Best Diet for Seniors with Celiac Disease

Posted: 5/31/2017 7:11 AM by Interim HealthCare
Celiac disease is a disorder that, to put it simply, causes the body to attack itself when there is gluten present in its system. It is not known for sure why this happens, but it is important for seniors with celiac disease to stay away from gluten, to give their bodies a chance to heal and prevent further damage.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Gluten is linked to wheat, and wheat can be found in a massive amount of the foods we eat on a daily basis. This might cause you and your home care aide to wonder which foods are best for a celiac diet. If so, never fear! The following list will be a great help when deciding which foods to feed a loved one with celiac disease.
  • Fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free, so you can eat as much of them as you want! Fruits and vegetables are also a vital part of any healthy diet, so this is just another reason why you should always include them on your loved one’s plate.
  • Meat – All meat is gluten free, as is poultry. These things are fine to serve to a loved one with celiac disease, although it is recommended that the meat is lean, and that you don’t overdo it with red meat. This is not due to any celiac-related problems, it is just because fatty beef is known to cause other health problems, such as heart problems or high cholesterol.
  • Fish – Fish is a great addition to any diet. In fact, people in the Mediterranean eat more fish than any other meat, and they are some of the healthiest people in the world! Fatty fish is great for seniors who also have trouble with arthritis, as it reduces inflammation in joints, but any kind of seafood is from a celiac standpoint.
  • Certain Grains – Grains? On a list of foods for a gluten-free diet? Inconceivable! Actually, this is not true. While wheat is a source of gluten, there are many grains and starches that are naturally gluten free. These include rice, corn, potatoes, beans, and quinoa. So, even if you can’t eat gluten, you can still get a healthy amount of starch in your diet!
  • Be careful with soups and sauces – You might not think that soups and sauces can contain gluten, but if you buy them in a can, it is quite possible that the company that made them added a thickening agent that contains gluten. Be sure to check the labels, especially on creamier soups and sauces, or just make the sauce yourself so that you know everything that goes into it! 
  • Avoid oats (for the most part) – Oats are a grain, and are often harvested using the same equipment that is used to harvest wheat. This could lead to some contamination, so it is best to avoid any oats that aren’t clearly labeled as being gluten-free (And even then it is best to consume them in moderation).
A “gluten-free diet” might sound like a daunting lifestyle choice, but as you can see from this list, cutting out gluten does not mean sacrificing many of the great, delicious foods out there! If you and your senior’s home care aide stick to this diet, your loved one will have a much easier time with celiac disease.

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