Diabetic Living Australia

Spotlight on GLUTEN FREE

WHAT IS COELIAC DISEASE?

Coeliac disease is an immunebased condition in which the body responds abnormally to dietary gluten. There has been a significant increase in the prevalence of coeliac disease during the past 50 years. If you suspect you may have coeliac disease, it is important you do not change your diet; make sure you are tested before making any dietary change. For more information, visit coeliac.org.au.

WHAT IS GLUTEN?

Gluten is the protein component found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.

Gluten gives elasticity, strength and the ability to ‘hold’ food together. The most obvious sources of gluten in most diets are bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, flour, pastry, pizza bases, cakes and biscuits. Gluten can also be found in some processed foods, such as soups, sauces, readymade meals and sausages.

GLUTEN-FREE DIETS

A strict gluten-free diet avoids any product made from wheat, barley, triticale, oats or rye – check labels carefully.

Avoiding gluten can be hard at first, as wheat can be used in commercially manufactured, ready-made foods. But eating gluten-free doesn’t have to mean brick-like bread, dry flaky pastries or gritty gluten-free crackers. Nor does it mean sacrificing good nutrition and food with flavour.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of gluten-free products and resources. Becoming informed and able to read labels and ingredient lists to recognise gluten is vital.

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