What can I eat with celiac disease? A very common question. Treatment for celiac disease is both simple and challenging. Those with the disease must maintain a strict gluten-free diet for life. By avoiding gluten, you allow your intestine to heal. Your other symptoms should gradually subside and your risk of developing serious complications of untreated celiac disease will be reduced. If you have celiac disease or know someone who has it, you know it can be challenging to go gluten-free. It requires one to educate themselves on foods that contain gluten, watch for hidden gluten in food products and medications, and give up some foods that they may enjoy. Because of this, CDHF always recommends working with a registered dietitian to get support and navigate through going completely gluten-free.
If you’re newly diagnosed with celiac disease, you may be wondering where to start when it comes to the foods you can and cannot eat. To help, we’ve partnered with Dr. Schar to lay out all of the food groups and some common foods in each category that are usually safe, foods you need to check (risky), and foods that must be avoided (not allowed) if you have celiac disease. Even if you are familiar with some products, it’s important that you check the labels as they may change their gluten containing claims. If you’ve been diagnosed for a while, test out your knowledge with their nutritional quiz here!
Oats (certified gluten-free) Click here for more info on what to watch out for with oats.
Ready-made dishes (ex. Mashed potatoes)
Wheat starch (gluten-free)
Maize, rice, and potato starch
Rice cereals and corn cereals without barley malt
Seasoned rice mixes
Millet and Teff
Certified gluten-free Buckwheat
Unripe spelt grain
All types of vegetables and pulses – yay!
Convenience vegetable dishes
Dishes with vegetable and gluten containing grains
French fries may contain wheat as an ingredient or could be fried in the same oil as other gluten-containing foods
Vegetables in breadcrumbs or flour or with gluten containing sauces
Battered or wrapped veggies like tempura or spring rolls
Meat, Meat Alternatives, Seafood, Fish and Eggs
Canned or dried pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, beans (without sauce) or split peas, unseasoned nuts and seeds
Seasoned or dry roasted nuts
Baked beans thickened with wheat flour
All types of meat, fish and seafood
Ready-made meals and sauces with meat or fish
Fish, seafood or meat in breadcrumbs, in flour or with gluten-containing sauces
Processed meat may contain gluten in fillers including deli meats, jerky, sausages, hot dogs.
All alcoholic drinks except for beer and malt whisky, However, be sure to check all alcoholic drinks ingredients.
Premixed fruit milkshakes
Coffee substitutes containing beer, barley or malt
Fruit juices and fruit drinks
Soft drinks such as cola and lemonades. Not all of them are gluten-free, so be sure to check labels.
Tea – however not ALL are gluten-free, so be sure to check labels for different additives.
Chocolate with non-gluten-free cereals
Jams and marmalade, but important to check labels
Cocoa powder, cocoa paste
Ice-cream, ice pops and grenadine
Fats, spices, sauces, and bakery products
Baking additives ex. Baking powder
All sauces with gluten-based ingredients
Bechamel sauce, and hollandaise sauce – however they can be gluten-free. Be sure to check how it was made!
Milk products with cereals (ex. Museli yogurt). However some cereals are gluten-free. Be sure to check the label.
Curd cheese such as Ricotta, Mascarpone, Mozzarella
Milk and milk alternatives (soy, almond, cashew, rice). Oat milk can be gluten-free, be sure to check if it was prepared with certified gluten-free oats.
Cremes and custard Yogurt or frozen yogurt with wheat starch as thickener Ice cream containing add-ins like wafers and cookie dough
Natural cheese such as Edam, Gouda, Emmental
All fruits and nuts. Should always triple check for cross contamination with nuts.
You got this!
Fortunately, the world has become a much friendlier place for people who can’t eat gluten and treatment for celiac disease is much easier than it has been in the past.
Grocery stores stock an increasing number and variety of gluten-free products, including gluten-free versions of pasta, bagels, crackers, pretzels, and other baked goods. Dr. Schar provides a wide range of gluten-free products to meet your needs including bread, snacks such as crackers, and treats such as cookies! Check them out here.
Gluten-free options are also gaining ground in restaurants, cookbooks and cooking websites. You don’t need to be shy to ask waiters about modifying dishes to meet your health requirements. You can also prepare for restaurant outings by checking out their online menus. If you know that gluten-free choices won’t be available, you can eat before going out, bring gluten-free snacks with you or choose a more appropriate restaurant.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, we always recommend working with a registered dietitian with expertise in treatment for celiac disease and nutritional counselling to help guide what works best for YOU!