Between 4 and 10% of people with Type 1 Diabetes also develop Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is fairly common in the general public. Just under 1% of people in the US and Western Europe have Celiac Disease. Far more people with Type 1 Diabetes develop the disease.

If you have Celiac Disease, you MUST avoid foods with Gluten

Gluten is a protein in Wheat, Rye and Barley. Oats often contain some gluten, because of contamination. Oats may be grown in a field next to wheat, rye or barley, or trucked to market in a truck that has also carried wheat rye or barley. You can buy certified gluten free oats. Even a little contamination with gluten can cause a person with Celiac Disease to become very ill.

Avoid contamination with gluten at home by separating foods with gluten from non-gluten foods

  • Use a separate cutting board for gluten free breads and other baked goods.
  • Use a separate toaster for gluten free bread.
  • Clean your counters with soap and water in between preparing gluten free and gluten containing foods.
  • Put gluten free breads and tortillas in a different serving container than that for those that have gluten in them.
  • Check out the celiac disease foundation for more information on eating with celiac disease:

Using “Regular Foods” to replace gluten containing grains

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on special gluten free products to have a healthy and delicious diet when you have celiac disease.  A great substitute for pasta is polenta. Polenta is typically made from coursely ground corn meal (a little more course than the corn meal you use to make corn bread). I like to use whole grain Polenta (my favorite is the Bob’s Red Mill brand “Polenta Corn Grits”).

You can also buy premade polenta at your grocery store. It comes in a plastic tube and can be sliced and used just like the polenta you make.

Check out this website for a primer on polenta:

Polenta with Maranara Sauce for Two

  • Make your favorite maranara or spaghetti sauce. (I like to keep some in my freezer for quick meals)
  • Prepare polenta (or use pre-made):
    • 1/2 cup polenta + 1 1/2 cups water (it takes less time to make small amounts than what is stated on the package)
      • Bring to a boil and stir frequently until very stiff. Approximately 20 minutes
      • Heat marinara sauce and make your salad or other veggie while cooking polenta
      • When polenta is very stiff and coming away from side of pan, put into a greased bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes.
      • Turn bowl over on a plate, and cut polenta into slices.
      • Place half of the polenta in each bowl or plate.

  • Top with maranara or spaghettie sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Each serving of polenta provides 130 Calories, 27 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm fiber, 3 gm protein and 0.5 gm fat. Nutritional analysis of marinara or spaghetti sauce with meat varies with recipes, but typically provides about 200 calories and 15-20 gm carbohydrates per cup.