When you are first diagnosed with celiac disease, the thought of changing your diet and lifestyle, sometimes to a great extent, can be overwhelming.

Or, like so many who have had celiac disease for years, you may wonder if you are paying enough attention to your health — are you doing as well as you could be?

This section will introduce you to detailed information about nutrition as it relates to celiac disease and eating gluten-free:

  • Learn the ins and outs of the gluten-free diet and dining out.
  • Master label reading.
  • Understand and avoid cross contamination.
  • Learn about balanced eating to optimize your health and wellness.
  • Recognize some of the nutritional issues, such as lactose and other food intolerances, weight gain, and constipation, and get tips on how to manage them.

The Gluten-Free Diet

For people with celiac disease, gluten is a toxic (harmful) protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

  • All foods that contain any form of these grains must be avoided on the gluten-free diet.
  • Naturally gluten-free foods that may be contaminated with these grains must also be avoided.
  • The gluten-free diet is a life-long diet.
  • Following the gluten-free diet will relieve symptoms, heal the small intestine, improve health, and help to prevent more intestinal damage for the vast majority of people with celiac disease.

Getting Healthy

Gluten-free food is everywhere! To get started, choose familiar foods that are naturally gluten-free such as fresh fruits and vegetables and plain meat, chicken and fish.

  • There is an increasing number of commercial products in the marketplace that are labeled gluten-free. These labeled gluten-free products will be your safest bet when shopping.
  • Visit a registered dietitian skilled in celiac disease to help you learn the gluten-free diet.
  • Join a local celiac support group.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble with symptoms.
 

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