Eating a gluten-free diet for coeliac disease is essential to managing the condition.
Continuing to eat gluten if a person has been given a coeliac disease diagnosis means that the damage to their gut will continue and symptoms are likely to remain. A gluten-free, coeliac disease diet should also be a healthy balanced diet, which ensures adequate nutrients and minerals are being consumed.
A gluten-free diet should, for obvious reasons, exclude all gluten. Gluten may be found in:
• Breads made of, or containing, wheat flour, barley, rye
• Pastries, cakes, biscuits, crackers and other baked goods
• Processed meats e.g. sausages, burgers – usually have wheat flour as a filler
• Some sweets and confectionary
• Some crisps and nut snacks
• Some ready meals, ready-made sauces, ready mix powder sachets, spice mixes
• Breakfast cereals e.g. Cheerios, Weetabix
• Most beers and ales
• Batters and seasonings
It’s important for someone with coeliac disease to check the ingredients on everything they buy and find out if it contains gluten. This can be time consuming but after a while, most people know what are safe foods or brands for them to use.
Specialists or a GP may recommend certain supplements for coeliac disease patients; for example, if they are deficient in iron or B12, a person may need to take these nutrients in supplement form in order to increase levels. If you are interested in taking coeliac disease supplements that have not been prescribed by your doctor, you should discuss this with your GP before starting a new regime.
Most people with coeliac disease will benefit from a referral to a dietician.
Read more about nutrition and diet for coeliac disease.