Gluten-free diets are prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac disease affects the small intestine and damages the intestine, which prevents food from being digested and absorbed properly. A gluten-free diet is the only way to prevent any reoccurrence of symptoms associated with celiac disease. The following is a list of foods that should be avoided when you are prescribed a gluten-free diet.

  • Any processed food should be avoided. It may seem like a difficult task given the nature of many foods on the market; however, it is possible to find gluten-free foods. Most supermarkets will have a section dedicated specifically to gluten-free products. Many processed foods are produced in a plant where equipment is shared with products that contain gluten.
  • As a rule most pasta and cereals should be avoided. Any product that contains wheat, rye or barley should be avoided as well. These products all contain gluten which triggers celiac disease reactions. In addition, avoid any products that have been created using equipment that is shared with wheat products. All products that come into contact with shared equipment are required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be labeled when the possibility exists.
  • Many types of flour include wheat grains which makes them a no-no for people on a gluten-free diet. Many types of items made with flour, such as bread, cake and donuts must be avoided as they contain gluten. Special items are available at bakeries for those with gluten allergies or intolerance.

    If you like to bake your own bread or cakes, there are several gluten-free alternatives to use such as amaranth, millet or quinoa. Do your research and figure out which substitutes would have the best chance in your recipes. You can also search online for gluten-free recipes to make at home yourself.

  • Snack foods, especially if seasoned, may contain gluten. When purchasing these products, be sure to check the label for any products containing gluten. While fried goods, meatloaf and meat balls may not contain gluten, they are typically breaded or held together with breadcrumbs which do contain wheat products.

The list of foods to avoid can be overwhelmingly extensive, especially if you have just been prescribed a gluten-free diet. However, there are many healthy alternatives to wheat, rye and barley products. Alternatives include grains such as amaranth, millet and buckwheat.

If you are prescribed a gluten-free diet, your physician will likely refer you to a dietician who will help you establish a healthy list of foods to avoid and alternatives. There are also many gluten-free recipes available online to help you broaden your diet.