Diet for Celiac Disease
What Are the Challenges?Adopting a gluten-free lifestyle can be challenging. To start, you'll need to take a completely new approach to eating. If you're diagnosed with celiac disease, your doctor will probably ask you to work with a dietitian on a celiac disease diet. People with celiac disease have to be very careful about what they buy for lunch at school or work, what they buy at the grocery store, what they eat at restaurants or parties, and what they grab for a snack. The dietitian can teach you how to read ingredient lists and identify foods that contain gluten.
People with celiac disease need to eliminate gluten from their diet for the rest of their lives, not just until they're healed. Eating any gluten, no matter how little, can damage the small intestine again, whether or not any noticeable symptoms develop. With practice, looking for gluten becomes second nature.
(Click Gluten-Free Diet for more information.)
Below we will talk about some tips for dealing with a gluten-free diet when going out to eat.
Going Out -- Suggestions for Following the Celiac Disease DietOne of the challenges when beginning your gluten-free diet for celiac disease is dealing with going out to eat. The fear of eating something with gluten can prevent people from enjoying eating out. Below are some suggestions for dealing with your diet while dining at a friend's house or a restaurant.
These suggestions include the following:
- Do your homework
- Plan ahead
- Be assertive
- Be creative.
Do Your Homework
Because a gluten-free diet is the only way to manage celiac disease, knowing which foods you can and cannot eat is crucial. While wheat rolls and pasta dishes are obvious no-no's, learn what other foods -- such as casseroles, gravies, salad dressings, and soy sauces -- might also contain gluten and look for gluten-free alternatives and recipes. When it comes to alcohol, a cocktail made with distilled alcohol is safe, but avoid the beer unless it is gluten-free.