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As a result of coeliac disease I have to switch to gluten - free diet. I’m not sure how to do that, I have no idea which food, apart from wheat, to ignore. My nutritionist will make me a complete list of “food to avoid”, but I also need some tips on what to eat. Any suggestions for my gluten free diet? I suppose I have to point out that I’m a vegetarian.

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When a person develops gluten intolerance (usually associated with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis), complete avoidance of gluten is suggested. In your case, gluten damages the fine lining of your small bowel causing diarrhoea, weakness, weight loss, iron and folic acid deficiency etc. The only way to recover your gut is to follow gluten free diet for the rest of your life. The fact that you are a vegetarian complicates it a bit, but it is not a task beyond achievement. Wheat, whole meal, whole-wheat or wheat meal flour, barley, rye, rye flour, pasta, noodles, all baked foods made from wheat, rye or barley are the ingredients suitable for a vegetarian, but not for a gluten intolerant person. Use buckwheat, maize, potato flour, rice, rice flour, soya and soya flour instead. You are allowed to eat eggs, milk, cream, butter, cheese, soya products, but be careful to avoid some yoghurts and cheese spreads (get used to the fact that you’ll have to read the lists of ingredients searching for the information on gluten for the rest of your life) . It is all right to take tea, coffee, herb tea, fizzy drinks, cocoa and most alcoholic drinks, but not barley based drinks, barley fruit drinks, malted drinks, beer. All fruits and vegetables are good for you. Jam, marmalade, sugar, honey, most brands of chocolate and sweets are allowed (again, be very careful and read the list of ingredients in order to prevent unwanted events). Salt, pepper, vinegar, herbs and spices, most food colourings and essences should not contain gluten, although some pepper compounds, ready-mix spices and certain brands of mustard, as well as certain medicines, may contain gluten. Many manufactured sauces, stock cubes, and soups contain gluten so be very careful with those. You always read the ingredient list on the products you use in your vegetarian nutrition - if any of those products contains gluten, forget it. This list is far from exhausted and you’ll talk it over with your nutritionist in order to find the best possible solutions. The most important thing is that you don’t have to give up on being vegetarian because you are gluten intolerant.
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