Gluten Free Diets
A gluten free diet is designed for individuals who have been diagnosed with Coeliac disease.
It is cuts out gluten a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and some oats (dependent on how they are processed).
Someone on this diet can consume naturally gluten free foods such as rice, maize, quinoa, meats, poultry and fresh fruit and vegetables and specially made gluten free products.
It is designed as a treatment for patients with Coeliac disease.
People with this disease can suffer from diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, and iron deficiency as a result of the body’s immune system acting abnormally to gluten.
How is it diagnosed?
If you think you may have Coeliac don’t cut out gluten! Go to the doctor. They will perform tests such as blood tests and a colonoscopy to examine the bowels for small changes associated with Coeliac Disease.
How do I know if something is gluten free?
Many restaurants now have a gluten free disclaimer next to certain foods on the menu, they may also have options such as gluten free toast or pasta. It is important to remember that these foods cannot be prepared on the same equipment as gluten containing foods as they will become contaminated and may cause upsets.
Products in the supermarket can also be labelled as gluten free, all products in Australia must state if they contain gluten on the label.
Should I cut out gluten?
Gluten free diets can often be low in variety and low in fibre. There is also a risk of low calcium consumption because many calcium containing foods such as milk and cheese are consumed with gluten containing cereal based foods.
Gluten free alternatives often tend to be a lot more expensive than the average product therefore if you are on a low budget it may not be realistic.
If you are concerned that you may be Coeliac then it’s worth seeing your doctor. If you’re not I don’t recommend cutting out any food groups or types unnecessarily.
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