How do I avoid gluten - how do I get started?

People with celiac disease have to go without gluten for life. But how do you start a gluten-free diet? Does the health insurance company pay for nutritional advice? Answers to common questions

Nutritional advice helps people with celiac disease start a gluten-free life

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Gluten is a harmless grain protein that can be found in many foods. In people with celiac disease, however, it triggers a sometimes severe inflammation of the small intestine and possibly other problems. Once the doctor has confirmed the diagnosis, there is only one treatment option: to avoid gluten for life. In this way the symptoms improve and consequential damage can be avoided. But how do you start a gluten-free life? We have answers to common questions.

No gluten: what can I eat?

Gluten is contained in certain types of grain, for example in wheat, rye, barley, spelled, emmer, einkorn and green spelled - and in products made with gluten-containing grain, such as bread, pastries, pasta or beer. All cereals and foods containing gluten are taboo.

"Many foods are gluten-free in their unprocessed form and can be enjoyed with peace of mind," explains Ellen Duba, nutritionist / DGE and head of the nutrition team of the German Celiac Society. All fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, legumes, meat and fish in unprocessed form, natural dairy products, eggs and nuts, for example, are naturally gluten-free.

The gluten-free symbol, which is valid throughout Europe, is awarded by the German Celiac Society

Important to know: gluten can get into the product during processing, transport or storage, be it unintentionally as a contaminant or as a deliberate additive. Therefore, caution is always required with all processed products, for example canned food, dried fruit, spice mixtures, sweets, sauces, packaged ham or cheese. It is essential to pay attention to the list of ingredients.

Products that have the seal of approval of the German Celiac Society (DZG) and a license number are safely gluten-free (see graphic). The German Celiac Society has the gluten-free symbol as a registered trademark and awards it to national manufacturers and distributors of gluten-free foods under a license agreement. Only products are licensed for which the DZG has received a gluten analysis from an accredited laboratory that is not older than three months. There are now more and more gluten-free substitute and special products for people with celiac disease - such as gluten-free flours, bread and baked goods.