Understanding a Gluten Free Diet can be tough. Gluten is in so many foods both named as gluten or hidden in other forms. I'm going to give you the low down on going gluten free and all you need know about the this food plan.
The gluten-free diet means avoiding foods that contain wheat, barley, rye and oats. What you need to know:
The Food List – All the food you can eat..
Ingredients – Learn which ingredients are gluten-free and which are not.
Food Labelling – Understand the rules on labelling. ALWAYS read the label.
Drinks – Find out about which soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are gluten-free
Shopping – Find out where to shop and read some shopping tips.
Absorption of nutrients depends upon the presence of a normal healthy gut. In other words, if the gut is damaged (i.e. villous atropy or blunting), nutrients cannot be used by the body and nutrient deficiencies may arise despite a good intake. So complying with a strict gluten-free diet for life is the most important step in achieving good nutrition.
Remember to choose healthy meal and snack options – treats like gluten-free cakes or biscuits should only be eaten in moderation to avoid developing high cholesterol or weight gain. Healthy eating is as relevant to coeliacs as it is to non-coeliacs.
The gluten-free diet can be low in fibre so include regular servings of high fibre foods such as gluten-free brown bread, brown rice, jacket potatoes, gluten-free muesli, pulses, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Iron deficiency anaemia is a common sign and complication of coeliac disease. To prevent it, try to take protein sources (i.e. meat, fish, and poultry) twice daily. Of this, at least 3 servings per week should be lean red meat. Other sources of iron, including green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses, and eggs, are poorly absorbed and require vitamin C (eg glass of orange juice) to increase absorption. If you have established anaemia, it may be necessary to take iron supplements.
Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance and osteoporosis is a risk for coeliacs. Dairy products are the richest source of calcium (e.g. milk, cheese, yogurts, milk puddings). If you dislike or cannot tolerate this food group due to an intolerance, speak to The Raw Food Coach about alternative sources of calcium /dairy. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium from the gut.
There are some types of products which you may not realise could contain gluten. It is particularly important to read the label and check the Food List. Gluten may be an ingredient in manufactured and processed foods where wheat flour or barley derivatives are commonly used as a processing aid or a binder, a filler or as a carrier for flavourings and spices. Some examples are listed below. Any ingredients containing gluten must be marked on the label.
· Sausages, burgers and processed meat where flour may be used as a binder.
· Cereals where the main ingredient may be gluten-free (eg corn flakes or rice cereals) but malt extract or malt flavourings, both based on barley, are used in the flavouring.
· Stock cubes, soy sauce, gravy, sauces and salad dressings where flour may be used as a thickener.
· Crisps and flavoured snacks or nuts where wheat starch may be used in the flavourings or to ‘stick’ the flavourings on.
· Sweets and chocolate bars where wheat flour or wheat starch is often used.
· Processed cheese, processed yoghurts and grated cheese where a gluten-based ingredient may be used to thicken or separate.
· Flours derived from gluten-free foods such as potato flour or rice flour may have cross-contamination problems.
· Squashes or cordials which may contain barley.
GROCERY SHOPPING The good news is that once you know where to look you will find quite a choice of gluten-free food. All the major supermarkets in Ireland stock a selection of gluten-free products, usually in a separate section of the shop.
Marks & Spencer
Health Food Stores also carry a good range of popular brands in gluten-free dietary products. However please note, naturally gluten-free flours and grains on sale under wholesalers brand names are at high risk of gluten-contamination as products are bought in bulk from mills in UK and Europe and re-packaged by the company under their own brand. The Food List should be consulted for suitable brands that can be certified gluten-free and guaranteed <20ppm in total gluten content with no cross contamination risks.
These chains have shops in Ireland:
Holland & Barrett
Briarhill health shop
You can also purchase gluten-free products online from Eco Direct. Their delivery service will bring gluten-free products right to your door, anywhere in Ireland.
Suitable alcoholic beverages include:
- Gluten-free beer & cider,
- Spirits – Gin, Vodka, Martini, Malibu
- Champagne & Persecco
Smirnoff vodka is distilled from corn, and the company's plain vodka should be safe, even if you're sensitive to gluten-grain-based alcohol. However, watch out for Smirnoff Ice beverages (the kind that come in six-packs) — they are malt-based and not gluten-free.
Tequila made in the traditional way entirely from the blue agave plant is naturally gluten-free. However, some cheaper brands of tequila are considered "mixto," or not entirely from the blue agave plant, and these might contain gluten — you'll need to contact the manufacturer to ask.
If the tequila bottle does not state "100% agave," then it's mixto, and contains added sugar and potentially gluten as well.
Rum: You can consume most rums safely if you're following a gluten free plan — in almost every instance, rum is gluten-free.
The few exceptions to this rule include some flavoured rums. If you enjoy flavoured rums, you'll need to contact the manufacturer to determine if a particular product is gluten-free. While pure rum is gluten-free, beware of pre-made drink mixes, such as those intended for piña coladas — many of these contain gluten ingredients as flavouring.
Magners Cider bills itself as "the original Irish cider." The company makes two different ciders, Original and Pear, and both are billed as gluten-free.
Strongbow Cider is considered gluten-free
Gluten-Free Beers: Belgian brewer Green's Gluten-Free Beers makes three brews. All are free of major allergens and also are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. Green's gluten-free beers are made with millet, sorghum, rice and buckwheat.
Redbridge beer is made with sorghum. It is available by the bottle in some restaurants, especially in those that feature a gluten-free menu. Wine:
In almost every case, wine is gluten-free to 20 parts per million. That includes champagne, since champagne is simply sparkling wine. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule for wine.
If the wine in question has any added colouring or flavouring (fruit-flavoured dessert wines, for example, often include added ingredients), then it might not be gluten-free — you'll need to contact the manufacturer to make sure. Wine is NOT yeast free.
This can be alot to take in but just take it one day at a time. do some research on gluten free products and as i mentioned earlier ALWAYS read the label. Anything with ingredients you cannot understand or pronounce are usually bad.
When you come to us for a consultation or a food intolerance test showing that you are intolerant to Gluten, Yvonne will go through you other options and alternatives and also send you recipes.