Gluten-Restricted Diet

What Is A Gluten-Restricted Diet?

A gluten-restricted diet is prescribed for the treatment of “celiac disease’’. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease attacking the small intestine due to the presence of gluten. Gluten causes people with ‘’celiac disease’’ an inflammation in the small intestine, that results in an inability to absorb essential nutrients. Fat absorption and, thus absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins a, d, e, and k are reduced, and the absorption of nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins is also affected.


Following a gluten-restricted diet will relieve the symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity. Symptoms include: diarrhea, cramps, weakness, loss of appetite, menstrual irregularities or loss of menstruation, weight loss, edema, bone pain, hypocalcemia, and hypophosphatemia.


What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Eating or drinking anything that contains gluten can cause gluten-intolerance. To find out which foods contain gluten, it is important to read food labels. Wheat is the first consideration; it is a major ingredient in bread, rolls, pastry, cakes, cookies, and most baked products. Noodles, macaroni, and spaghetti are typically made with wheat. Wheat starch is used in a variety of foods such as gravy, soup, and stew.


Words That May Indicate Gluten On Food Labels:

• Flour, self-rising flour, enriched flour

• Modified food starch

• Monosodium glutamate (msg)

• Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (hvp)

• Cereals

• Malt or cereal extracts

• Malt flavoring

• Distilled vinegar

• Emulsifiers

• Stabilizers

Oats do not naturally contain gluten. However, they are often contaminated with wheat or other grains and may need to be avoided.


Some Examples Of The Foods That Are Allowed On A Gluten-Free Diet:

• All kinds of fresh eggs, meats, fish and poultry (not breaded)

• Milk and dairy products with the exception of processed cheese (in some cases, your doctor may ask you to avoid drinking milk because it may cause pain in the stomach)

• All kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits

• Lentils, chickpeas, beans and nuts

• Rice, corn, potatoes and quinoa.


Some examples of the foods that are avoided on a gluten-free diet:

• All kinds of breads, cakes, candies, cereals, crackers, croutons, semolina, couscous, imitation meat or seafood, pasta, flour, doughnuts, sweets and all foods that contain wheat, barley, rye and oats

• Processed food products that use wheat or its derivatives as a material during manufacturing

• Canned meat, ice cream, canned and dried soup, processed cheese and some dressings such as: soy sauce, malt vinegar and some mustards.


People who follow a gluten-restricted diet reduce their signs and symptoms. They must follow this diet for the remainder of their lives, since even trace amounts of gluten in your diet may be damaging to the small intestine.