Cooking for Those with Celiac Disease
It has become more and more popular to see people try and avoid eating foods that contain gluten, but for many people this is unnecessary. In large part the only people that should really avoid this are those who have what is known as celiac disease. This disease frankly makes it difficult, if not impossible, for those who have it to absorb the nutrients that are contained in many common grains. Cooking for those with celiac disease is possible, though it will take some rather careful planning on your part.
- Know what to avoid. If you are not the one that actually has celiac disease, then you will need to get in touch with your friend or family member, and get a list of the items that they cannot consume. If you are the person has the disease, or the person that has it is in your direct family, then you should get a complete list from your doctor. You do not want to over look anything, and you would be surprised at the things that can contain gluten besides just grains.
- Look at everything. When you go to the grocery store, make certain that you look at the list of ingredients carefully. Some common examples of ingredients that you will want to avoid are things like wheat, kamut, rye, barley, malt vinegar, oats, soy sauce, modified food starch, many natural and artificial flavors, dextrin, brown rice, processed cheeses, and many frostings. There are other things besides food that you will want to keep an eye out for (such as cosmetics, and medications) but that is a matter for a different article.
- Wash everything. When preparing food for someone that has celiac disease, you need to make sure that you are using utensils and other cooking implements that have not come into contact (in any way) with something that may have had gluten. This means that you will often need to have two separate toasters for example, as well as using various methods to avoid cross contamination. Be sure that you wash cutting boards, strainers, and anything else between uses to help reduce the risk.
- Maintain a positive attitude. The most important aspect of dealing with celiac disease, whether you are the one that has it or not, is to maintain a positive attitude. There are more and more products being introduced at the grocery market on a daily basis that can make living with this disease much easier than it has been in the past. Furthermore, the more educated that the world get's on this disease, the more likely people are to understand the precautions that you will need to take.