Just Diagnosed: A Celiacs Guide

Just Diagnosed: A Celiacs Guide

If you’ve just been diagnosed with celiac’s disease, you may feel like you’re starting from scratch and figuring out how to feed yourself again. Don’t worry, this will pass and your new style of eating will soon become second nature! There are often gluten free versions of staple foods that can be used to recreate your favorite dishes.

The basics for a newly diagnosed celiac will vary depending on location, budget, and other dietary preferences. Living in certain locations may give you a leg up because the culture is already rice, corn or potato-based, rather than wheat-based. Or maybe you live in a city that offers tons of restaurants and health food stores that cater to special diets. You may also have additional limitations like a vegan diet or other food allergies. Dairy allergies are unfortunately very common for people with celiacs.

Foods to Avoid When Dining Out

These foods often contain gluten, but always ask questions and read labels! This is one of the most important habits to cultivate as a celiac. If the label includes a gluten allergen notice or keywords, avoid that item. Use your best judgement and skip any food if you’re unsure about its ingredients.

just diagnosed guide

Gluten hand from Gaelle Marcel via Unsplash
  • Bread products like pastries, sandwiches, pancakes, cookies, pies, cakes and crackers
  • Wheat-based noodle dishes
  • Wheat grains like farro, barley, rye, wheat berries, spelt
  • Breaded products or shared fryers
    • Don’t eat fried foods if other foods in the restaurant are breaded in wheat flour or marinated before frying
    • Even fries may be breaded or marinated
  • Shared toasters and prep space
    • Sensitivity to cross-contamination will depend on the person
  • Dark sauces and marinades
  • Japanese curries
  • Imitation crab
  • Malt liquors and beers
  • Soups
    • Especially creamy soups or gazpacho, which can include bread or flour
  • Gravy
  • Omelettes or scrambled eggs
    • Diners often add some pancake batter to the egg mix for fluffiness
  • Meatballs
    • Most include breadcrumbs

Keywords to Avoid

  • Malt or barley extract
  • Modified food starch
    • Depending on the country of origin, this may be wheat-based
  • Soy-marinated
  • Breaded
  • Yeast flavoring extract
  • Allergen labels for wheat, barley, rye, gluten

Grocery Items to Avoid

just diagnosed guide

Soup from Olga Kudriavtseva via Unsplash
  • Bread products like pastries, sandwiches, pancakes, cookies, pies, cakes and crackers
  • Wheat-based noodles
  • Canned soups
  • Cold cereal
    • Often includes barley malt extract for flavor
  • Oats that are not certified gluten free
    • See our article about certified GF oats for more info
  • Malt liquors and beers
  • Vegan meat subs
    • Anything that is seitan-based or includes vital wheat gluten in the ingredients is a no-go
  • Licorice or chewy rope candy

Flours to Avoid

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Kamut
  • Spelt
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Durum
  • Semolina
  • Triticale
  • Bulgur
  • Graham
  • Farina

Gluten Free Staple Foods

Now that you know which foods should be avoided, let’s focus on what you can eat! A gluten free diet can be a chance to break out of old food routines and learn about the food of other cultures. Lots of these foods are affordable, healthy, and easy to prepare once you’re in the habit. We have lots of other articles for recipe inspiration, as well as our Resources page, so here we’ll just provide a general outline of basic gf ingredients to get you started.

just diagnosed guide

Rice and beans from Thoa Ngo via Unsplash

* Title image courtesy of Dani via Unsplash.

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