Today, the only treatment for celiac disease is the gluten-free diet. But difficult to avoid all traces of wheat, barley, rye. Because these cereals are hidden in almost all foods, from beer to cold meats and pastries. Some explanations and advice for safe eating.
This diet excluding wheat, barley, oats and rye is not very easy to implement because it often involves modifying well-established eating habits. You have to cook simply with natural foods (not prepared industrially) and highlight what is allowed instead of thinking in terms of prohibited foods. Wheat flour is used not only in the composition of all breads and pastries but also in that of many prepared dishes (as a binder for sauces).
How to recognize gluten-free products?
There is currently no legal obligation to mention the gluten intake on foods and the very composition of prepared foods varies over time, some may at a given time not contain gluten and then, later, be found to contain it. Nevertheless, we find more and more often a crossed out ear on gluten-free products: this symbol is the property of the French association of gluten intolerant. It guarantees a “non-contaminated” finished product whose gluten content does not exceed 20 mg / kg, the threshold of European Regulation No. 41/2009.
The list of authorized foods therefore varies over time and regular updating is essential.
Foods prohibited in the gluten-free diet
In general, breads, pastries, pasta, semolina are prohibited.
Dairy products are not a problem, except for cheese spreads and some gel creams ; caution is required with chocolate flavored yogurts.
The meats should be avoided except ham.
The fruits can be eaten without problem (except the dried figs which are often floured ).
Fresh meat and fish are allowed, but cooked meals (fresh, canned or frozen) are to be excluded because they contain flour as a binder.
All fresh, canned or frozen vegetables are possible, but so-called “steamed” canned foods may contain flour .
Many sweets contain gluten and only “pure sugar” or “pure fruit” sweets as well as sour candies never contain gluten and can be eaten.
Finally, beer should also be avoided, but there are now gluten-free beers.
Where can I find gluten-free products?
If the principle of the diet is simple, it is not very easy to put into practice. Cereals, as we know, are the basis of food in Europe and the exclusion of bread , pasta , semolina, pastries and sweets is not easy, especially in school canteens and communities.
Besides common foods, guaranteed gluten-free products exist (Apoglut gluten-free flour, Rice-diet, Riésal, etc.) but their cost can be difficult to bear in modest environments.
Asian products which are often based on rice are relatively inexpensive and can be recommended. Be careful, however, to ensure that there is no gluten in the preparations (as can be the case when there is soy sauce for example).
On the other hand, flour can be replaced in the preparation of ready meals with cornstarch or potato starch .
It is often necessary, at the start of the diet, to also exclude lactose from the diet. In fact, lesions of the intestinal mucosa (villous atrophy) are responsible for a drop in the activity of lactase, an enzyme essential for the digestion of lactose and which is located on the surface of the mucosa. The duration of this regime is theoretically for life.