Before we get into what foods to avoid with celiac disease, let us learn a little about this condition. Celiac disease is also referred to as celiac sprue. It is the result of intolerance to gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and to some extent, oats.
This disease is generally of genetic origin. However, there are factors precipitate its development such as the early introduction of cow’s milk or grains into an infant’s diet.
The first manifestations are generally seen during lactation or infancy, although it may appear in the adult. Diagnosis is made through an intestinal biopsy. The most common symptoms are:
- Diarrhea: Celiac feces are foamy because of the fats they contain, which the body has not absorbed.
- Abdominal distension and discomfort, flatulence.
- Fatigue, depression, general discomfort
- Mouth sores.
All of the symptoms disappear when gluten is removed from the diet. Gluten intolerance that does not reach the stage of true celiac disease is much more common than is commonly believed. People with this condition should pay close attention to the list of foods to avoid with celiac disease because information is power. And the more you know about this disease, the faster you can get back to being healthy again.
Foods to Avoid With Celiac Disease
GLUTEN: Simply removing gluten from the diet brings rapid improvement. Gluten is found particularly in wheat, barley, rye, and in their flours and derivatives. Sometimes gluten is used as a meat substitute or in certain processed products. Consequently, it is important to read and understand container labels.
FLOURS: Wheat, barley, and rye flours are those with the highest gluten content. All products made with flours that contain gluten, from bread to pastries, should be avoided.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: An intestinal mucosa weakened by gluten intolerance is incapable of producing the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for digesting lactose. Consequently, dairy products tend to be poorly tolerated by those suffering from celiac disease. Yogurt is possibly the best-tolerated dairy product.
TOTAL FAT: The intestine affected by celiac disease is incapable of digesting and absorbing fats in foods. These are eliminated with the feces, which becomes foamy (steatorrhea). Saturated fats from meat and its derivatives are very difficult to digest and should be avoided. All other fats must be adapted to individual intestinal tolerance.
SAUSAGES: These typically contain wheat flour or gluten. They are also the most problematic of the foods to avoid with celiac disease because of their high-fat content, which digests poorly in cases of celiac disease and aggravates intestinal symptoms.
BEER: Regardless whether or not it contains alcohol, it can aggravate intolerance. This may be because of gluten residue from the barley used in its manufacture. Malt beverage must also be avoided.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 209. [Foods to avoid with celiac disease]