Celiac Disease Diet: Food Lists, Sample Menu, and Tips

Medically Reviewed on 8/25/2022
Celiac Disease Diet: Food Lists, Sample Menu, and Tips
Learn about what you should eat and avoid on a celiac disease diet

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that triggers inflammation in the small intestine and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from digestion issues to skin problems.

Gluten, which is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, can trigger symptoms of celiac disease.

Learn about what you should eat and avoid on a celiac disease diet.

What are symptoms of celiac disease?

Symptoms of celiac disease triggered by gluten may include:

  • Diarrhea: Studies have reported that 43% of people with celiac disease have diarrhea as their primary symptom.
  • Gas: A study reported that approximately 47% of people with celiac disease experienced increased gas.
  • Bloating: Approximately 9% of people diagnosed with celiac disease experience bloating along with other digestive problems.
  • Constipation: Constipation can occur in some cases.
  • Fatigue: Untreated celiac disease can damage the small intestine, leading to malabsorption and vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause low energy levels and weakness.
  • Weight loss: Weight loss is often an early sign of celiac disease caused by impaired nutrient absorption.
  • Iron deficiency anemia: A study reported that about 40% of people with celiac disease have iron deficiency anemia.
  • Skin rash: Celiac disease can cause itchy rashes that typically occur on the elbows, knees, or buttocks. It is due to the autoimmune factor associated with celiac disease.
  • Depression: Studies have reported that people with celiac disease may be more prone to developing depression, anxiety, or eating disorders.

What is the celiac disease diet?

Though there is no permanent cure for celiac disease, a strict gluten-free or celiac disease diet can prevent or lessen symptoms

The celiac disease diet is designed to avoid gluten. Benefits of following the diet include the following:

  • Reduces the severity and frequency of celiac disease symptoms
  • Prevents small intestinal damage
  • Improves nutrient absorption
  • Lowers cancer risk
  • Lowers the risk of osteoporosis
  • Improves fertility in females

What foods should you eat and avoid on the celiac disease diet?

Foods to eat

  • Animal proteins
    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Pork
    • Lamb
    • Seafood
    • Dairy products
    • Eggs
  • Fats and oils
    • Avocado
    • Coconut oil
    • Olive oil
    • Solid fats
    • Butter
  • Gluten-free cereals
    • Amaranth
    • Buckwheat
    • Corn
    • Millet
    • Quinoa
    • Rice
    • Sorghum
    • Teff
    • Wild rice
  • Nuts and seeds
    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Pecans
    • Pine nuts
    • Walnuts
    • Chia seeds
    • Flaxseeds
  • Fruits and vegetables: Fresh, frozen, dried, or canned
  • Herbs and spices: Fresh and dried herbs and spices
  • Legumes: Lentils, peanuts, peas, and soy

Foods to avoid

Foods to be avoided on the celiac disease diet are any that contain gluten or are cross-contaminated with gluten, such as:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Farina
  • Farro
  • Graham
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Wheat berries
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat bran

Products made with the above ingredients should also be avoided:

  • Baked goods: Bagels, biscuits, bread, cornbread, crepes, croissants, donuts, flatbread, flour tortillas, French toast, muffins, pancakes, pita bread, potato bread, rolls, and waffles
  • Desserts: Brownies, cake, cookies, pastries, and pie crust
  • Pasta: Dumplings, egg noodles, gnocchi, ramen noodles, ravioli, soba noodles, udon noodles, and wheat pasta
  • Snacks: Crackers, graham crackers, and pretzels
  • Beverages: Beer and other malted beverages

Cross-contaminated foods include:

  • Commercially fried foods: French fries that are fried in the same fryer as other gluten products
  • Improperly handled gluten-free items: Gluten-free items that are not prepared with designated gluten-free equipment and a clean pair of gloves
  • Oats: Oats that are processed on the same equipment as gluten-containing grains


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

Sample gluten-free menu

Table. Sample menu of the celiac disease diet
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 1 Spinach and roasted tomato omelet Lettuce wraps with gluten-free deli meat, potato chips, and guacamole Shrimp and vegetable stir-fry with tamari over rice
Day 2 Berries and oatmeal Tacos or taco salad Balsamic glazed chicken with mushrooms
Day 3 Gluten-free toast with avocado and a fried egg Tuna stuffed avocados with a side of sugar snap peas and trail mix Steak with yams and zucchini
Day 4 Fruit smoothie made with plain Greek yogurt Caprese panini Glazed salmon
Day 5 Overnight oats made with gluten-free oats, milk of choice, nuts, coconut, and blueberries Spinach salad with quinoa, chickpeas, vegetables, and olive oil dressing Pork loin with garlic and rosemary
Day 6 Burritos Turkey lettuce wraps Baked salmon with steamed vegetables and brown rice
Day 7 Stuffed quesadilla Mediterranean quinoa salad Roast beef with potatoes, carrots, and onions

Tips for following a gluten-free diet

  • Avoid all products with barley, rye, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), farina, graham flour, and semolina
  • Be careful of corn and rice products because they can be contaminated with trace amounts of gluten during manufacturing or milling procedures
  • Substitute wheat flour with potato, rice, soy, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, or bean flour 
  • Check the labels of all foods before purchasing
  • Stay away from emulsifiers, dextrin, mono and diglycerides, seasonings, and caramel colors because they can contain gluten
  • Separate all kitchen items used to prepare gluten and gluten-free foods
  • When eating out, ask how the food was prepared
  • Ask your pharmacist if any of your medications contain wheat or wheat byproducts


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Medically Reviewed on 8/25/2022
Image Source: iStock image

'Gluten-Free' Means What It Says. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/gluten-free-means-what-it-says

Foods High in Gluten. https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-gluten

7-Day Meal Plan. https://celiac.org/eat-gluten-free/meal-plans/7-day-meal-plan/

Dietary Changes for Celiac Disease. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/celiac-disease/dietary-changes-for-celiac-disease