Gluten is found in many wheat- related products and is the culprit in the most common autoimmune disease – celiac disease. Gluten is a non-digestible protein which gives bread or other baked goods their stretchy, sticky texture. Rye and barley are the two most common foods with gluten, so, if your are affected by the disease, you will have to resist the temptation of eating warm bread at a restaurant. Gluten in oats, on the other hand, is a controversial matter because naturally oats do not contain gluten. However, like other grains, they can be cross-contaminated during harvesting, milling, processing and transporting with nearby wheat products, and therefore contain gluten as well. Ensure that you buy pure uncontaminated oats and if approved by your doctor to eat them, do not exceed the daily allowed dose of half a cup of dry rolled oats.
Aside from the most obvious, there are many other foods that contain gluten that you may not have even thought about! Below are the top 10 foods to avoid with celiac disease:
1. Canned fruits! This is one more reason to stick to the real thing!
2. Processed lunch meats and frozen dinners are two more celiac foods to avoid that are very popular in North America. Replacing unhealthy TV dinners with a freshly home-made meal has never been so rewarding for your well-being!
3. Hot dogs – yes, skip the hot dog stand after a late night out and head straight home for some healthy snacks!
4. Sauces such as vinegar, mustard, horseradish, or soy sauce. Go back to the basics and use olive oil with lemon as your salad dressing and cook with extra virgin olive or butter!
5. Candy such as jelly beans and licorice are less known foods to avoid with celiac disease, so be careful when satisfying your sweet tooth craving!
6. Powdered chocolate milk might also contain gluten and wheat- related contaminants.
7. Alcohol that was fermented from grain, barley malt, and hops. This includes most beers (unless Buckwheat or Sorghum based), whiskey, gin, many liqueurs and pre-mixed drinks. Safe alternatives are distilled beverages and include wine, rum, tequila, port, vermouth, sherry and vodka.
8. Instant coffee is another candidate for suspicion on our list of foods to avoid with celiac disease. One more reason to start going to the gym for energy boost instead of getting hooked on caffeine!
9. One of the key foods to avoid with celiac disease to avoid is actually, sugar: sugar is an enemy of bowel movement, and it inhibits proper digestion. It is better to increase water intake and avoid sugars, since they also loosen the bowels. Sugar causes damage to the digestive tract. If a patient has problems with Candida overgrowth or any bowel diseases, sugar only triggers worse symptoms. It is best to avoid sugar altogether.
10. Low- or non-fat products such as low-fat sour cream are surprisingly also foods to avoid with celiac disease. While people with gluten intolerance vs celiac disease may often tolerate lactose, many celiac sufferers may not only be lactose intolerant but also highly deficient in fats as their absorption is blocked when the body reacts to the harmful gluten. So if you are lactose tolerant, go for the regular organic sour cream, or better yet, fermented dairy products like kefir!