The Diabetes and Celiac Diet (continued)

Celiac DiseaseMeet with a registered dietitian. It's complicated having two serious diseases that come with different dietary restrictions. "People with celiac disease should find a nutritionist who's dealt with the issue and will go over everything," says Larry C. Deeb, M.D., former president of the American Diabetes Association. "It's hard to do it on your own -- you really need to have help."

Check nutrition labels of processed foods. You'll need to scrutinize the ingredients lists on product labels to look for wheat, barley, and rye. All food labels are required to state if the food contains wheat, but keep in mind that wheat-free doesn't mean gluten-free. Flavorings, colorings, and other additives in processed foods may contain gluten. Consult these lists of safe ingredients and unsafe foods to figure out what's off limits.

Adapt recipes. You can make a few simple changes to recipes containing gluten. For 1 tablespoon of wheat flour, substitute one of these:


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons potato starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca

For 1 cup of wheat flour, substitute one of these:

  • 3/4 cup plain cornmeal, coarse
  • 1 cup plain cornmeal, fine
  • 5/8 cup potato flour
  • 3/4 cup rice flour

Get recipes online. It's easy to find gluten-free, diabetes-friendly recipes on the Internet. For more information, check out some of these sites:

University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center:
Celiac Sprue Association:
CalorieKing: (Select "diabetes" and "gluten-free" categories.)
Diabetes 123: (Recipes marked "GF" are gluten-free.)
A Gluten-Free Guide:

Reviewed by Susan Weiner, R.D., M.S., C.D.E., C.D.N. 3/08

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Last Modified Date: July 08, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.
  1. American Diabetes Association. Celiac Disease: Wheat Ails You? (Accessed February 26, 2008)
  2. American Diabetes Association. Wheat Me, Worry? (Accessed February 27, 2008)
  3. Interview with Larry C. Deeb, M.D., immediate past president of the American Diabetes Association. Conducted February 29, 2008.
  4. Lazzarotto, Francesca, M.D., et al. 2002. Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease: Overview and Medical Nutrition Therapy. Diabetes Spectrum 15:197-201, 2002. (Accessed February 26, 2008)
  5. Mayo Clinic. Celiac Disease: Self-Care. (Accessed February 27, 2008)
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