Patients suffering from celiac disease should avoid foods containing gluten, according to Mayo Clinic. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and other wheat products, such as spelt, farina, kamut, semolina and durum flour.
Celiac disease is caused by inflammation in the small intestines as a result of eating gluten, states Mayo Clinic. A gluten-free diet is the primary treatment for the condition; however it is often difficult to identify all foods containing gluten. Generally, patients should avoid prepared foods such as soups, gravies, sauces and salad dressings, as well as baked goods, such as cookies, breads, pies and cakes. Other sources of gluten may include food additives, malt flavorings and modified food starches. Some medications and vitamins contain gluten as well.
Not all grains contain gluten and many are safe for a gluten-free diet, according to Mayo Clinic. Corn, flax, buckwheat, soy and rice are naturally gluten-free; however many run the risk of cross-contamination if they come into contact with other products containing gluten, such as during the manufacturing process.
Many whole foods, such as meats, fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free, states Mayo Clinic. Fish, beans, nuts, eggs and most dairy products don't usually contain gluten. Additionally, many food manufacturers market gluten-free alternatives, such as bread and pasta. Products labeled "gluten-free" are safe according to the Food and Drug Administration regulations; however products labeled "wheat-free" may still contain other sources of gluten.