Celiac Special Diet and Nutritional Needs

Staying healthy and eating a well-balanced diet are top priorities. While avoiding foods containing gluten, we also need to make sure do not fall into eating habits that don't provide adequate nutrition.

It just takes a little thinking “out of the box”, some experimentation, planning and preparation. Remember, a good attitude is vital, and contagious!

Try to make sure that every bite counts and incorporate as many healthy ingredients as possible. Try new recipes, new cuisines from other countries and new foods. Focus on foods you can eat, instead of foods you can’t. Try to fill your plate up with colorful, nutrient and fiber filled fresh fruits and vegetables that are safe for you to eat. We aim to serve two-three different vegetables and/or fruits at lunch and dinner every day, plus a fruit at breakfast and for a snack or dessert.

On this page you will find information on the following.

Safe Grains and Flours

Discuss all food choices with your physician.  Sometimes celiac patients also have food allergies.  Do not eat a food if you think or know you have an allergy to it.  Some these foods are actually seeds or legumes.  A more lengthy list can be found at celiac.com.

  • Rice (all kinds)
  • wild rice
  • corn (maize, masa, popcorn, grits, hominy) - avoid creamed - usually contains wheat
  • amaranth
  • arrowroot
  • bean flour (besan)
  • buckwheat
  • cassava
  • chestnut
  • flaxseed
  • hominy
  • job's tears
  • lentils
  • manioc
  • millet
  • milo (sorghum)
  • tapioca
  • tree nuts
  • peanuts
  • potato flour & starch
  • quinoa
  • sago
  • sesame
  • sunflower
    sweet potato
  • taro
  • teff

Get your Vitamins!

If you must avoid foods from multiple food groups, consider consulting with a nutritionist to make sure your diet is providing you with all the nutrients needed to stay healthy. If the physician or nutritionist recommends taking vitamin supplements, read the ingredient labels. Some supplements contain allergens and other added ingredients. Common additives include natural and artificial flavors and colors, yeast, corn, wheat, dairy products, and preservatives. Some children’s vitamins are also cross-contaminated with peanuts and tree nuts.

Below is a list of nutrients that celiacs are frequently deficient in, and other foods which provide the same nutrients.

Essential Fatty Acids (Omega- and Omega-6) -- These are also known as the "good fats."  Food sources include fish and shellfish, flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed, flax meal, soybean oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, safflower oil, hemp oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.

Iron -- Chicken liver, beef liver, beef, chicken, turkey, clams, oysters, fortified cereal, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, figs, potato, chard, asparagus, avocado, sour cherries, beets, sunflower seeds, prune juice, tomato juice.

Vitamin D -- Fortified juice and cereals, sunlight, avocado, multivitamin, beef liver.

Vitamin K -- Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale), broccoli, parsley, liver, olive oil, canola oil.

Calcium -- Fortified cereal, collards, kale, okra, fortified orange juice and rice milk  (also almonds if your diet allows), broccoli, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, bok choy or Chinese cabbage.

Magnesium -- Meat, poultry, fish, pumpkin and squash seeds, quinoa, spinach, artichoke hearts, buckwheat groats, brown rice.

Folate (folic acid) -- Fortified juice and cereals, spinach, rice, broccoli, avocado, tomato juice, banana, papaya, cantaloupe, asparagus.

Zinc -- Meat, seafood and liver.

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