Did you know that 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease?
And incredibly, half a million people are currently undiagnosed. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine.
The solution is simple: a gluten-free diet.
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Here are 5 steps towards understand the condition, and recipes for you to get cooking gluten-free:
1. What is gluten?
A protein in wheat, barley and rye and is very common in a lot of processed foods.
Bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits and pizzas are all things which would usually contain gluten, but there are a number of good gluten-free products out there.
2. What are the symptoms?
Unexplained and extreme fatigue, bloating or other gut symptoms, headaches, joint pains and a general lack of energy are all common symptoms of coeliac disease.
3. Shopping: Understanding labels
Head to the Free From aisle where you can find gluten-free versions of many popular foods. Look out for products marked with a label that says 'gluten-free', 'very low gluten' or 'no gluten-containing ingredients', or you may see Coeliac UK’s crossed grain symbol.
Beyond this, look out for the Allergy Advice box, the 'may contain' statement, and read the ingredients lists.
Cross contamination is the key thing to be aware of. Don't let gluten-free food come into contact with anything that contains gluten, like bread crumbs or flour. To avoid it, wipe down surfaces and clean utensils thoroughly. Don't use a wooden board to chop gluten-free bread as this has tiny pores which can collect gluten-containing bread and contaminate gluten-free bread
Get cooking gluten-free:
Risotto of Quinoa, with butternut squash, woodland mushrooms & Sage
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
Pan seared corn fed chicken breast, Lancashire parched peas, tangled leeks & carrots
Fig & frangipane tart, Cornish clotted cream, fig syrup & crisps
5. Eating out
Check with restaurants and venues that they cater for the gluten-free diet ahead of going.
When you get there, check the menu – if any of the dishes are labelled gluten-free or have no gluten-containing ingredients then these are ok for you to eat, but do talk to the staff to make sure.