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Keywords:

  • coeliac disease;
  • gluten-free diet

Abstract

Objective  This survey was conducted to assess nutrient intakes and food consumption patterns of adults with coeliac disease who adhere to a strict gluten-free diet.

Design  Three-day estimated self-reported food records were used to assess daily intakes of calories, percent daily calories from carbohydrates, dietary fibre, iron, calcium and grain food servings.

Subjects  Volunteers for this survey were recruited through notices placed in coeliac disease support group newsletters, as well as a national magazine for persons with coeliac disease. Forty-seven volunteers met all criteria for participation and returned useable food records.

Results  Group mean daily intake of nutrients by gender: Males (n = 8): 2882 calories; 55% carbohydrate; 24.3 g dietary fibre; 14.7 mg iron; 1288.8 mg calcium; 6.6 grain food servings. Females (n = 39): 1900 calories; 52% carbohydrate; 20.2 g dietary fibre; 11.0 mg iron; 884.7 mg calcium; 4.6 grain food servings. Recommended amounts of fibre, iron and calcium were consumed by 46, 44 and 31% of women and 88, 100 and 63% of men, respectively.

Conclusions  Nutrition therapy for coeliac disease has centred around food allowed/not allowed on a gluten-free diet. Emphasis also should be placed on the nutritional quality of the gluten-free diet, particularly as it concerns the iron, calcium and fibre consumption of women. The use of the estimated food record as the dietary survey method may have resulted in the under-reporting of energy intake. Due to the small sample size and possible bias of survey participants, the findings of this survey may not be representative of the larger coeliac community.