Gluten-free diet

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid wheat and some other grains while choosing substitutes that provide nutrients for a healthy diet.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Definition

A gluten-free diet is an eating plan that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).

Purpose

A gluten-free diet is essential for managing signs and symptoms of celiac disease and other medical conditions associated with gluten.

A gluten-free diet is also popular among people who haven’t been diagnosed with a gluten-related medical condition. The claimed benefits of the diet are improved health, weight loss and increased energy, but more research is needed.

  • Celiac disease is a condition in which gluten triggers immune system activity that damages the lining of the small intestine. Over time this damage prevents the absorption of nutrients from food. Celiac disease