gluten-free.
Those on a gluten-free diet for celiac disease should avoid foods that contain wheat. Wheat can be found in foods like:
- Baked goods
- Salad dressing
Barley is another grain that contains gluten. Those following a gluten-free diet for celiac disease should avoid foods and drinks that contain barley. These include:
- Brewer’s yeast
- Food coloring
- Malted milk
- Milkshakes made with malted milk
- Malt Syrup
- Malt extract
- Malted barley flour
- Malt flavoring
- Malt vinegar
Rye is another grain that contains gluten. Those on a gluten-free diet should avoid foods containing rye, including:
triticale is a newer grain that is a cross between rye and wheat. It also contains gluten, so those with celiac disease should avoid it.
Triticale can be found in:
List of foods to eat
While cutting out gluten can take some effort, there are several foods those on a gluten-free diet can eat safely, including foods that are naturally gluten free.
There are also many gluten-free packaged products available, but it’s important to look for ones that are made in gluten-free facilities and are certified gluten free, ideally by a third party.
Naturally Gluten Free Foods
Healthy whole foods that are naturally gluten free include:
There are also naturally gluten-free grains, starchy foods, and legumes that can be eaten on a gluten-free diet. These include:
Oats are also naturally gluten-free, but be sure to look for brands that are labeled as gluten-free. There’s a high risk of cross-contamination with gluten if the oats are grown next to rye, barley, or wheat.
Tips for Dining Out
Eating out while following a strict gluten-free diet for celiac disease requires some effort, but it has become much easier in recent years.
As awareness of celiac disease (and other gluten sensitivities and intolerances) has grown, many restaurants, including major national chains, have implanted designated gluten-free cooking areas to avoid cross-contamination and many have dedicated gluten-free menus. There are even 100% gluten-free restaurants in some areas.
Other tips for safely dining out from the Celiac Disease Foundation include:
Choose a Restaurant Wisely
If you have celiac disease, you will have the best dining experience out if you do a little research ahead of time to find a restaurant that has a designated gluten-free cooking area and a menu of gluten-free options available. Consider looking at the menu online or calling the restaurant to discuss your options before making a reservation.
Most restaurants also have items on the menu that are naturally gluten free, such as salads, some soups, burgers served without a bun, or entrees like meat or fish that are served with rice and vegetables.
However, if you’re dining at a restaurant without a special gluten-free menu, be sure to confirm that your meal isn’t served with a sauce that may contain gluten or is breaded with ingredients that may contain gluten.
Tell the Waitstaff
When you arrive at the restaurant, advise the servers that you have celiac disease. Make sure they understand what this means. If they don’t, explain clearly the foods you can’t eat.
Make sure to emphasize that gluten can even be found in ingredients like soy sauce. If you are unsure if the server has understood you, ask to speak to the chef or manager of the restaurant.
Don’t Make Assumptions
When ordering, never assume that an item on the menu is gluten free. It is always best to ask.
For instance, an egg omelet may seem like a good gluten-free choice, but some restaurants may use a batter with gluten that makes the eggs fluffier. A baked potato should be naturally gluten free, but it may have a coating containing gluten that makes it extra crispy.
If in doubt, ask. Most restaurants are happy to make accommodations to meet your needs.
Have a backup plan
Sometimes, friends or family may choose a place that is not gluten-free friendly. Or maybe your first choice on a menu isn’t available or there may not be enough gluten-free options that sound good to you.
To avoid disappointment (or going hungry), consider eating at home before going out if you know you’re going to be dining at a place without a gluten-free menu. And consider bringing backup gluten-free foods with you in case there aren’t gluten-free menu options available.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes the body’s immune system to overreact to gluten and attack the lining of the small intestine. People with celiac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet to manage their symptoms and prevent damaging their intestinal lining.
Gluten is found in the grains of wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. It’s important to avoid foods that contain these grains, as well as products that use gluten as a thickening or bulking agent.
Fortunately, there are a number of naturally gluten-free foods (such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and most dairy products), as well as packaged gluten-free foods available for those with celiac disease to enjoy.
A Word From Verywell
Starting a gluten-free diet for celiac disease can seem overwhelming, but help is available.
Consider consulting your healthcare provider, a nutritionist, or a registered dietitian, who will be able to give you tips on navigating these dietary changes, and direct you to other resources such as blogs, cookbooks, and cooking seminars to help you as you make adjustments .
Your healthcare provider can also point you toward helpful meal plans, tips on how to read food labels, and advice on what foods and drinks to choose. If you have any questions about adopting a gluten-free diet, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are bananas good for celiac disease?
All fresh fruits and vegetables, including bananas, are naturally gluten free. Bananas and other fruits are a great choice for those with celiac disease as they don’t contain gluten and are packed with health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Do potatoes have gluten?
No. Potatoes are naturally gluten free. However, when eating out it is important to ask if potatoes on the menu are prepared gluten free. Sometimes, potato options, such as fries, include a coating that contains gluten, which is not suitable for those with celiac disease.
Can you drink alcohol with celiac disease?
Yes, most types. Many forms of alcohol are safe for those with celiac disease. During the processing of distilled spirits, proteins are removed from the starting materials. This means distilled spirits including gin, vodka, whiskey, brandy, tequila, rum, and some liqueurs, are considered gluten-free, even if they are made from grains like wheat and rye.
Most wine, most hard seltzers, some hard ciders, and gluten-free beers (made without barley or wheat) are also naturally gluten free. To be safe, be sure to check the labels of anything you are unsure of.
Guiding the way to thrive
Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.
That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.
Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.
Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.
Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.
14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.
“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.
“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.
“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”
Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.
“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.
The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.
“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”
The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.
“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.
“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”
The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.
So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?
“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.
“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”
The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.
Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.
“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.
“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.
“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?
Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.
“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.
“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.
“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.
“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”
To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.
Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.
Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.
She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.
“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.
“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.
“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.
“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.
“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”
14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]
Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains
By Casey Barber, CNN
Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.
The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.
What’s a whole grain?
The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.
On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.
“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”
So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.
And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.
“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.
“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”
Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.
Some whole grains to get to know
amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.
Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.
Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.
kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.
millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.
How to cook any whole grain
While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.
Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.
If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.
The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.
Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel
I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.
The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.
It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.
After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.
Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.
This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).
My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.
I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.
After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.
An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.
After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.
It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.
They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.
There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.
All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.
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Guiding the way to thrive
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