KIND Bars & Granola Gluten-Free Review

Sure, nutrition bars can be part of a healthy diet, but most have tons of added sugar, unhealthy carbohydrates, and extra calories – not to mention additives and preservatives, which can cause digestive issues.Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 12.12.42 PM

Since starting my low sugar diet in January, I had given up KIND bars; the ones I was eating had way too much sugar. It wasn’t until recently that I learned about their Nut & Spice line which offers flavors with 5 grams or less of sugar per bar!

KIND began in 2004 with just 8 varieties and has grown to over 22 bars and 6 healthy grains snackable clusters.IMG_4223

All KIND snacks are made from all-natural whole nuts, fruits, and whole grains. There is no refined sugar or anything artificial in any of their products. KIND believes that if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it shouldn’t go into your body, and I agree with them 100%.

KIND offers three lines of whole nut and fruit bars—KIND Fruit & Nut, KIND PLUS, and KIND Nuts & Spices.

Although they are a little low in protein, KIND bars are a clean and quick on-the-go choice with healthy fats, fiber, and a low sugar content. Although the amount of sugar in some of the fruit and nut bars is rather high for me – 9 to 16 grams– many of the bars do contain fewer than 6 grams per

All KIND products are dairy free (except the yogurt bars), cholesterol free, and gluten free. Every product is tested for gluten, and meets the FDA’s requirement of 20ppm. KIND’s manufacturing plant is dedicated gluten free, and has a strict allergen control program. Moreover, their products are non-GMO, low in sodium, and have zero trans fat.

KIND PLUS bars are made with unique ingredients that include supplements such as added calcium, antioxidants, omega-3s, fiber, and B vitamins to offer enhanced nutrition.Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 12.12.58 PM

What I look for when choosing a bar is a sugar content of less than 6 grams per serving, at least 4 grams of fiber, low sodium, and less than 3 grams of saturated fat. The bars highlighted below are the bars I love and buy all the time.

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 11.56.01 AM

Note: This is not a complete list; it is a partial list for comparison.


Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

KIND healthy grain clusters (aka granola) contain healthy, unique 100% whole grains like amaranth and quinoa; superfoods like blueberries and chia; and delicious ingredients like dark chocolate and maple syrup.

My favorite is the Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa, and with only 6g of sugar per serving it’s not too high for me! I love the healthy blend of chia, quinoa, amaranth, oats, milte and buckwheat, with the sweet touch of maple syrup. Each serving contains 300mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and provide 17g of whole grains!

KIND products can be purchased in local grocery and health stores. They can also be purchased online.

Celiac/Coeliac Disease Explained (Video)

Celiac disease is characterized by diffuse damage to the proximal small intestinal mucosa that results in malabsorption of most nutrients.

Typical symptoms may manifest between 6 months and 24 months of age after the introduction of weaning foods, but the majority of cases present with “atypical” symptoms in childhood or adulthood.
Although the precise mechanism of the destruction of villi in the small intestine is unknown, it is clear that removal of gluten from the diet results in resolution of symptoms and intestinal healing in most patients.

Glutens are storage proteins that are present in certain grains such as wheat, rye, and barley but not oats, rice, or corn. It is hypothesized that in genetically predisposed people of all ages, gluten stimulates an inappropriate T cell-mediated autoimmune response in the intestinal submucosa that results in destruction of mucosal enterocytes. One target of this autoimmune response is tissue transglutaminase (tTG), an enzyme that modifies a component of gluten (gliadin) to a form that more strongly stimulates T cells.

83% of people with celiac disease are diagnosed with the wrong condition or not diagnosed at all. Diagnosis is usually first suggested by the presence of transglutaminase (tTG) autoantibodies, but established by biopsy of the small intestine by upper intestinal endoscopy.

Treatment for celiac disease, is a lifelong avoidance of gluten, found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten-free diet indicates a supposed harmless level of gluten rather than a complete absence.

Chef Going to Great Lengths to Cook with Gluten Packed Ingredients

A chef in New Orleans has caused quite a stir online with plans for a gluten celebration dinner with many of those suffering from celiac intolerances complaining on social media.
The chef, called Jason Goodenough, has proposed a a menu subtitled: (It’s) A Celebration of Gluten (Bitches)’ and will be going to great lengths to cook with gluten packed ingredients.
Goodenough, who runs the Carrollton Market restaurant in New Orleans, said he got the idea after getting tired with the increasing numbers of people who demonise gluten. The menu will be “centered around the current villain of proteins, gluten,” wrote the chef in a press release.
The eight-course tasting menu, costing $80, will include dishes such as tuna crudo served with shallots coated in flour and soy-sauce – both sources of gluten. Even the foie gras will be given a gluten makeover with a breadcrumb crust.
The chef told reporters the menu will start with “Buffalo-style fried gluten,” glutenous balls he says he discovered at an Asian grocery store, and will finish with a dessert of peach bread pudding
Anyone truly upset at the chef’s proposal will be happy to know that he plans to donate proceeds from the dinner to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
In a release, Goodenough said: “Gluten is a very misunderstood protein. It’s what makes my pasta dough elastic, what gives my bread texture and what makes my pie dough crunchy. Instead of scorning gluten, we are celebrating it.”

Is It Dangerous For Your Body When You Stop Eating Sugar, Gluten and Alcohol?

Sometimes I like to dream. I’m not just talking about casual daydreams that revolve around your future house or dream vacation, I’m talking about the big-time. The life changing dreams like quitting gluten, sugar, and alcohol. It seems impossible, but humans are more than capable of surviving without it, and the outcome is filled with nothing but rewards.

Sugar, Alcohol, and Gluten.Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 12.59.07 AM

The problem with these substances is that gluten, sugar, and alcohol don’t have immediate tangible effects on your body. The real dangers sit in the medium to long term effects.

Not only do they negatively affect your health and bodily functions, but they also contribute to the deterioration of your mind.

It’s obviously much easier to abandon habits that are conclusively “bad” for you. For example, eating something that you know makes you nauseous or ties up your digestive system. Imagine a lactose-intolerant person eating a pint of ice cream. It tastes good, but it makes a negative effect on the body.

The Harm:

It can be harder to give up substances like gluten, sugar, and alcohol because of their indirect effects. However, don’t be fooled, these products will harm you slowly.shutterstock_251750599

Gluten, although controversial, has adverse effects on your digestive system and your brain.

Sugar raises your cholesterol, it’s bad for your teeth and puts you at risk of diabetes. And regular drinking can turn into high blood pressure, liver disease, anxiety, and even cancer.

If you successfully quit these products then here’s what you’ll start noticing:

1.Stomach Pain Relief:

Basically, when you eliminate gluten and sugar you will stop upsetting your stomach. You may not know exactly which foods were causing the problem but this elimination will set you in the right direction. You’ll notice that you won’t be bloated when you wake up in the morning and you won’t have gas after every meal.

2. Energy:shutterstock_166193831

Stop taking those artificial energy boosters by cleansing your diet.

 This will take the poison out of the foods you’re eating and add a spring to your step.

Eating clean will boost your energy levels and have you feeling more active.

3. Sleep:

Surprisingly, you’ll actually need less sleep. Incredible, I know. Gluten, sugar, and alcohol mess with your sleep cycle pretty severely leading to lower quality sleep. Without them, you’ll actually find that you feel the same with an hour less sleep at night. That’s an hour extra of your day to spend doing something worthwhile.

4. No more sugar spikes:

You won’t have to deal with the daily fluctuations that come along on the sugar roller coaster. The cycle of sugar spikes, much like the cycle of drunkenness, offers moments of intense excitement and elation, followed by phases of intense regret and fatigue. Stop the buck by switching your diet.


5. Awareness:

You know exactly what’s going into your body when you start limiting your diet. You start becoming more aware of what’s in the stuff you eat. A lot of the food we buy is processed and full of random ingredients, but eating clean will force you to be informed and pay attention to the ingredient list.

shutterstock_325003325Everything you eat starts to become a conscious decision, not just a momentary desire. Once you realize what’s in other products, you may even abandon them too…

6. No alcohol:

You don’t need alcohol to be social. This is the big one. Unfortunately, many people feel like they’re socially dependent on alcohol to have a good time, and more important, to not feel uncomfortable or awkward at social gatherings. It’s a myth, though.

Sure, the first time will be weird, the second time a little less weird, and so on. Until one day you realize that you feel perfectly comfortable and social without alcohol. Your method of social interaction simply adapts and reforms itself. In fact, you may actually improve your social skills, making genuine conversation instead of rambling in a numbingly drunken state.

The health of your soul, mind, and body are all interconnected, and making small adjustments can bring you back to a balanced whole. When you put more care into your food, your life will ultimately be the better for it.


Can Wheat Make You Crazy?

Maybe you’ve heard of the books Wheat Belly or Grain Brain. Maybe you’ve chatted with friends about a NY Times editorial claiming that gluten free is a fad. Maybe you’ve been raised, as I have, in a cultural consciousness that says, yeah food matters, but not that much.

I’d love to tell you a story I read about in the primary published literature that seems to suggest that yes, gluten is an issue. No it’s not a wellness fad. And its elimination may very well be the key to resolving what would otherwise be a chronic and disabling psychiatric condition.

A Case Report

Adult-onset psychosis.

She was 37, studying for her doctoral degree, under some degree of stress related to this, when she began expressing beliefs that people were talking about her. These beliefs progressed to paranoid accusations when she was burglarized a few months later and accused her parents of complicity.

She was hospitalized at a state psychiatric facility and labeled with psychotic disorder, treated with risperidone and sertraline and discharged after one month.

She was ultimately diagnosed with Hashimoto’s as well as Celiac disease which accounted for her multiple nutrient deficiencies, weight loss, and inability to absorb thyroid hormone medication.

Amazingly, the case report goes on to state:

After receiving the diagnosis of celiac disease, the patient thought her practitioners were being deceitful regarding the diagnosis and refused to adhere to a gluten-free diet. Psychotic symptoms and paranoia persisted, and she continued to “find clues” of conspiracy against her. She lost her job, became homeless, and attempted suicide; her family took out a restraining order against her. Eventually, she was rehospitalized at a psychiatric facility, where she was placed on a gluten free diet.

After 3 months on a strict gluten-free diet at an inpatient facility, her delusions resolved completely (associated with remission of Celiac confirmed by negative serologies and biopsy), but she was continued on risperidone for several months. At the time of the case write up, she had relapsed psychiatrically after an inadvertent exposure to gluten.

The Gluten Brain Connection

In this report, Dr. Alessio Fasano cautions not to initiate a gluten free dietary trial before an intestinal biopsy can be obtained (so as to avoid a false negative result). Should this be universal procedure for all those presenting with symptoms of psychiatric and neurologic illness? Or is there a path of less harm in a trial of a strict gluten free diet. Available literature suggests that brain-based manifestations of Celiac disease are possible. A related case report demonstrated on SPECT scanning that frontal lobe damage and associated symptoms of psychosis and diarrhea resolved with a gluten-free dietary intervention.

And what if the biopsy is negative? What about the ever-increasing acknowledgement of non-celiac gluten enteropathy and its very real psychiatric manifestation including depression and psychosis? According to Dr. Hadjivassiliou, “Gluten sensitivity can be primarily and at times exclusively a neurological disease” without co-occuring small intestinal pathology or subjective gut complaints. A related paper states:

“Gluten can cause neurological harm through a combination of cross reacting antibodies, immune complex disease and direct toxicity. These nervous system affects include: dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, cerebella ataxia, hypotonia, developmental delay, learning disorders, depression, migraine, and headache. If gluten is the putative harmful agent, then there is no requirement to invoke gut damage and nutritional deficiency to explain the myriad of the symptoms experienced by sufferers of celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity. This is called “The Gluten Syndrome”.”

Sayer Ji of details the history dating back to 1951 of gluten in psychiatric and specifically psychotic illness. More recent data has demonstrated that patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia are 2-3 times as likely to have immune reactivity to wheat. This report dovetails with an American Journal of Psychiatry study that correlated high levels of gliadin antibodies in cord blood with the later onset of psychosis in the offspring. Perhaps this immunoinflammatory priming is happening in utero and perpetuated through exposure to wheat products over the lifespan.

Psychiatric Medication: Worse Than Nothing

The time lost to identify the root cause of this 37 year old patient’s illness – which could be characterized as autoimmune alone rather than autoimmune AND psychiatric – resulted in almost a year of exposure to an ineffective antipsychotic medication. No harm in that, right?


In this thorough and thoughtful discussion, investigative journalist Robert Whitaker explores the long-term data including Harrow’s prospective study of 200 subjects over 15 years and Wunderink’s 7 year study of 128 first-psychosis cases, both of which both demonstrated that discontinuation of antipsychotic medication led to better long term outcomes for patients with psychosis. This is not to mention medication-induced brain shrinkage, the risk of severe relapse on drug discontinuation, and tardive psychosis (chronic symptoms on meds induced by compensatory physiology) with drug continuation. And the cavalier and dismissive posture on the part of those at the helm of the ship of psychiatry.

What if a course of “first do no harm” actually looked like any effort to accomplish this very intention. What if there were inpatient facilities where strict unprocessed (which automatically takes out gluten, sugar, and commercial dairy!) anti-inflammatory, organic diets were offered in a low chemical setting with the support of safe practices such as yoga, meditation, and even acupuncture in addition to community support? If there were, I know some corporate entities that might be less than pleased with the outcomes, but this shouldn’t stop us from taking matters into our own hands preventatively. Clean up your mind, clean up your body, and learn about the way processed foods have you dangling from a puppet string.

Over the past 35 years, psychiatry—as an institution—has remade our society. This is the medical specialty that defines what is normal and not normal. This is the medical specialty that tells us when we should take medications that will affect how we respond to the world. And this is the profession that determines whether such medications are good for our children. Given that influence, we as a society naturally have reason to want to know how the leaders in the profession think, and thus how they come to their conclusions about the merits of their drugs.– Robert Whitake


It’s Just A Joke…No, No It’s Not: A Lesson in Celiac Advocacy

Breathing. The key to life.

Get an email from a client that makes you upset? Don’t respond right away. Breathe.
Someone trolling you online? Don’t engage. Breathe.
Someone makes fun of your autoimmune disease? Don’t fly off the handle (yet). Breathe.

I learned this lesson in the past 30 minutes.

Mrs. Dude just sent me the above picture. It is from a salon right right down the street from the Dude Ranch. She was driving by and was so stunned by the sign that she pulled over and took a picture. I’ve blurred out the salon name (which I’ll explain why below), but you can see the chalkboard out in front. It says “Gluten Free Haircuts”.

Now I’ve had a bad day and am in the middle of a lot of stressful sh*t in my life. So my first reaction was pretty much rage. On a good day, I’ve had it with the jokes. On a bad day, forget about it. I have no patience for this ignorance anymore. But still, there was a part of me that really tried to give the benefit of the doubt to the owner. Maybe she meant that all of her products were gluten-free. Doubtful…but small possibility.

Now comes the decision. Do I go down there in person and potentially lose it, or do I take a few minutes…BREATHE…and give them a call? I chose the latter. Here is how the conversation went.

Salon: Hi…so and so Salon…can I help you?

Me: Hi…is the owner or manager there?

Salon: No she is not. Can I help you?

Me:I just noticed that you have a sign outside that says Gluten-Free Haircuts and I was wondering what that meant.

Salon: Ha, ha, ha…that’s just a joke…ha, ha, ha. (Literally, she was laughing like I just recited an Abbot and Costello routine.)

Me: I have celiac disease and gluten-free is what keeps me alive. I’m a big celiac advocate and it is not a joke to me or the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from celiac disease. Jokes like this make it so much harder for us to be taken seriously. My wife had breast cancer. Would you have a sign that said “Cancer free haircuts” or “chemotherapy free haircuts”?

Salon: [humming and hawing] Ummm…let me call the manager and have her give you a call.

Now I figured I’d maybe get a call the next day, if that, in which case I would have gone down to the salon myself with a wet sponge.

Within two minutes, my phone rang. I won a trip for two to Tahiti!! Just kidding. It was the manager. And she apologized…profusely. And I mean really profusely! Almost to the point where I had to ask her to stop apologizing. And the offending sign had already been taken down. She saw the error of her ways and she responded accordingly.

Look…I cannot wait until the jokes completely stop. Until then, we must keep doing what we do and be the best advocates we can be. Sometimes that may mean getting up in arms. And sometimes not.

So the next time you have a chance to advocate…breathe. You may be surprised at the results.


Celiac Disease Diet: Foods, Tips & Products to Avoid

Estimates show that rates of celiac disease diagnoses have risen by nearly 400 percent since the 1960s, and many health authorities speculate that there still may be a significant percentage of people living with undiagnosed celiac disease or similar problems.(1) In the U.S. and most other industrialized nations, slightly less than 1 percent of all adults have been diagnosed with celiac disease. (2) For these people, following a celiac disease diet, which mean a strictly gluten-free diet, is considered to be the only definitive way to improve celiac disease symptoms and prevent complications.

The biggest threat associated with untreated celiac disease, or other similar food allergies, is that it can cause long-term health problems, such as malnutrition, developmental delays, lowered immunity, neurological illnesses and psychiatric illnesses. Although some people with celiac disease might show no symptoms at all (at least for a while),  long-term complications are still believed to be a threat whether symptoms are experienced or not.

That’s why it’s so vital to follow the proper celiac disease diet if you have this gluten allergy.

Top Foods for the Celiac Disease Diet

Currently, there is no known cure for celiac disease, which is why it’s considered to be chronic in nature. The best way to manage celiac disease symptoms and prevent future health problems is to follow a strict gluten-free diet, along with improving overall immune function through preventing nutrient deficiencies, reducing stress and getting enough sleep.

The focus of a celiac disease diet should be including more anti-inflammatory, healing diet foods in order to repair the gastrointestinal tract/digestive system and heal any nutrient deficiencies. These include organic animal products, raw dairy products, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and probiotic foods.

The Celiac Disease Foundation offers helpful resources regarding how to strictly avoid gluten, including foods to avoid when grocery shopping or eating out at restaurants. (1) Since gluten can be very “sneaky” and hard to detect in numerous packaged foods, it’s recommended that you become very knowledgeable about safe and unsafe food product choices if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease. To help you feel less unsure of what foods might contain traces of gluten when shopping, you can also use gluten-free technology to quickly find out about various brands.

Some of the Healthiest Gluten-Free Foods Include:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of any healthy diet and are naturally gluten-free. They provide valuable essential nutrients, fiber and antioxidants to raise immune function.
  • Lean proteins: These provide protein, omega-3 fats and minerals that fight malnutrition and inflammation. Sources include cage-free eggs, fish (wild-caught), pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed beef, organ meats, and other protein foods and omega-3 foods.
  • Healthy fats: Sources include ghee or butter, avocado, virgin coconut, grapeseed, virgin olive, flaxseed, avocado, hemp and pumpkin oils.
  • Nuts and seeds: Good sources of healthy fats, fiber, omega-3 fats and minerals, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp, chia seeds, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower are all good options.
  • Dairy (organic and raw is best): Good source of electrolytes like calcium and potassium, healthy fats and protein, sources include goat milk or yogurt, other fermented yogurts, goat or sheep cheese, and raw milk from A2 cows.
  • Legumes, beans and gluten-free whole grains: These include all beans, wild or brown rice, gluten-free oats, buckwheat, quinoa, teff and amaranth. It’s a good idea to properly prepare beans and grains (especially types that contain gluten) by soaking, sprouting and fermenting them. Sprouting them helps improve nutrient bioavailability, reduces the presence of antinutrients that can cause digestive issues and makes proteins more digestible. (3)
  • Gluten-free flours: These include baking flours such as brown rice flour, potato or corn meal, quinoa flour, almond flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, tapioca flour/starch, cassava and other gluten-free blends. Always purchase products certified as gluten-free to be safe.
  • Bone broth: Great source of collagen, glucosamine and amino acids that help repair the GI tract.
  • Gluten-free alcohol: Sources include most (but not all) wines or hard liquors.
  • Other gluten-free condiments, spices and herbs: This includes real sea salt, cocoa, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs and spices (labeled gluten-free), raw honey and organic stevia


gluten free food infographic


Foods to Avoid on the Celiac Disease Diet Include:

The single most important thing to do on a celiac disease diet is avoid all products containing wheat, barley or rye. Gluten makes up about 80 percent of the protein found in these three grains. Other than avoiding eating these grains in whole-grain or flour forms, you need to be very careful about consuming packaged foods in general and also restaurant-prepared foods, since many have trace amounts of wheat or gluten lurking in them.

Foods that contain gluten to avoid on a celiac disease diet include:

  • All products containing wheat, barley, rye: Read ingredient labels carefully and look for any type of wheat, couscous, spelt, semolina, rye, barley and even oats.
  • Processed carbohydrate foods: These are often made with refined wheat flour, but even those that aren’t predominately wheat-based can have gluten because some gluten-free grains can experience cross-contamination during manufacturing. Examples of processed carbs to avoid include breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, snack bars, cereals, rolls, buns, pie crusts, phyllo dough, baking flours and so on.
  • Most baking flours: Wheat-based baking flours and products include all bran, bromated flour, durum flour, enriched flour, farina, phosphate flour, plain flour, self-rising flour and white flour.
  • Beer and malt alcohol: These are made with barley or wheat.
  • In some cases, even gluten-free grains: Due to cross-contamination during manufacturing, gluten-free grains can sometimes contain small amounts of gluten. Be careful because “wheat-free” does not necessarily mean “gluten-free.” Processed products that are labeled “gluten-free” are also not good choices to rely on often, since they’re very low in available nutrients and usually high in synthetic ingredients to make up for lost flavor and texture.
  • Bottled condiments and sauces: It’s important to read food labels very carefully and avoid products made with additive ingredients that contain even small traces of gluten. Wheat is now chemically made into preservatives, stabilizers and other additives that are used in even liquid products. These include any condiments made with nearly all flour products, soy sauce, salad dressings or marinades, malts, syrups, dextrin and starch.
  • Processed fats: These include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats and refine vegetable oils that raise inflammation, including corn oil, soybean oil and canola oil.
  • Added sugars: High in calories, they can worsen inflammation and deplete the body of nutrients.

A full list of processed frozen and prepared foods with hidden gluten is lengthy and can include: (4)

  • Artificial coffee creamer
  • Malt (in the form of malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring and malt vinegar, which are indicative of barley)
  • Pasta sauces
  • Soy sauce
  • Bouillion cubes or prepared gravy
  • Frozen french fries
  • Salad dressing
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Seitan and other meat alternatives
  • Frozen veggie burgers
  • Candy
  • Imitation seafood
  • Prepared meats or cold cuts (like hot dogs)
  • Chewing gum
  • Certain ground spices
  • Potato or grain chips
  • Kamut
  • Certain veined cheeses
  • Ketchup and tomato sauces
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Prepared fish sticks
  • Matzo
  • Flavored instant coffee
  • Prepared rice mixes
  • Flavored teas

Other Celiac Disease Diet Tips

1. Prevent or Correct Nutrient Deficiencies

Many people with celiac disease can benefit from taking supplements in order to correct deficiencies and help rebuild the immune system that’s been compromised by malabsorption. Celiac disease can cause damage within the digestive tract that means nutrients consumed even from a healthy diet are often not fully absorbed. Common deficiencies can include iron, calcium, vitamin D, zinc, B6, B12 and folate. (5)

The following supplements can help speed up the healing process:

  • Gluten-free multivitamin
  • Digestive enzymes — look for one that contains DPP-IV
  • Probiotics — take one containing between 5 billion to 10 billion organisms daily to replenish good bacteria
  • Vitamin D3 — dosages range between 2,000–5,000 IU daily depending on age
  • L-glutamine — taking 500 milligrams daily can improve digestive system and help reverse gut permeability

2. Avoid Other Household or Beauty Products Made with Gluten

Non-food items that can contain gluten and trigger symptoms include: (6)

  • Toothpastes
  • Glue on stamps and envelopes
  • Laundry detergent
  • Lip balms
  • Body lotions and sunscreens
  • Makeup
  • Medications, vitamins or over-the-counter pills
  • Mouthwash
  • Playdough
  • Shampoo and soaps

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a serious food allergy and autoimmune disorder that’s triggered from eating gluten, a type of protein found in numerous foods containing wheat, barley and rye grains. It’s believed that gluten allergies can be tied to dozens, if not hundreds, of different symptoms stemming from indigestion to chronic fatigue, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. (7)

For most people, celiac disease does a lot more than cause bloated stomach, gas and diarrhea — because it’s an autoimmune disorder, similar to Hashimoto’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis, for example, it also takes a toll on the entire immune system and therefore often someone’s overall quality of life.

What are some common signs or symptoms of celieac disease and its underlying causes?

People with celiac disease experience negative reactions to compounds found in gluten, including one called gliadin, that cause an increased release of cytokine chemicals that raise inflammation and autoimmune reactions. Symptoms often include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, joint pain and behavioral issues. When the body’s immune system overreacts to gluten in food, this damages tiny, hair-like projections (villi) that line the small intestine and help with nutrient absorption, so malabsorption is a big concern. (8)

Experts believe that people with celiac disease are usually genetically predisposed to having a gluten allergy, including showing abnormalities in human leukocyte antigens and non-HLA genes. Although having celiac disease in the family alone doesn’t mean someone will necessarily be diagnosed, the odds are much higher.

Celiac Disease Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet

  • It’s possible to have a gluten intolerance (or gluten sensitivity) without testing positive for celiac disease. A new term has been given to this type of condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), which is usually managed with a gluten-free diet. In people with gluten intolerance or NCGS, test makers for celiac disease (using two types of criteria, histopathology and immunoglobulin E, also called IgE) are negative, but gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms still occur after eating gluten.
  • Celiac disease and gluten-free diets have certain things in common, although someone diagnosed with celiac disease will need to be more careful overall about avoiding even minor amounts of gluten.
  • Both diets can be very beneficial and focus on eating whole, real foods. Considering that USDA data shows that in the U.S. most people are now getting around 70 percent of their total calories every day from grain flours (especially wheat products containing gluten), vegetable oils and added sugar, any diet that cuts down these foods is a step in the right direction. (9)
  • The primary difference between these diets is that even gluten-free products or grains might be a problem for people with celiac disease. Modern food-processing techniques often result in gluten appearing in trace amounts in gluten-free products or typically gluten-free grains, such as corn or oats.
  • Sensitivity to gluten falls along of a spectrum of mild to very serious, so people with either celiac disease or gluten sensitivity need to track  symptoms carefully and work with a doctor to know if consuming gluten-free grains or products safely is an option or not.


celiac disease diet and supplement infographic


Gluten-Free Recipe Ideas

Cooking more at home is the best way to control your exposure to gluten. Keep in mind that when cooking or prepping ingredients, it’s important to avoid cross-contact with foods that have gluten. Contamination can happen through shared utensils or a shared cooking/storage environment, so always be cautious.

Instead of viewing celiac disease as a limiting medical problem that makes eating healthy harder, see it as an opportunity to explore new foods and recipes.

Final Thoughts on the Celiac Disease Diet

  • Celiac disease is a type of serious food allergy and autoimmune condition that’s caused from consuming a type of protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley and many processed products.
  • Symptoms of celiac disease are widespread and affect the entire body, including the immune and digestive systems. Because of this, malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies and lowered immune function are common.
  • A celiac disease diet, meaning one that is strictly gluten-free and high in bioavailable nutrients, helps manage symptoms, rebuild the GI tract and lower risk for long-term complications.