People who have coeliac disease cannot digest a protein known as gluten. Gluten is naturally found in wheat, rye and barley, and may be present in processed food. When people with coeliac disease eat foods containing gluten their body's immune system reacts by attacking and destroying the small villi along the lining of the intestines. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (or NIDDK) the villi are responsible for absorbing nutrients and without them people become malnourished. People with coeliac disease must avoid foods with gluten to stay healthy.
Grains and Starches
Grains and starches are a major source of gluten in the diet. Many of these foods would be considered bad for people with coeliac disease. Any foods made with wheat including: wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, hydrolyzed wheat protein, graham flour, durum flour, enriched flour, farina, couscous, plain flour, self-rising flour, semolina and white flour are on the bad food list. Wheat-like grains such as einkorn, emmer, spelt and kamut should also be avoided. In addition, any foods containing rye, barley and triticale may trigger reactionary symptoms.
Starches on the bad list include pasta, bread, cakes, most crackers, gnocchi, and soba noodles. According to the Better Health Channel website, this also includes: breakfast cereals, porridge, and corn or rice cereals with malt flavouring.
Meat and Dairy
Processed meat and dairy products may contain gluten as an added ingredient. Mayo Clinic recommends that people with coeliac disease should read food labels carefully to avoid foods with gluten. Bad meat and dairy choices for people with coeliac include any meat prepared with breadcrumbs, sausage, cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, imitation fish, malted milk, some cheese spreads, some soy milks and ice cream cones.
Fruits and Vegetables
A new labelling law, called the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, enacted in January of 2006 states foods with allergens, such as wheat and gluten, must be easily identified on the ingredients list. Bad fruits and vegetables for people with coeliac disease include vegetables with sauces, texturised vegetable protein, and fruit pie filling.
Additional foods bad for coeliac disease include crisps, french fries, bouillon cubes. According to the Gluten-Free-Chef, brown rice syrup, candy, gravy, seasoned tortilla chips, soups, self-basting turkeys and soy sauce, should also be avoided.
Beer, ale, stout and lager contain gluten and are on the coeliac bad food list, according to the Better Health Channel.