Celiac People tend to have more problems when it comes to getting all the nutrients they need through the diet. This is due to a food intolerance to gluten, meaning that they cannot eat whole wheat grains or flour, or cereals in general.
Celiac People, Vegans and Vegetarians
This problem is specially important if, apart from suffering celiac disease, the person in question follows a vegan or vegetarian diet. Consequently, meeting the protein requirements of our body can be particularly hard, but not impossible.
The main problem lies in the fact that most vegan food supplements and meat replacement products like seitan tend to have traces of gluten.
What does it mean to have Celiac Disease?
Contrary to popular belief, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by a permanent gluten intolerance. Moreover, it does not only affect the digestive system, but all the organism. In fact, the intake of these group of proteins from flour triggers the production of several antibodies that can attack any organ.
Necessary amount of protein for a vegetarian with celiac disease
Evidently, the amount of protein that celiac people who also happen to be vegetarian or vegan need will be the same as anybody else. According to the WHO, the dose is around 0.8 grams per kilo of lean body weight a day. However, those who do physical exercise regularly can increase this dose up to 2.5 grams per kilo without any issue.
In any case, celiac people do not have anything to worry about if they are also vegan. In fact, we currently eat more protein than what we need either if we eat meat or not in most developed countries.
The problem with vegetable proteins
You have probably heard about how vegetable protein has a lower quality than that of animals. In fact, they are usually referred to as “incomplete proteins” because they do not have all the essential amino acids. In other words, those amino acids that our body cannot synthesize on its own. Or we can also hear about limiting amino acids because, even if they have these essential amino acids, their content is quite low.
Therefore, since the body needs all the essential amino acids to build its own structures there is only one solution. That is, combining different sources of vegetable protein. For example, you could mix lentils with rice since both complement each other in order to provide all the essential amino acids.
Gluten-free Vegetarian/Vegan Products Rich in Protein
Evidently, if we follow a ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet, we can still get quality proteins from milk and egg. However, things get more difficult if you are vegan. These are the foods that should become the base of your diet, specially if you do physical exercise:
Legumes will be the base of your food pyramid. For instance, a 35% of the composition of soy is protein. Moreover, beans (26%), kidney beans (25%), lentils (23.2%) and chickpeas (20.8%) are also great protein sources. In fact, the percentage we are referring to is higher than a good number of animal products.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts can be an instant dose of protein and energy. For example, 100 grams of peanuts can provide 25.2 grams of protein, while the same amount of almonds will provide 18.7g. Moreover, these products can provide many benefits for our cardiovascular system. But you have to be careful and avoid eating too much, because they also have a high fat content.
If you are allergic to gluten, you must not eat products made of wheat and flours made from rainfed cereals. The most popular ones are barley and rye. However, there are many more cereals. The best alternatives for you will be amaranth and quinoa, since they have a 9% of protein. In addition, oats (8%) and rice (5%) will be very useful as well.
Protein Supplements for Vegans with Celiac Disease
Before purchasing a Vegetable Protein Supplement, pay attention to the label. First of all, most of the protein products available in the market are made from animal proteins. In fact, the most popular ones are whey and egg protein. Therefore, if you are vegan, these are completely forbidden.
Like it happens to many people, you may not be able to meet your protein requirements only through the diet. Specially if you do physical exercise regularly and you want to reach a series of objectives in terms of your physique. If that is the case, food supplements made from protein are exactly what you need.
Careful with Traces
Nevertheless, even though these supplements are not made from products with gluten, many of them contain traces. Consequently, they can still trigger an allergic reaction. This is mainly due to the manufacturing process, when the product gets mixed with wheat, rye, barley, etc.
As you may have noticed after reading this article, celiac people who are also vegan or vegetarian have no issues when it comes to meeting the protein requirements. In fact, this is absolutely necessary for its proper functioning and for many vital functions. This also applies if you are an athlete who does physical exercise on a daily basis.
To sum up, there are vegetable products that provide a very interesting dose of protein. Moreover, even if they tend to be incomplete, we can still combine them to create valuable protein structures. In the end, if we are not able to meet the protein requirements through the diet, we can take supplementation. There are plenty of food supplements made from vegetable products that are gluten-free.
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