Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine when gluten (protein in wheat) is digested. The body is unable to digest the protein in wheat called gluten. This leads to damage in the small intestine, which disrupts the absorption of nutrients from food. When a person is diagnosed with Celiac Disease and continues to eat wheat (gluten), their body will continually attack itself. Basically the wheat (gluten) that you eat tells your small intestine to attack itself causing damage.
The outcome: malnourishment and other health problems. What is the solution? A wheat and gluten free diet. Since the body is unable to digest the protein in wheat called gluten, the person should avoid all products containing gluten.
Gluten can be found in:
Wheat, wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, khorasan wheat, rye, barley, triticale, malt (malted barley flour, malted milk or milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar, brewers yeast, wheat starch
Foods that may contain gluten:
- Energy bars/granola bars
- French fries
- Potato chips
- Candy/ candy bars
- Multigrain tortilla chips
- Salad dressings, starch or dextrin
- Meat substitutes, pre-seasoned meats, or processed lunch meats
- Soy sauce
It is extremely important when going completely gluten free to always read the label. On the label you will find the list of ingredients that may contain hidden gluten ingredients. So a word for the wise is regardless if it says gluten free, check the label yourself to be 100% for sure.
The good news about going gluten free is there are several brands and chain restaurants that are providing gluten free products. Gluten free products are becoming more and more popular. Along with the popularity they are becoming better quality as well.
Below you will find a recipe for Banana Bread. When cooking gluten free you will find that several recipes call for several types of flours. I have found that this can be extremely overwhelming and costly. The best substitute flour I have found is King Arthur Rice Flour. This flour can be substituted into just about any recipe. This brand has several different pre made mixes that I would highly recommend to the newly diagnosed celiac patient.
- 2 Small Bananas
- 5 1/3 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 Cup Rice Flour (King Arthur Brand)
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 2 tbsp. Milk
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. baking Soda
- ¾ tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 in. square-baking pan.
- In a small bowl mash the bananas well and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix the butter and flour. Add all the other ingredients, including the mashed bananas. Mix well. (The batter will thicken as you mix it.)
- Pour into the lightly greased pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the banana bread tests cleanly.
Written by: Nicole Herrera, CDA-OD Fundraising Co Chair. Nicole is currently finishing her last year at California State University, Long Beach and will graduate with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics in May 2015.