Prevention is the best option

Health tips for Coeliac disease

Malaltia celíaca a Vall d'Hebron

The treatment for Coeliac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. A gluten-free diet should be based on a varied and balanced diet combining foods that do not contain gluten, including gluten-free cereals. Cross contamination at home should also be taken into account (making sure foods suitable for Coeliacs have not come into contact with other foods, utensils or surfaces that contain gluten) and precautions taken when eating out. It is also important to always check the ingredients list on food labels. This sheet contains basic tips on having a gluten-free diet in a safe and balanced way.


What do you need to bear in mind if you have Coeliac disease or you are caring for someone who does?

Gluten is a protein complex found in cereals. It is made up of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin. It is important that Coeliac patients permanently remove foods containing gliadin and glutenin from their diet. This means eliminating wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye) and all derivatives.

Although foods must be removed from their diet, patients with Coeliac disease must follow a balanced diet, ensuring they get sufficient nutrients. To achieve this you need to incorporate a wide variety of foods with different preparation and cooking methods. 

Patients with Coeliac disease should base their diet on dairy, meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables and  pulses, and cereals they can eat, such as corn, rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, sorghum, teff or buckwheat. Sugar and processed foods should be ingested to a lesser extent.

  • Cereals WITH GLUTEN: wheat, barley, oats and triticale
  • Cereals WITHOUT GLUTEN: rice, quinoa, millet, corn, amaranth, sorghum, buckwheat and teff

Foods  should be prepared as normal, avoiding cross contamination: boiled, steamed, grilled, fried or baked. Batter and breadcrumbs should be made with flour or bread that is suitable for Coeliacs.

It is important to take care with processed or packaged foods. It is harder to avoid cross contamination in processed foods.

Read product labels carefully when you are buying food that is not fresh. Some foods naturally do not contain gluten, but in their commercially available form they do, as gluten is sometimes added during the manufacturing process. To be on the safe side, it is therefore better to avoid unlabelled products, such as those bought in bulk or handmade products.

It is a good idea to have a space set aside just for storing gluten-free foods. You should also use clean cooking utensils to make sure they have not come into contact with products containing gluten. 

When eating out, take precautions. It is important to make sure that what you eat has not come into contact with any food containing gluten. One example would be oils in which foods containing gluten have been fried. 

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