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health and wellness: celiac disease awareness month

Super 1 Foods | Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 12:44PM

Celiac Disease Awareness MonthMay is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is when the body develops sensitivity to a certain protein in wheat, barley and rye called gluten. Gluten damages the small intestines and prevents absorption of nutrients. The only treatment for Celiac Disease is a gluten-free diet. Wheat and gluten are also in some processed foods; they are used as preservatives and thickeners in many products and go by many names.

You may be pleased to know that there is a long list of gluten-free foods that you can enjoy. The key to enjoying nutritious, gluten-free foods is to eat as simply as possible. A grilled chicken breast instead of a breaded chicken sandwich and steam vegetables instead of vegetables with fancy sauces will be more likely to be on your list of safe foods.

Here is a guide to gluten-free shopping:

Load up on these naturally gluten-free foods. Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients that our bodies may be lacking on a gluten-free diet like folic acid and fiber.

Dairy & Eggs
Minimally processed items in this section such as fluid milk, natural cheese and eggs in their shells are all naturally gluten-free. Bleu cheese is a surprising source of gluten. Be sure to read labels on processed cheese, shredded cheese, yogurt and egg substitutes.

Meats, Poultry & Fish
Fresh meat, poultry and fish are naturally gluten-free. Watch out for breading, marinades, flavoring and seasonings added to the meat. Check labels to make sure the product does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients.

Flour & Grains
Gluten-free grains and flours include rice, corn, potato, buckwheat, quinoa, millet and teff. Many types of pastas are made with these grains and are now available! 

Beans are a wonderful gluten-free food. Beans are packed with protein and fiber, but if you buy canned baked beans, the sauce may be another story. Read the labels to be safe!

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Posted in: Health and Wellness, Nutrition