Celiac Disease Diet: 48 Gluten-Free Recipes for Beginners

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48 Celiac Disease Recipes | If you're looking for a collection of easy and delicious gluten-free recipes for yourself (or for kids), we've curated the best of the best! From breakfast, to lunch, to dinner, to snacks and desserts, these recipe ideas will not disappoint. We've also included a list of foods to eat and avoid on the celiac disease diet to help you create a grocery list and meal plan, as well as a little background info including the symptoms and causes of celiac disease.

Whether you’re a celiac disease newbie in need of a little background information and a list of foods to eat and avoid, or an old-timer looking for new gluten-free recipes to try, this post will not disappoint! We’ve outlined the signs and causes of celiac disease, provided a list of foods to eat and avoid to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing of the small intestines, and compiled tons of delicious recipes to help you create your own celiac disease diet that satisfies your food cravings and preferences so you don’t feel like you’re missing out!

What Is Celiac Disease?

When someone has celiac disease, eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) causes an immune response in their small intestines. This immune reaction causes damage to the lining of the small intestines over time, causing diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. Untreated celiac disease can also prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients, which can interfere with growth and development in children. In adults, malabsorption can lead to loss of bone density, infertility problems, miscarriage, and more serious conditions like coronary artery disease, certain cancers, and other autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. There is currently no cure for celiac disease, but following a gluten-free diet can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing of the small intestines.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease?

It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have celiac disease (source) but many go undiagnosed since the symptoms can be so varied and the damage to the small intestines can happen slowly over a long period of time. It can sometimes take years to get a proper diagnosis, with many people never finding out they have celiac disease.

It’s also important to note that while the symptoms of a gluten intolerance/sensitivity are similar to celiac disease and also improve with a gluten-free diet, the 2 conditions are different in that a gluten intolerance/sensitivity doesn’t cause an immune response and doesn’t damage the small intestines.

If you suspect you or someone you love has celiac disease, here are some of the common signs and symptoms in children and adults.

Symptoms of celiac disease in children:

    • Bloating/swollen belly
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Foul-smelling faces that’s pale in color
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Damage to tooth enamel
  • Delayed growth
  • Delayed puberty
  • Learning disabilities (i.e. ADHD)
  • Changes in mood

Symptoms of celiac disease in adults:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Bloating/feeling of fullness
    • Gas
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Heartburn
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Itchy/blistery rash

What Causes Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease can develop at any age, and while the exact cause of celiac disease is unknown, it runs in families. Having a first-degree relative (parent, child, or sibling) with celiac disease increases your risk of developing celiac disease. You may also develop celiac disease if you have another autoimmune disease or genetic disorder such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, Down syndrome, etc.

What Is The Celiac Disease Diet?

Also known as a ‘gluten-free diet’, the celiac disease diet requires you to remove gluten from your diet completely. If you have celiac disease, ingesting even small amounts of gluten can damage your intestines, even if you don’t display symptoms. Following the celiac disease diet helps reduce the symptoms of celiac disease, allows the small intestines to heal, improves the absorption of nutrients, and can offer other, long-term benefits like improving your fertility and lowering your risk for more serious conditions like coronary artery disease, certain cancers, and other autoimmune disorders.

13 Types of Food to Avoid on the Celiac Disease Diet

Getting started on the celiac disease diet can feel very overwhelming, and as you learn more about celiac disease and how to read food labels, you will likely be surprised to find that gluten is in a lot of prepared foods, beverages, and condiments. If you want to know which kinds of foods to avoid on the celiac disease diet, see below for a list of broad food types, with examples of each.

  1. All foods containing gluten including wheat, barley, rye, triticale, spelt, farro, farina, kamut, khorasan wheat, semolina, durum, wheat berries, and couscous. While oats are naturally gluten-free, make sure to check the labels to ensure there is no risk that gluten is added during processing
  2. Breads, crackers, wraps, cereals, pastas, and baked goods, unless the label specifically states the product is gluten-free and no gluten products are listed in the ingredients
  3. Snack foods like granola, cereal, and energy bars, chips and pretzels, candy bars and snack mixes often contain gluten
  4. Processed foods like deli meats and processed cheese, veggie burgers, canned soups and soup mixes, and fried foods (including some French fries)
  5. Processed and flavoured diary products like flavored yogurts, cheese spreads, cheese sauces, and certain ice creams
  6. Canned, frozen, dried, and pre-chopped fruits and vegetables
  7. Soups and frozen meals
  8. Condiments like soy sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, marinades, spices, and certain salad dressings typically have gluten added to them
  9. Cooking sprays and flavored oils
  10. Flavored beverages like chocolate milk, drink mixes, and wine coolers
  11. Beer
  12. Other pre-packaged foods like pudding and dessert mixes (cakes, cupcakes, etc.)
  13. Some medications, vitamins, and supplements 

11 Types of Food to Eat on the Celiac Disease Diet

If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, reading about all of the things have you to avoid on the celiac disease diet can be pretty overwhelming, not to mention upsetting. While it may initially seem like you have to give up everything you enjoy, rest assured that there are lots of foods you can eat, and many grocery stores contain gluten-free breads, pastas, cookies, crackers, and other baked goods. Just be careful to read all food labels closely. Even if a box of cookies has ‘gluten-free’ stamped on the front, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and double check that there aren’t any gluten products on the list, and that the item wasn’t manufactured in a plant that could potentially be contaminated with gluten.

If you want to know which foods to eat on the celiac disease diet, the list below will help you understand which types of foods and food groups to choose from.

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables
  2. Legumes
  3. Nuts, nut butters, and seeds
  4. Healthy fats and oils 
  5. Gluten-free whole grains, including, but not limited to quinoa, brown and wild rice, buckwheat, arrowroot, tapioca, and oats
  6. Meat, poultry, and fish that has not been processed, marinaded, and/or breaded
  7. Gluten-free dairy, including, but not limited to milk, cream, butter, ghee, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese
  8. Gluten-free breads, crackers, wraps, cereals, pastas, and baked goods
  9. Unflavored coffees and teas
  10. 100% fruit and vegetable juices
  11. Gluten-free beer, unflavoured wine, and distilled alcohol

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