Celiac disease is a genetically inherited, lifelong disease, the cause of which is still unknown. In patients with celiac disease, the saying of Hippocrates is most pronounced: “Let food be your medicine” because therapy consists of a gluten-free diet that requires knowledge and strict discipline.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a sticky protein contained in cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, oats. These proteins damage the mucous membrane of the small intestine, which leads to inflammation. The body reacts by creating various antibodies against gluten, but also against its own cells, so celiac disease belongs to the group of allergies and the group of autoimmune diseases.
Unlike the appearance of the small intestine of healthy people, where the mucous membrane is full of villi through which the body is supplied with nutrients from food, in people suffering from celiac disease, these villi atrophy and disappear completely, so valuable nutrients are expelled and so they are deficient.
Symptoms of celiac disease
In the beginning, the most common are chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, while later there may be bone pain, dry skin, depression, loss of appetite … To get an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to determine the presence of gluten antibodies and then confirm the disease by biopsy.
The group of gluten-free cereals includes rice, corn, soy, buckwheat, millet, while soybeans and processed soy products contain gluten. Bread flours in the gluten-free diet are potato flour and potato starch, soy flour, tapioca – cassava root flour, chickpea flour, chestnuts, as well as all stone fruit flour – almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts.
… and illicit food
Foods that certainly contain gluten are wheat, rye, barley in all forms, such as flour, semolina, starch, bran, pretzels, cereals, but also wheat germ, and all products such as bread, pasta, pastries, ice cream cones. .. So-called. hidden gluten occurs as an additional ingredient in many products – modified starch, gelatin, emulsifier, stabilizer or binder found in a variety of products such as spices, baking powder, vanilla sugar, industrial creams, ice cream, sauces, ketchup, salad dressings, instant potatoes, industrial sweets, meat products. For this reason, avoid industrially canned vegetables, which often contain stabilizers or emulsifiers of starch origin. Also, industrially dried and candied fruit uses wheat flour or industrial powdered sugar containing 5% gluten. Also avoid industrial yogurt, sour milk, and fruit yogurt because they contain various stabilizers, as well as cheeses that are prepared with white vinegar.
Don’t forget that many alcoholic pizzas are obtained by distilling cereals – whiskey, vodka, gin, and beer. Even some fruit juices use a smaller amount of flour to thicken, so it is best to prepare fresh fruit juices yourself.
Diabetics should be careful because many sweeteners – saccharin, cyclamate sucralose, acesulfame – also contain undesirable additives, and as they are found in most carbonated beverages, they are also on the list of illicit foods.
Since gluten causes problems even in minimal quantities, extreme care is necessary when buying and preparing groceries.
That is why it is important:
– Separate a special shelf for storing gluten-free food in the pantry and mark each of them.
– Before each food preparation, clean work surfaces, dishes, kitchen appliances (mixers, blenders, mills …), aprons from traces of flour, because even one molecule of gluten is enough to cause interference. If you can, get duplicate appliances, containers, and boxes for storing and preparing food and label them.
– Store prepared meals in covered containers to prevent contamination in the refrigerator or pantry.
Once you know the right diagnosis, the only path that leads to a healthy life is the gluten-free one. Although it will seem to you that there are only prohibitions in front of you and that you have to give up almost everything you like to eat, you will feel much better if you focus on what you are allowed to eat. A gluten-free diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, nice, lean pieces of cooked meat, lots of fish, chicken, turkey, fresh cheese, and rice, the main food groups that ensure a long and healthy life.
Seven important rules
1 Eliminate white flour, white sugar, white rice and refined salt from your diet
2 Consume as many cereals, fruits, and vegetables as possible, especially legumes
3 Eat only bread and pastries prepared from gluten-free flour
4 Have sea fish on your menu at least twice a week
5 When preparing meals, use unrefined and cold-pressed oils
6 Use apple cider vinegar instead of white to season salads
7 To spice up a dish, use herbs instead of toppings
Information is important
In case you didn’t know, since November 2005, gluten has been mandatory in product declarations. Increasingly, products specially made for the diet of people with celiac disease can be seen on the shelves of the market, with a noticeable sign that they are gluten-free.
It is important to check whose products are gluten-free on the market because it is hidden in baking powder, vanilla sugar, dry and fresh yeast, cream fix, pudding (except the one with semolina), density, food additives, cheeses, yogurts, and dried meat products.
Ingredients needed: 500 g gluten-free flour, 10 g dry yeast, 100 g margarine, 3 eggs, 300 ml lukewarm water, a little salt
Preparation: Put flour and yeast in a bowl and mix. Add the other ingredients and knead a smooth dough. Put the dough in a greased and floured mold and leave in a warm place to double. Place the mold in an oven preheated to 200 ° C and bake for about 50 minutes.
Bread with potatoes
Ingredients needed: 500 g gluten-free flour, 250 g boiled potatoes, 50 g margarine, 1 egg, 10 g dry yeast, 300 ml lukewarm water, a teaspoon of salt
Preparation: Mash the potatoes into a puree, then put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead a smooth dough. Put the dough in a greased and floured mold and leave in a warm place to double the dough. Bake in an oven preheated to 220 ° C for about 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 200 ° C and bake for another half hour.
Ingredients needed: 300 g gluten-free flour, 125 g sugar, 3 eggs, 125 g butter, 100 ml milk, half a bag of baking powder, vanilla sugar, a little salt, and 300 g cherries
Preparation: Whisk butter, sugar and vanilla sugar add eggs and milk, and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and finally cherries. Bake in muffin tins.
Note: Use instant baker’s dry yeast which, according to the declaration, does not contain illegal additives. The gluten-free dough should be kneaded softer. In our country, gluten-free flour is on the positive list of drugs, so that all patients with celiac disease are entitled to 5 kg of gluten-free flour per month on prescription.