The must successful treatment for celiac disease (CD) is a life-long gluten-free diet (GFD.) There are few studies to determine the composition of the GFD. Food questionnaires were used to study the diets of patients with CD on a GFD to compare with people who were not on a GFD. Detailed food diaries were kept. Eventually, 93 diaries were included in the study.
Women on a GFD were found to have higher energy intakes from fats, proteins and carbohydrates compared to women of similar ages not on a GFD diet. Women on GFD consumed less magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium and folate than women not on a GFD.
Men on a GFD diet had increased intake of energy from fats and carbohydrates and very low intakes of magnesium and selenium.
Men and women on a GFD had low consumption of fibers (polysaccharides) and high consumption of non-milk sugars. Intakes of nutrients should be maintained, even on a gluten-free diet.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients on a GFD were not eating enough complex carbohydrates. They were eating too much processed sugar. They should take in more calcium, iron and fiber. They can get these through beans and pulses, starchy vegetables, such as sweet potato or potatoes, and alternative grains (not wheat.)
NOTE: Blood levels of prolactin are elevated in CD, consistent with autoimmune diseases. The prolactin levels fluctuate with the severity of the disease. Trials are needed of treating CD with prolactin lowering agents.
Low intake of selenium is harmful to the immunity, especially during the aging process.
Read about the gluten-free diet, psychiatric symptoms and celiac disease.