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Gluten-Free Diet For Celiac Disease

Gluten-free diets are necessary for individuals who are unable to digest a protein called gluten found in wheat, rye, barley, and possibly oats. Gluten intoleranceor inability to digest gluten– is commonly referred to as celiac disease, or glutensensitive enteropathy. Individuals who have gluten intolerance suffer damage to their intestines when they eat foods that contain gluten.


People with celiac disease have a broad range of symptoms. Common symptoms can include: DIARRHEA, WEIGHT LOSS, STEATORRHEA (FATTY STOOLS), BLOATING, CONSTIPATION, and MALNUTRITION.

Bone and muscle pain, lethargy, neuropathy, depression, and behavioral problems can also be symptoms of celiac disease. Due to the variability of symptoms, an individual with celiac disease is often misdiagnosed for years before getting the proper diagnosis and treatment. Currently, the only treatment for an individual with celiac disease is strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. It is estimated that one in 133 Americans have sensitivities to gluten.

Sources of Gluten

Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet is difficult. All foods that contain wheat, rye and barley gluten must be avoided. Pizza, bread, bagels, pasta, some breakfast cereals, noodles and bread crumbs are only some examples of foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a common “hidden” food ingredient in many commercial food products including condiments, sauces, luncheon meats, soups, beverages, and snack foods. Foods that don’t contain gluten may be produced in a food plant that manufactures gluten-containing food products. Therefore, the possibility of cross-contamination is high. It is essential that an individual with celiac disease carefully read and understand food labels, ask how food is prepared when eating out, and familiarize him or herself with food additives that are made from gluten.

Major Sources of Gluten**

• Barley • Bran • Couscous • Flour (wheat) • Kamut • Malt • Matzo • Pasta • Rye • Seitan • Semolina • Soy Sauce • Spelt • Sprouted wheat or barley • Teriyaki Sauce • Triticale • Udon • Wheat

Hidden Sources of Gluten**

• Beer • Brewer’s yeast • Coloring • Fillers • Flavorings • Graham flour • Hydrolyzed plant protein • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein • Mono- and diglycerides • Monosodium glutamate • Spices • Textured vegetable protein

** For more information about label reading for gluten, visit

Food Preparation Tips For Customers On Gluten-Free Diets

Communication with the chefs and managers where you dine is the key to ensuring your meals are free of gluten.  Ask what is available on your campus forgluten-free food products, and for special handling to avoid cross contact with gluten. Until you are comfortable with selecting your meals, pre-plan them a week in advance with a dietitian, chef, or manager.  Remember communication is the key. 

Gluten-Free Menu Ideas

  • Roasted or Grilled (Beef, Chicken, Fish, Shrimp, Surimi, Vegetables, Tofu)
  • Stir Fry Entrée (Beef, Chicken, Fish, Shrimp, Surimi, Vegetables, Tofu)
  • Pasta Entrée (with Rice Noodles, or Gluten-Free Noodles)
  • Burrito, Roll-up, Taco, Quesadilla (with Corn Tortilla)
  • Main Dish Salad (Chef, Chicken, Shrimp, Tofu, Legumes)
  • Breakfast items (Eggs, Omelets, Gluten-Free Pancakes and Waffles, Breakfast Sandwiches on Gluten-Free Bagels or Bread)