Aug 18, 2023
Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Jess Brantner, MS, director of Nutrition Services at United Hospital Center, talks about what bringing awareness to celiac disease.
1). If you have celiac disease, can you consume packaged goods?
You can consume packaged gluten-free foods, such as gluten-free types of baked goods, bread, and pasta. These foods are available from many grocery stores, restaurants, and at specialty food companies. Packaged gluten-free foods tend to cost more than the same foods that have gluten, and restaurants may charge more for gluten-free types of foods.
Make sure to speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian about whether you should include oats in your diet and how much. Research suggests that most people with celiac disease can safely eat moderate amounts of oats. If you do eat oats, make sure they are gluten-free. Cross-contact between oats and grains that contain gluten is common and can make oats unsafe for people with celiac disease.
2). What do all the various references to gluten mean when it comes to labeling?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that foods labeled “gluten-free” meet specific standards. One requirement is that foods with the terms “gluten-free,” “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” or “without gluten” on the label must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This amount of gluten is too small to cause problems in most people with celiac disease.
The FDA rule does not apply to foods regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including meat, poultry, and some egg products. The rule also does not apply to most alcoholic beverages, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
3). Should I start a gluten-free diet before I talk with my doctor?
No. If you think you might have celiac disease, you should talk with your doctor about testing to diagnose celiac disease before you begin a gluten-free diet. If you avoid gluten before you have testing, the test results may not be accurate.
Also, if you start avoiding gluten without advice from a doctor or a registered dietitian, your diet may not provide enough of the nutrients you need, such as fiber, iron, and calcium. Some packaged gluten-free foods may be higher in fat and sugar than the same foods that contain gluten. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, your doctor and dietitian can help you plan a healthy gluten-free diet.
If you don’t have celiac disease or another health problem related to gluten, your doctor may not recommend a gluten-free diet. In recent years, more people without celiac disease have begun avoiding gluten, believing that a gluten-free diet is healthier or could help them lose weight. However, researchers have found no evidence that a gluten-free diet promotes better health or weight loss for the general population.
This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.
Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing related symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.