Tip of the Day
National Celiac Disease Awareness Month
This month we recognize National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. It is currently unknown how many people are living with celiac disease in the United States, but the numbers may run as high as 1 percent.
People with celiac disease cannot eat foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. With celiac disease, the body's immune system responds to gluten by damaging the villi (small, hair-like projections) that line the small intestine. Damage to the small intestine means nutrients cannot be fully used by the body, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
The only treatment for celiac disease is to eat a gluten-free diet. Once gluten is removed from the diet, the small intestine can start to heal and nutrition absorption improves.
Foods that are naturally gluten-free include fruits, vegetables, beef, poultry, fish, nuts, eggs and more. And, there are several tasty grains that can be used in place of those that contain gluten like amaranth, corn, quinoa, flax, tapioca, buckwheat and millet.
For more information on living with celiac disease, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area and visit our Celiac Disease section.
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Reviewed March 2013