Recently I had a client come to me because she had just been diagnosed with Celiac disease. Her doctor explained to her what it was, but she didn’t tell her how to change her diet to battle this disease. So if you are ever diagnosed with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity, this is what you need to know. My sources are the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that is triggered by a person’s intolerance or hypersensitivity to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and derivatives of these grains. A gluten-free diet is traditionally used to treat individuals with Celiac. It’s important to note that one does not have to suffer from full-blown Celiac to experience these symptoms. Most people experience a great
improvement in health by eliminating gluten from their diet.

Those following a gluten-free diet are encouraged to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality meat and fish, healthy fats, and gluten-free grains. My clients are always amazed by the number of grains that are gluten-free. Does it require that you cleanse your pantry? Yes. But most of these grains are readily available in your local grocery store. They include the following: Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, corn,
flax, gluten-free flours: rice, soy, corn, potato and bean flours, millet, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca, and teff.

In addition to fruits and veggies, many naturally gluten-free foods can be a part of a healthy diet. These include beans, seeds, legumes, and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms; eggs; lean, nonprocessed meats, fish and poultry; and most low-fat dairy products. (Please note that I usually recommend full-fat dairy products to my clients as a healthy fat, but this does not apply to those with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity.)

Those with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity should avoid all foods and drinks containing the following: Wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and oats. (Note: While oats are naturally gluten-free, they may be contaminated during production with wheat, barley or rye. Oats and oat products labeled gluten-free have not been cross-contaminated. Some people with Celiac, however, cannot tolerate the gluten-free-labeled oats.)

If this article resonates with you, the most important thing to remember is to focus on fresh fruit, veggies, high-quality meat and fish, healthy fats, and gluten-free grains. To be honest, we all could benefit from this eating lifestyle. How great would we all feel if we ate this way!