Celiac disease, also called celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is an immune response to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. If you have celiac disease, eating gluten makes your small intestine react with an immune reaction. Over time, this reaction damages the lining of your small intestine, making it unable to receive some nutrients. The damage to the intestines often leads to diarrhea, tiredness, weight loss, bloating, and anemia. It can also cause more serious problems.
There is no cure for celiac disease, but having a strict gluten-free diet can help most people deal with their symptoms and heal their intestines.
Foods that have gluten in them are not safe to eat for celiac disease
If you have coeliac disease, don’t eat these things unless they say they are gluten-free on the label:
- bread, pasta, and grains
- a cookie or a cracker
- cakes and baked goods
- stews and gravies
You should always read the labels on the things you buy. Additives like malt flavoring and modified food starch, which both contain gluten, are found in a lot of foods, especially prepared foods.
Cross-contamination can happen when gluten-free and gluten-containing foods are made or served with the same tools.
Foods without gluten that are safe to eat for celiac disease patients
If you have coeliac disease, you can eat these things, which don’t have gluten by nature:
- most dairy goods, like milk, cheese, and butter
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Meat and fish (not breaded or baked, though)
- a potato
- rice and noodles made from rice
- rice, corn, soy, and potato flour are all gluten-free.
Breakfast examples for celiac disease patients
Toast is an old favorite. Even though gluten-free bread isn’t as good as bread with gluten, it makes a nice piece of toast. In fact, toasting gluten-free bread almost all of the time is a good idea because it tastes much better that way than when it’s fresh. Most spreads are gluten-free, and you can spice things up with avocado, hummus, and other healthy toppings.
For a bit more flavor, I add some dried cherries and currants. People have different ideas about oats. Some study, especially from outside the United States, shows that the amount of gluten per milligram in oats is so small that they are not considered to have gluten. When you buy bread mixes from other countries, they often have oats in them.
In some ways, it’s easier to make a cooked breakfast. Thin pancakes and waffles that look like crepes work very well when made without gluten. Just use gluten-free flour instead of regular flour and add a little sugar or cinnamon. Gluten-free flour tends to soak up more liquid than regular flour, so you may need a little more liquid. French toast is harder to make, but you can use gluten-free bread, and the eggs and milk make bread that’s a day or two old and tastes better.
Gluten-free pie pancakes
If you have time on the weekends to make healthy gluten-free pancakes, which means you added flax seed meal or shredded apples or something else that counts as fiber to the batter, you can freeze the pancakes between sheets of wax paper, put them in a freezer bag, and freeze them so they’re ready to go on busy weekday mornings. If you don’t have time to make them ahead of time, you can always buy gluten-free pancakes that are already made and frozen. In a bowl, mix a few raisins, half of a chopped pear or apple, a few drops of cinnamon, and a couple of tablespoons of chopped walnuts. Spread this mixture down the middle of two heated (or microwaved) pancakes, drizzle each with 1 teaspoon of pancake syrup or maple syrup, and fold the sides of the pancakes in to make two breakfast sandwiches.
Gluten-free wraps can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks, and they are great to grab and go on busy mornings. Spread peanut butter on a wrap, sprinkle on some enriched gluten-free dry cereal, and drizzle on a teaspoon of pancake syrup. Roll up the wrap, and you have the perfect breakfast to eat on the way to work.
There are a lot of people who have responses to certain foods or ingredients or who have food allergies. Gluten is a protein that can make people with celiac disease sick. It is found in wheat and a few other foods. A reaction to gluten can cause diarrhea, tiredness, loss of weight, stomach pain and swelling, gas, sickness, and vomiting. If you have celiac disease, you might need to limit how much gluten you eat.