Gluten-free living 101

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale and oats. It can cause a variety of different reactions in people, the worst being the auto-immune condition known as coeliac disease. It’s also possible to have different severities of gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

What does it mean to be coeliac?

Coeliac disease has been given a lot of airtime over the past few years, as we’ve learned more about the condition affecting around 1 in 70 diagnosed Australians. We know that people who have coeliac disease react differently to gluten, causing a variety of symptoms from fatigue and weight loss to joint pain, anemia and lymphoma.

At this stage a cure hasn’t been found, but a well-managed, gluten-free diet means that people with coeliac disease can live a normal, happy life.

Adopting a gluten-free diet

Whether you’re a diagnosed coeliac, gluten intolerant or simply looking to cut down on gluten for your health, here are some tips for navigating a gluten-free diet:

  • Make new friends. A lot of substitutes for the gluten-y foods you love are are good for you and just as tasty. Brown rice, sweet potatoes and quinoa are all great gluten-free alternatives to their starchy counterparts – and equally delicious.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your lifestyle might change, but you can still enjoy going out for dinner as long as you ask what’s in the dish. Don’t be concerned with seeming annoying – knowing exactly what’s in your food is imperative to your health.
  • Have fun experimenting. Your gluten-free diet will be different from what you’re used to, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Dive into learning new recipes and finding ways to adapt your old favourite foods.
  • Be cautious with labels. Finding products that are truly gluten free can be challenging. Finding products that are truly gluten free can be challenging. Freedom Foods clearly label that our products are gluten free. All of our gluten free products state in the nutritional panel under protein, gluten ND (Not Detected), as per the Foods Standard Code. Additionally we call out the gluten free credentials on the front of pack and back of pack.

The benefits of gluten freedom

Going gluten free does mean restructuring your diet, but it’s not all bad news. To remove gluten, you need to read labels and understand a little about where foods come from. This provides the perfect opportunity to become food aware, and reduce the consumption of foods packed with artificial chemicals and minimal nutrition.

For those who are gluten intolerant, reducing or removing gluten can improve symptoms, which leads to an improvement in overall wellbeing.