Diet for Celiac Disease 
Your Simple Guide

You need a diet for celiac disease. Perhaps you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease and you are trying to figure out what you can eat and what you can't?

Gluten is a general name given to the storage proteins in wheat, barley and rye. A gluten-free diet eliminates these grains and any foods derived from these grains. It is important to be aware of hidden sources in packaged foods and even in mouthwashes, toothpastes and medications.

diet for celiac disease

For your gluten-free diet, here is a quick reference guide for family and friends, as well as replacement equivalents for recipes. Plus, all the foods to allow, question or avoid.

The more you prepare healthy meals from scratch, rather than use packaged foods, the easier it will be.

Quick Reference Guide

A quick resource for your diet for celiac disease. This is perfect for your friends and family when they invite you for dinner, or to bring along to restaurants when eating out.

Preparing a gluten-free meal for a person with celiac disease

Celiac disease is a condition in which gluten damages the absorptive surface of the intestine. 
People with this condition MUST eat gluten-free meals.
Avoid contamination with products which contain gluten. 

  • Always use a clean surface, utensil, pan or pot.
  • Keep gluten-containing food away from the meal you are preparing - including oil used to cook these foods

Safe choices:

  • fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables
  • eggs and cheese
  • rice, corn, soy and potato products
  • flours made from rice, corn, soy and potato

Avoid foods containing gluten from wheat, rye, barley, oats and triticale:

  • Avoid flours milled from wheat, rye, barley, commercial oats & triticale
  • Avoid bread, rolls and croutons
  • Avoid cakes, pies, cookies and muffins
  • Avoid noodles of any type
  • Avoid crackers or cracker crumbs
  • Avoid bread crumbs and batters used for coating

Hidden sources of gluten:

  • H.V.P. - Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Malt flavouring
  • Malt
  • Modified wheat starch or other unidentified food starch

Beware of the above ingredients in such foods as:

  • Bullion cubes
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Baking powder
  • Salad dressings
  • Soup or gravy bases
  • Seasonings
  • Soy sauce

Foods Allowed:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Baking soda
  • Bean flour
  • Buckwheat
  • Cassava
  • Chick pea flour
  • Corn flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Cream of tartar
  • Dal or Dahl (Legume from India)
  • Flax
  • Gelatin
  • Green pea flour
  • Gums:
  • Acacia (Gum Arabic)
  • Carob bean gum
  • Carrageenan
  • Cellulose
  • Guaica
  • Guar
  • Karaya
  • Locust bean
  • Tragacanth
  • Xanthum
  • Kudzu
  • Lecithin
  • Legumes: Seeds of plants which include
  • Channa
  • Chick peas
  • Gram
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts
  • Peas
  • Malto dextrin
  • Maltose
  • Millet
  • Molasses
  • Mustard flour (ground mustard)
  • Oats* (pure uncontaminated)
  • Poi
  • Potato flour
  • Potato starch
  • Rice bran
  • Rice flour
  • Rice flour (glutinous, sweet)
  • Rice polishings
  • Rice starch
  • Sorghum
  • Soya flour
  • Soya starch
  • Spices
  • Sweet potato
  • Tapioca flour
  • Tapioca starch
  • Teff
  • Tofu
  • Xanthum gum
  • Yam
  • Yeast

Foods to Avoid:

  • Barley
  • Bulgar
  • Cereal Binding
  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Graham Flour
  • Kamut
  • Malt
  • Malt Extract
  • Malt Flavouring
  • Malt Syrup
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Wheat
  • Wheat Bran
  • Wheat Germ
  • Wheat Starch

Foods to Question

Milk Products:

Milk drinks
Chocolate milk and other flavoured drinks may contain wheat starch or barley malt.

Cheese Spreads or Sauces (e.g. Nacho)
May be thickened/stabilized with wheat. Flavourings and seasonings may contain wheat.

Flavoured or frozen yogurt 
May be thickened/stabilized with a gluten source. May contain granola or cookie crumbs. 

Grains

Buckwheat Flour
Pure buckwheat flour is gluten-free. Sometimes buckwheat flour may be mixed with wheat flour.

Rice Cereals 
May contain barley malt extract.

Corn Cereals
May contain oat syrup or barley malt extract.

Buckwheat Pasta
Some "soba" pastas contain pure buckwheat flour which is gluten-free but others may also contain wheat flour.

Rice Cakes, Corn Cakes, Rice Crackers 
Multigrain often contains barley and/or oats. Some contain soy sauce (may be made from wheat).

Meats/Alternatives

Baked Beans 
Some are thickened with wheat flour.

Imitation Crab
May contain fillers made from wheat starch.

Dry Roasted Nuts
May contain wheat.

Processed Meat Products
May contain fillers made from wheat. May contain HPP or HVP made from wheat.

Imitation Meats
Often contain wheat or oats.

Fruits/Vegetables

Dried Fruits 
Dates and other dried fruits may be dusted with wheat flour to prevent sticking.

Fruits/Veg's with sauces / Fruit Pie Fillings 
Some may be thickened with flour.

Soups

Canned Soups, Dried Soup Mixes, Soup bases and Bouillon Cubes
May contain noodles or barley.
Cream soups are often thickened with flour.
May contain HPP or HVP (from wheat).
Seasonings may contain wheat flour, wheat starch or hydrolyzed wheat protein.

Fats

Salad Dressings
Seasonings may contain wheat flour or wheat starch.

Desserts

Milk Puddings/Mixes
Starch source may be from wheat.

Miscellaneous

Beverages
Some instant teas, herbal teas, coffee substitutes and other drinks may have grain additives.
Non-dairy substitutes (e.g., rice drinks and soy drinks) may contain barley, barley malt extract or oats.

Potato, Tortilla Chips and Soy Nuts 
Some potato chips contain wheat.
Seasoning mixtures may contain wheat flour, wheat starch or hydrolysed wheat protein.

Baking Powder
Contains starch which may be from wheat.

Seasonings, Seasoning Mixes
May contain wheat flour, wheat starch or hydrolysed wheat protein.

Worcestershire Sauce
May contain malt vinegar which is not gluten-free.


Substitutions for 1 Cup Wheat Flour

Mix: 
2 cups Brown rice flour
2 cups Sweet rice flour
2 cups Rice polish

Store in an airtight container and use 7/8 cup (215 mL) of the mixture in place of 1 cup (240 mL) wheat flour.

Other Substitutions for 1 Cup (240 mL) Wheat Flour

5/8 cup Potato starch
7/8 cup White or brown rice flour
1 cup Corn flour
1 cup Fine cornmeal
3/4 cup Coarse cornmeal

5/8 cup White or brown rice flour plus
1/3 cup Potato starch flour

1 cup Soy flour plus
1/4 cup Potato starch flour

3/4 cup Rice flour plus
1/4 cup Cornstarch

7/8 cup Whole bean flour

Healthy Gluten-Free Flour Mixture

Yield 6 1/3 cups

  • 4 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 1/3 cups potato starch
  • 1 cup Amaranth flour


Sift ingredients together and store in plastic containers. Refrigerate for longer storage periods.

Resource: 
The Canadian Celiac Association

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