Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – all of which can cause problems for individuals with celiac sprue, also known as Celiac Disease.
Individuals with Celiac Disease
have a smoother small intestine, making it more difficult for food absorption. This puts them at increased risk for serious complications later in life because they can’t absorb needed nutrients. The only cure for Celiac Disease is to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet.
With the increased understanding of Celiac Disease also came an increase in gluten-free diets. People follow gluten-free diets for a variety of reasons. However, not everyone needs a gluten-free diet. Removing gluten from your diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be healthier or lose weight.
And while more items marked “gluten-free” are popping up at the grocery store, there are some foods that are naturally gluten-free, including:
• Sweet potatoes
• Wild rice
• Oatmeal (if very sensitive to gluten; may need to purchase gluten-free oatmeal)
• Nut butters
• Fruits and vegetables
Choosing foods that are naturally gluten-free will also likely save you money on your grocery bills.
Resources for Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease Symptoms and Conditions Checklist
Celiac Disease Foundation