If you have celiac disease, the best way to avoid symptoms is to follow a gluten-free diet, which means avoiding wheat, rye and barley products. Your diet becomes even more limited if you have lactose intolerance or do not like dairy products and therefore avoid them. However, a diet without gluten and dairy products can still be nutritious and varied.
Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley, and many bread, cereal and pasta products are forbidden on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free choices, according to New York University, include buckwheat, kasha, quinoa, rice, corn and flax. When baking, you can use bean, nut and soy flours as substitutes for wheat flour. Grains are naturally free from dairy, but processed grain products may contain dairy ingredients, such as milk and butter. Read the list of ingredients to be sure that your choices are dairy-free.
Meat, Fish, Poultry and Beans
Beans and fresh meat, fish, shellfish and poultry are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. These foods can contain gluten or dairy after they are processed or cooked. Breaded, fried fish, chicken and shrimp, bean burritos and chili with cheese are examples of foods with gluten or dairy products. New York University's Langone Medical Center lists processed meats, such as hot dogs and cold cuts, marinades and imitation seafood as possible concerns for individuals on gluten-free diets. Check the label of any processed foods you buy to be sure that they truly are gluten-free and dairy-free.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are safe for gluten-free diets when they are raw, frozen, canned or cooked without sauces. Rinse fruits and vegetables before eating them to remove any possible residue. Avoid vegetables cooked in butter, fried onion rings and zucchini sticks, vegetables with cheese or cream sauce and mixed dishes, such as vegetable soup with croutons or fruit salad with yogurt. Check the labels of fruit and vegetable juices and drinks to be sure they have no gluten or dairy.
Some foods are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, but the manufacturing process can lead to contamination with gluten or the addition of milk products. The Food and Drug Administration sets guidelines for gluten and dairy labeling. Food manufacturers may only label foods as “gluten-free” if they have a gluten content of less than 20 parts per minimum, which is a level unlikely to lead to unhealthy reactions to gluten. Labels of foods with dairy products must state that the product contains dairy.