Gluten-free diet for coeliac disease

Card Image

People with coeliac disease have a permanent intolerance to gluten (a protein that’s in wheat, rye, barley, and oats).

If you have coeliac disease, gluten damages the lining of your small intestine (also called your small bowel) and you can’t absorb food properly. The lining of the small intestine normally has finger-like projections, called villi, which help you to absorb food. In people with coeliac disease, these villi partially or completely disappear. (Gluten doesn’t cause this damage in people who don’t have coeliac disease.)

Coeliac disease treatment

There’s no cure for coeliac disease, and the only effective treatment is to follow a gluten-free diet, which you’ll need to do for the rest of your life.

By not eating gluten, you remove the cause of the disease, so your small intestine lining can heal, and any symptoms you have will get better.

It’s important to eat a gluten-free diet even if you don’t have any symptoms, as you can still damage your small intestine by eating gluten.

Gluten-free diet

A gluten-free diet means avoiding foods that contain gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, dinkel (also called dinkel wheat and spelt) and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).

Foods you can eat

Choose foods that are naturally gluten-free, for example, fresh and frozen vegetables and fruit, rice, milk, yoghurt, cheese, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes (cooked dried beans, split peas and lentils) and unprocessed meat, fish, and chicken.

Foods to include

  • Grains :
    • Rice
    • Buckwheat
    • Maize (corn)
    • Millet
    • Sago
    • Tapioca
    • Quinoa
    • Amaranth
    • Teff
    • Sorghum
  • Flours :
    • Rice flour, ground rice, rice bran
    • Buckwheat flour
    • Maize cornflour or cornmeal
    • Millet flour, polenta
    • Arrowroot, soy flour
    • Tapioca flour, pea flour, potato flour
    • Quinoa flour
    • Amaranth flour
    • Teff flour
    • Sorghum flour
  • Baked Goods :
    • Gluten-free pasta* made from corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, or legumes
    • Gluten-free: bread, crackers, biscuits, snack bars and cake*
  • Breakfast cereals :
    • Cereals made from millet, buckwheat, corn or rice. These include gluten-free muesli, porridge, cornflakes and rice bubbles*
  • Milk and milk products
    • Cow’s milk (fresh, dried, evaporated, long-life), goat’s milk, rice milk, almond milk
    • Some soy milks, most brands of yoghurt*, plain tofu
    • Butter, cheese, fresh cream, sour cream, ice cream
  • Vegetables and fruit
    • All vegetables and fruit – fresh, dried, frozen and most canned
  • Meat, fish, and chicken
    • Fresh beef, fish, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, and game
    • Smoked or cured pure meat, such as bacon or ham
    • Gluten-free sausages
  • Soups, sauce, relishes, and gravies
    • Homemade gluten-free soup, sauce, and gravy
    • Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce – check label)
  • Beverages
    • Tea, coffee, fruit juice, cordials, and fizzy drink
    • Cocoa, most drinking chocolate, carob
    • Wines, gluten-free beer, whisky, gin, rum, vodka, sherry
  • Miscellaneous
    • Gluten-free baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar
    • Some custard powder, fresh and dried herbs
    • Vinegar (white, balsamic, wine, and cider)
    • Plain or salted nuts and seeds (including linseed and chia seeds), peanut butter, tahini
    • Sugar (white, brown, raw, castor, some icing sugar), golden syrup, honey, molasses, oils and margarine, guar gum, xanthan gum

Foods to avoid

  • Grains :
    • Wheat and kibbled wheat
    • Semolina, couscous
    • Dinkel wheat or spelt
    • Rye
    • Barley (+ kibbled barley)
    • Oats
    • Triticale
  • Flours :
    • White and wholemeal flour
    • Bran, wheatgerm, bulgur
    • Wheaten cornflour, wheat starch
    • Dinkel flour
    • Rye flour, rye meal
    • Barley flour
    • Oat flour, oat bran
  • Baked Goods :
    • Most pasta, spaghetti, lasagne, fettuccine, and so on.
    • Most commercial breads, crackers, biscuits, snack bars and cake
  • Breakfast cereals :
    • Cereals made from wheat, rye, barley or oats, such as Weet-Bix, Honey Puffs, bran flakes, muesli, and so on
  • Milk and Milk products :
    • Commercial milkshakes, thickshakes, frosty shakes, malted milk, oat milk, and some soy milks
    • Some yoghurts, cream cheeses, and some flavoured ice cream
    • Some sour cream, processed cheese, and spreads
    • Synthetic cream
  • Vegetables and fruits :
    • Vegetable and fruit pies, vegetables or fruit in batter or breadcrumbs, some potato products, such as wedges, croquettes
  • Meat, fish and chicken :
    • Meat, fish, or chicken coated with breadcrumbs or cooked in batter or bought already marinated
    • Most sausages, cherrios, luncheon sausage, some salamis, meat pies and paste
    • Fish fingers, fish cakes, fish pies and paste, and fish canned in sauce, chicken pies and chicken stuffing
  • Soups, sauces, relishes and gravies :
    • Some canned and packet varieties
    • Most soy sauce, some Worcestershire sauce, Bisto
  • Beverages :
    • Horlicks, Milo, Ovaltine, Bournvita
    • Commercial milkshakes, thickshakes, lemon and barley cordial
    • Beer
  • Miscellaneous :
    • Some commercial baking powders
    • Wheaten custard powder, some mustard and curry powders, some spices, some stock powders and liquids
    • Malt vinegar, Maltexo, Promite, Marmite, Vegemite, packet suet
    • Some flavoured and dry-roasted nuts, liquorice, some sweets, wheatgerm oil
    • Some flavoured potato and corn chips
    • Some filled chocolates and chocolate bars
    • Ice cream cones, communion wafers, most icing sugar
    • Some medicines – check with your pharmacist

Sorry ! Comments are closed for this post !