Gluten Free is not just a fad, it is here to stay! Whether for specific medical reasons or just general well-being, it is estimated that over a million Australians exclude gluten from their diets.
People with Coeliac disease have an adverse reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Consuming this protein will trigger an auto-immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine. This reduces one’s ability to absorb nutrients from food and can lead to very serious nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, infertility and certain types of cancer. The only recognized treatment for Coeliac disease is a strict diet free from gluten for the rest of one’s life.
Then there is another group of people who are allergic to gluten. This group is considered to be gluten intolerant and generally feel unwell and may suffer from eczema and hives after eating foods that contain gluten.
With growing awareness, Australians have begun embracing a gluten free diet and the shelves in our stores are offering an ever increasing choice of gluten free products. But one should be aware of the many nutritionally poor “gluten free” foods that are on offer such as chocolate, biscuit, cakes, and ice creams. However, if you are replacing gluten with healthy, nutritional and wholesome options, then you are definitely on your way to a much healthier lifestyle.
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