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How to eat dairy free

Gluten free is a common term that means excluding foods that contain gluten, including wheat, rye, barley and spelt. You may have heard the term before or seen suggestions of following a gluten free diet. So what is gluten? Should I be concerned?

Gluten is a protein that has a glue like consistency when mixed with water. This gives foods such as breads the ability to rise and forms a chewy and satisfying texture. The most common sources include, bread, flour, pasta, breakfast cereals, pastries, cakes, biscuits, baking goods, soups, sauces, sausages and ready-made meals.

Most people can consume gluten without any side effects, however there are some individuals that do better excluding it from their diet. This includes patients that have been diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakes gluten for a foreign threat so decides to attack the gluten proteins. This causes damage the gut wall and can lead to severe digestive issues, nutrient deficiencies and anemia (iron deficiency). This should not be confused with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, where people usually feel uncomfortable after consuming gluten but are not diagnosed with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. The gluten free diet can provide many health benefits including reduced chronic inflammation, boosting energy levels and relieving digestive symptoms. However it should not be mistaken for an easy weight loss solution.

Adjusting to a gluten free diet for some people can be challenging and feel quite overwhelming. All those tasty common foods are now off limits so what am I going to eat? The easiest way to follow a gluten free diet is to eat foods that are unprocessed and usually are single ingredient foods. We are luckily that over the years many food brands now included gluten free options so you don’t feel like you are missing out.

Foods that are gluten free include:

· Fruits and vegetables, most dairy products (eggs, cheese, milk, yoghurt), meat and fish (not breaded or crumbed), rice and rice noodles, potatoes, gluten free flours (almond, coconut, millet, rice), quinoa, fats and oils (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil).

Southstream’s ‘free from’ food section includes a wide range of gluten free foods for your family to enjoy. This includes g/f bread, sauces, snacks, meat & pasta alternatives.

  • Making gluten free pizzas can be easy using the Home St Sprouted GF pizza bases from NZ

  • Tasty gluten free breads from Bakeworks and Vogels are one of my favourite brands

  • Gluten free pasta and sauces are a great option for family weekend meals

Want to find out more or ask a question? Click Here to get in touch with Chrissy.

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