Dietary habits of Swedish adult coeliac patients treated by a gluten-free diet for 10 years
AbstractBackground: Uncertainty still exists whether coeliac patients living on a gluten-free diet for several years are ensured a nutritionally balanced diet. Objective: To evaluate the dietary habits of adults with longstanding coeliac disease Design: The intake of nutrients and foods was assessed in 49 Swedish coeliac patients (32 women) aged 45-64 years treated for 8-12 years using 4-day dietary record. Compliance with the diet was ascertained by showing a villous intestinal structure at repeat biopsy or normal serological tests. The control group (n=498) consisted of a general population sample of same age. Results: The coeliac patients showing the same energy intake as controls had a lower intake of fibre, niacin equivalents, folate, vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. In relation to recommended intakes, low levels of fibres, folate, vitamin E and selenium were seen in both coeliacs and controls. Significant differences between coeliac patients and controls were seen for half of the food groups under study and this was particularly true for women. Conclusions: The results suggest that Swedish coeliac patients living on a gluten-free diet for several years need to improve their dietary habits. To this end, regularly visiting a dietitian could be helpful to introduce oat-based options and increase the intake of fresh fruits and greens. Key words: Coeliac disease, gluten-free diet, nutrition, vitamin
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