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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Top 10 Tips For A Gluten Free Diet

Following on from Graham's recent article Chefs feel the pain as diners go gluten free I thought readers who may be concerned or "worried you have a gluten-intolerance? Are already living with coeliac disease? may find this helpful.
If you're gluten-free these top tips from Coeliac UK will help make the everyday a little easier...

"Coeliac disease is a lifelong, serious autoimmune disease caused by the immune system reacting to gluten - a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The only treatment for the condition is a strict gluten-free diet for life.

For those newly diagnosed with the condition, the prospect of a strict gluten-free diet may seem daunting at first; but armed with the right knowledge, the gluten-free diet can be relatively easy to adapt to. Here are Coeliac UK's top 10 tips for everyday eating...

1. Get used to reading food labels when you shop:

All packaged food in the UK and the EU is covered by a law on allergen labelling, meaning you can tell whether or not a product is suitable for a gluten-free diet by reading the ingredients list. If a cereal containing gluten has been used as an ingredient in the product, it must be listed in the ingredients list (no matter how little is used).

The specific grain will be listed, so look out for mentions of wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, Kamut® or any other grain which has been made through breeding these together as these all contain gluten. Often, these ingredients will be highlighted in bold.

2. Use gluten-free substitutes in place of gluten-containing foods:

Pasta, bread and crackers all contain gluten, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these foods in your diet. Instead, switch to gluten-free alternatives of your favourite foods, which you will find in most supermarkets and health food stores. Gluten-free substitute foods include pasta, bread, crackers, bread rolls, cereals and more. Those medically diagnosed with coeliac disease can receive some gluten-free staple food on prescription from the NHS.

3. Remember lots of foods are naturally gluten-free:

Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs are naturally gluten-free, so use these as the basis to your meals.

4. Enjoy naturally gluten-free grains and cereals:

The gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that all grains and cereals are off the menu. Quinoa, teff, amaranth, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are just some of the naturally gluten-free grains which can be included in the diet. Just check the labels to make sure you are using uncontaminated versions. Try swapping traditional breadcrumbs for polenta crumbs, opt for gluten-free buckwheat or rice noodles and pasta and try baking with quinoa for gluten-free alternatives.

5. Know which alcohol to avoid:

Gluten-free alcohol includes cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs, but remember that beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free beers are available in some supermarkets and restaurants, but make sure you only drink those that are labelled in this way. 

6. Remember you can still enjoy meals out with family and friends:

Being on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out – check out Coeliac UK's online venue guide to see where you can eat out gluten-free.

7. Be aware of cross contamination:

Even a tiny bit of gluten can be enough to cause symptoms for someone with coeliac disease, so make sure you minimise the risk of cross contamination with gluten-containing foods. Do this by washing down kitchen surfaces before use, using separate butters, spreads and jams to minimise the spread of crumbs and invest in some toaster bags to keep your gluten-free bread separate.

8. Avoid sauces containing gluten:

Lots of pasta sauces, gravies, stocks and condiments contain wheat flour, and therefore gluten, so ensure you read the label and exclude anything that isn’t suitable. Instead, try making your own pasta sauces and gravies using cornflour, arrowroot or potato starch to thicken them for a gluten-free option.

9. Experiment in the kitchen:

Finding the right gluten-free substitute for your usual gluten-containing ingredients is a matter of personal taste, so spend time in the kitchen getting used to gluten-free flours and baking aids.

10. Remember, gluten-free meals can be just as delicious and healthy too:

Once diagnosed with coeliac disease, you can start to make positive changes to your diet to improve your health. Coeliac UK offer support to help you adjust, which includes a Food and Drink Directory listing products to help you get started in the kitchen.

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, yet only 10 to 15% of those with the condition have received a diagnosis. Coeliac UK is the national charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and offers help, advice and support.

Find out more about the work we do at Coeliac UK"

The above words and article taken from here

This Creamy tarragon chicken bake is gluten free

You can find the recipe here

All the best Jan


eileeninmd said...

Great post and information. Thanks for sharing. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your new week! I wish you all the best in 2016, Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Very helpful.
Thank you.

Jo said...

There seems to be many more cases of coeliac disease these days than ever before. I think I got in to my late teens before I knew anyone who had it yet I've come across so many more people with it in recent years. The chicken bake looks delicious, it's good to know that gluten free doesn't mean you have to compromise on taste.

JanKnitz said...

As this is a low carb blog it's helpful to point out that gluten free products are not necessarily low carb. Some of the gluten free products commonly used have HIGHER glycemic loads than the food the are substituting for and can wreak havoc on blood sugar.

I have well-meaning friends who think my Paleo low carb diet means gluten free anything is fine and proudly buy me gluten free products that would send my blood sugar into the stratosphere.

Anonymous said...

It is perhaps good if you can find recipes that are low in carb and gluten free.
Reading this could be helpful.
The difference between gluten free and low carb.
Are Gluten Free Foods also low carb?

Passthecream said...

Agree with those comments about starchy carbs not being a good solution to gluten free eating. The advice from the coeliac support groups is not in the same league but still reminiscent of the advice from those diabetes support groups which would have you eat more carbs.

Throw out the carbs, get rid of grain products!

Animals can run, bite, jump, hop, dig, hide, fly, swim or kick to avoid being eaten but there are very few animal parts which are not edible by humans. Plant seeds have to just sit there and cop it sweet so they have evolved a range of nasty chemical strategies to discourage predation and digestion.

Whether or not you are a genuine coeliac disease sufferer there are other very nasty things in wheat, at very high levels in modern wheats, which are just not good for anyone such that we are all better off without grains in our diet. On top of all that there are now glyphosate contamination issues in GM grain crops.


Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks for you comments we do understand the problems with high carb gluten free foods especially as we are diabetics.

You will find the recipes we publish are in the main both LC and gluten free, check out these sites just two of many we follow.


Helen Howes said...

I live with a coeliac, in the UK, and I'm T2 diabetic.. My partner is also ostomate, so eats low-fibre.. We laugh out loud at most of the advice we have been given over the years, almost none of which, particularly from the DUK and Coeliac Society, has any relevance to Real Food. I have never seen a recommendation to eat "green vegetables, freshly prepared" on any of the sheets I've been given, for a start...


Passthecream said...

Graham - yes, without a doubt. But I think that even if you weren't low carb in your approach that there are some foods which just about everyone would be better for not eating namely cereal grains, soy and beans, and most other seed based foods. They happen to also be carby starchy foods so LC'ers get a double benefit. Fibre - that must be a cruel dietician's joke!


chris c said...

"Animals can run, bite, jump, hop, dig, hide, fly, swim or kick to avoid being eaten but there are very few animal parts which are not edible by humans. Plant seeds have to just sit there and cop it sweet so they have evolved a range of nasty chemical strategies to discourage predation and digestion."

Excellently put! I think wheat is even more evil, it contains opioids encouraging you to become addicted and sow it all over the world, and sacrifices most of its children when you eat it but the gluten moves your bowels so the survivors are planted along with a nice dose of manure.