Managing Celiac Disease and Mastering Gluten-Free Living
- More patients than ever are looking to physicians, registered dietitians and healthcare professionals for help managing a gluten-free lifestyle.
- Peanuts are naturally gluten-free and are a nutrient-dense option for anyone managing a restrictive diet.
- For patient handouts and more resources, go to the bottom of the page.
As more of your clients come to you seeking gluten-free options, it’s important to know that peanuts, peanut butter, peanut flour and peanut oil are considered naturally gluten-free foods. Gluten is a form of protein found in wheat, barley and rye (1). It causes intestinal damage in those with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease and is found in wheat, barley and rye – and anything made from them. This makes enjoying conventionally prepared baked goods, many sauces, and even ice cream a challenge.
Fortunately, the food industry and knowledge level among healthcare providers has improved over the last decade. Many registered dietitians and healthcare providers are experts in helping consumers find gluten-free solutions. Add this to your repertoire: Peanut flour is a versatile peanut product, providing a nutritious and distinctive solution for those on a gluten-free diet.
Like peanuts and peanut butter, the uses are endless for defatted peanut flour. Whether you’re dredging chicken for a crispy coating or ramping up a smoothie or soup with a protein boost; peanut flour is a great way to add flavor, texture and nutrients to any recipe. Plus, when mixed with rice or tapioca flour, peanut flour can be a perfect solution for baking cookies, breads, waffles or even dumplings.
Peanut flour not only adds flavor to a dish, it’s also nutritious. Peanut flour is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of folate, magnesium, copper and phosphorus, and an excellent source of niacin, and manganese. Regardless of how you incorporate peanut flour, it is a nutrient-dense food that is a great addition to a nutritious diet.
Who Must Maintain a Gluten-free Diet?
Those with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease must maintain a gluten-free diet.
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate the gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley. More than two million people in the United States have the disease, or about one in 133 people (2).
Gluten-free Cooking Tips for Gluten Free Patients
With wheat flour in so many foods – from the obvious baked goods and pasta to the not-so-obvious soup stocks, condiments and even alcoholic beverages – maintaining a gluten-free diet can become time consuming. Here are some quick tips to managing a gluten-free lifestyle:
- Become an avid label reader. Many foods contain gluten that you wouldn’t expect to find so make sure you always read the ingredient label.
- Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes like peanuts. Many packaged goods contain a plethora of complex ingredients, making it hard to determine if the product is gluten-free.
- Wheat free is not gluten free. Wheat free doesn’t mean the product doesn’t contain rye or barley so be sure to read labels.
- When in doubt, go without. If you are unsure of the ingredients in a product then don’t eat it.
The National Peanut Board website offers many gluten-free recipes. For a complete list of gluten-free recipes and other dietary needs click here.
- “Celiac Disease Defined.” 5 Jan. 2009. Celiac Spruce Association. MedlinePlus. 13 Apr. 2009
- “Celiac Disease.” Sept. 2008. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). MedlinePlus. 13 Apr. 2009
Handouts and Additional Resources:
- Gluten-free Patient Handout (English) – coming soon
- Gluten-free Patient Handout (Spanish) – coming soon