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What to Eat With Celiac Disease: The Best Gluten-Free Food

by Patricia L. Raymond, M.D., FACP, FACG

celiac-chef-okGluten seems to be in everything—even ketchup, salad dressings and medications. The trick when you have celiac disease is not to live deprived, but to thrive.

Here are tips from people who have celiac disease or have a loved one with it. What are yours? Please share in the comments section at the end.

Restaurants With Gluten-Free Menus

These are some of Dick Lazlo's favorite restaurants that have gluten-free gluten-free menus. Lazlo, who's leader of the Celiac Sprue Association Chapter 71 in Tidewater, Va., also offers these words of wisdom:

Be careful in all these places, and make sure there is no cross contamination. Each celiac needs to be on guard for their own well-being. It is not too much to ask people to wash their hands or change gloves, or to put a piece of aluminum foil on the grill for any meats cooked anywhere.

  • Carrabba's
  • Chili's (click the link, and find the allergen-information download link on the left)
  • Outback Steakhouse (click the link, and look at the list to the left). "They have a gluten-free Chocolate Thunder From Down Under that is out of this world," Lazlo says. "Too much for one, but neat to share."
  • P.F. Chang's
  • Smokey Bones
  • Wendy's

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Celiac Friendly Grocery Stores

From Dick Lazlo, leader of the Celiac Sprue Association Chapter 71 in Tidewater, Va.

  • Farm Fresh
  • Food Lion
  • Kroger is "a great source of gluten-free stuff. Their ice creams, with the exception of the obvious—cookies and cream, pie crust, etc.—are gluten-free, and their house brands are comparable to Häagen Dazs and cost less. If you have a question about anything Kroger, call their 800 number, on all packages, and if you say you can't eat wheat, rye, barley or oats, their reply is, 'You must be celiac. I'll put you in touch with our dietitian.'"
  • Trader Joe's
  • Wells' Blue Bunny "has a lot of gluten-free ice cream."


Best Gluten-Free Foods
General Mills makes five gluten-free cereals. They're "about half the price of the regular gluten-free products," Lazlo says. His wife, Jo, has celiac disease and likes Glutino Premium Fiber Bread and Premium Harvest Corn Bread. Lazlo says:

Both of those breads are frozen and make a great sandwich. Jo found that the fiber bread acts more like regular bread in taste and texture. The corn-based bread (that resembles regular wheat bread, not corn bread) makes a great toasted cheese sandwich.

Sharon Swink, a of Lazlo's Celiac Sprue Association chapter, recommends the following snacks and sides:

is a board-certified gastroenterologist with Simply Screening in Chesapeake, Va., and author of Colonoscopy: It'll Crack U Up.

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Last updated and/or approved: March 2011.
Original article appeared in September/October 2008 former print magazine. Bios current as of that issue. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.

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