The first step in creating a celiac disease diet plan is to know your options. In this article we’ll give you some key insight into recipes, and go into depth on the types of items that are specifically not allowed. By the end of this article you’ll have a good idea of what you will need to create a celiac disease diet menu.
Celiac Disease Diet Recipes
There are many gluten-free recipe books available at your local bookstore or on Amazon. You can also find a great deal of wonderful recipes online. Pick a day a week to try new recipes (breakfasts, lunches, dinners and gluten free snacks) and before you know it you’ll have a recipe box full of new favorites.
What’s Not Allowed
Celiac disease diet restrictions are straightforward on the surface: avoid any products containing wheat, rye, barley. Essentially the rule is to avoid all gluten. On some levels this is easy because of the variety of foods that naturally do not contain gluten. Where it gets more complicated is when you want to eat out in a restaurant or you select processed foods at the supermarket.
Eating out presents its own unique challenges. Foods that you would not ordinarily associate with gluten – like steaks for example- may be prepared with gluten containing ingredients. A steak can be marinated in soy sauce, which contains wheat. The best bet when dining out is to either a) choose a gluten-free restaurant or b) discuss your needs with your server. In most cases, a clear and open conversation with your server is the easiest way. Most restaurants are happy to try to accommodate.
When shopping at the supermarket the best way to avoid gluten is to read labels. At first it will take some time to recognize what kinds of ingredients contain gluten. Any time you run across words like ‘starch’ or ‘malt’ or even ‘flour’, be aware that ingredient could be a gluten containing substance. Check with the manufacturer, or find a gluten-free version of the product to be on the safe side. Some foods do not have any gluten in them, but wheat is used in the manufacturing process. For example, chewing gum is often dusted with wheat to keep it from sticking to the wrapper.
The best way to avoid gluten, especially in the early stages of your gluten-free lifestyle is to do your own cooking and research products one by one until you have established a large list of foods that are safe. Some websites contain a great deal of information about what foods are safe and which are not and can be an extremely valuable resource.