What Can You Eat When You Have Celiac Disease?

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Nora Saul, M.S, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E.

Nora Saul is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Manager of Nutritional Education at Joslin Diabetes Center.

Both diabetes and celiac are chronic auto-immune diseases in which what you eat is a primary treatment.

People with celiac disease must avoid foods containing gluten. There are many gluten-free alternatives, but those speciality foods are often higher in carbohydrates.

This can saddle you with a carb-heavy diet and upset your blood-glucose levels.

There is a healthy dietary solution. The following foods are good additions to any diet, but particularly beneficial when you need foods that are gluten-free.

  • Beans, lentils and legumes: Packed with fiber and antioxidants, these foods make great additions to chili, salads, soups and tacos. They can also be made into an excellent appetizer.
  • Brown and wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa and teff: Unlike whole wheat, these whole grains are gluten-free. And they’re nutritious and tasty, too!
  • Dairy: Go for plain yogurt (check the label to be sure) and add your own fruit.  If you do choose a flavored variety make sure to check the ingredients to confirm they are gluten-free.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables: Except for the starchy vegetables such as peas and potatoes, fruits and vegetables are low in calories and pack a wallop of nutrients. Try to get in nine servings a day.  With all the wonderful summer fruits and vegetables available, make your plate resemble a rainbow of colors. In the off-season, consider frozen fruits and veggies.

To stave off culinary boredom, vary your fruit and veggie consumption each day.

Happy, gluten-free eating!

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