Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the intestinal wall tract and interferes with nutrient absorption. It is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease. Unfortunately, many of those with this disorder do not know they have it. Celiac disease is no respecter of person. Both men and women, young and old are affected. If you have celiac disease and keep consuming gluten, you could be causing long-term health problems, including osteoporosis, malnutrition and even cancer. Therefore, it is important to know which foods you should avoid.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is found in a variety of grains, including wheat, barley, spelt and farina. The most common grains people eat are wheat, rye and barley. However, any of the grains listed above can be found in a variety of foods.
You can enjoy several grains if you have celiac disease including-
Oats are another gluten-free grain; however, they frequently come in contact with wheat during processing, so it is important to choose oats that are labeled as gluten-free. Many of these grains are available as flour, which can be substituted in a variety of recipes.
There are a number of gluten-free foods that you can enjoy including-
- Dairy products
The FDA has enacted a law that only products containing less than 20 parts of gluten per million can be labeled as gluten-free. Additionally, any gluten free products containing wheat must have a description stating they have adhered to the FDA requirements.
Common Foods Containing Gluten
Many of the things people enjoy may contain gluten. Learning which foods to avoid will help prevent reactions and damage from occurring. Wheat, including bulgur, semolina, farro, spelt and durum, along with triticale, rye and barley.
Pastas, unless labeled as gluten-free, often contain gluten. Other items, including malt beverages, beer, soy sauce and Teriyaki sauce may contain wheat and should be avoided. Blue cheese is another product that may contain gluten. Oftentimes, it is made with bread mold.
Gluten is often present during the processing of processed foods, artificial flavorings, artificial colorings, dyes, dried fruit, French fries, processed cheeses, seasoning and salad dressings. Therefore, most physicians recommend purchasing only products labeled as gluten-free.
Non-Food Items that May Contain Gluten
Did you know that make-up products, such as lip balm, lipstick and lip gloss might contain gluten? Other items that may contain gluten include vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal formulas, over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs. Finally, it may surprise you to know that even play dough can contain gluten.
In order to become gluten-free, you must avoid all traces of gluten; therefore, you must be vigilant to avoid all traces of gluten. Read labels carefully. You will be surprised at the foods that have gluten. You must also be very careful when dining out. Ask the restaurant if they have a gluten-free menu, and let your wait staff know that you have celiac disease. This will help ensure your food is handled properly.