Gluten and Gluten Intolerance

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Tummy grumbles or more?

In people with coeliac disease (pronounced ‘seel-ee-ak’ and spelt celiac in some countries) the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein found in wheat...

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in:

  • Wheat 
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (there has been some debate about this)

Hidden sources of gluten

Always read the food labels as gluten may be present in some of these ingredients:

  • Baking powder
  • Beer, stout, lager, ale
  • Canned soups
  • Communion hosts
  • Confectionery
  • Custard powder
  • Dressings, gravies and sauces
  • Hot chips
  • Hot chocolate
  • Icing sugar mixture
  • Flavoured milks
  • Margarine (may contain breadcrumbs)
  • Medications
  • Powdered drink flavourings
  • Sausages and processed meats
  • Seasoning
  • Stock cubes
  • Soy milk
  • Wheaten cornflour
  • Yeast extract spreads

What makes someone gluten intolerant?

In people with coeliac disease (pronounced ‘seel-ee-ak’ and spelt celiac in some countries) the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats), causing small bowel damage. The tiny, finger-like projections which line the bowel (villi) become inflamed and flattened. This is referred to as villous atrophy. Villous atrophy reduces the surface area of the bowel available for nutrient absorption, which can lead to various gastrointestinal and malabsorptive symptoms. Symptoms can also be caused by inflammation in other parts of the body.

What can I eat?

There are four groups of food that are suitable for those on a gluten free diet:

  • Naturally gluten free foods
  • For example: Fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meats, eggs, nuts and legumes, milk, fats and oils and gluten free grains e.g. rice and corn.
  • Products labelled ‘gluten free’
  • You can be confident that products labelled ‘gluten free’ contain no detectable gluten.
  • Products that use the Coeliac Australia Endorsement Logo
  • Products displaying the Coeliac Australia Endorsement Logo are endorsed by Coeliac Australia and are tested to be suitable for people with coeliac disease.
  • Products that are gluten free by ingredient
  • If any ingredient in a product is derived from wheat, rye, barley or oats, then this must be declared on the ingredients panel. It is also important to avoid cross contamination by avoiding products with statements such as ‘may contain gluten’.

Coeliac disease affects people of all ages, both male and female.

Coeliac disease affects on average approximately 1 in 70 Australians. However, around 80% of this number remain undiagnosed. This means the vast majority of Australians who have coeliac disease don’t yet know it.

A strict, lifelong gluten free diet is currently the only recognised medical treatment for coeliac disease. By removing the cause of the disease, a gluten free diet allows the small bowel lining to heal and symptoms to resolve. As long as the gluten free diet is strictly adhered to, problems arising from coeliac disease should not return. Relapse occurs if gluten is reintroduced into the diet.

At Village Deli, Bongaree we stock a variety of gluten free products including bread, pastries, savouries, cake mixes, chutneys, sauces, relishes and more. Come into our store and check out our wide range.

Information sourced from: coeliac.org.au and healthyfood.com.au

Please seek independent medical advice as this blog is to be used for general information only.

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