Newly diagnosed? Don’t fear it can be overwhelming but trust me it won’t take long to get your head around it. When I was diagnosed I was 19 years old, and had not done any study in nutrition or dietetics. So I understand how confusing it can all be. The first thing you should do is see your GP for subsidised visits to an accredited practising dietitian. They will go through what I’ve briefly covered below and more.
- Naturally gluten free – fruit, vegetables, unprocessed meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, oils, butter, margarine, legumes (check canned/dried varieties for hidden gluten), gluten free grains (rice, corn, sorghum, quinoa, teff etc)
- Gluten free by ingredient – Australian law says all ingredients and food additives derived from BROW (barley, rye, oats and wheat) must be declared on food labels. This includes processing aids if present in the final product.
- Labelled gluten free – the limit is 3ppm (parts per million) in Australia. This claim overrides the product ingredient list.
- Advisable to avoid ‘may contain gluten’ foods. This statement is voluntary by food manufacturers, however it means they have undertaken a substantiated risk assessment and deemed that the final product may contain gluten.
Some exceptions to the rules:
- Anything ending in –OSE saying it comes from wheat is gluten free.
This includes glucose syrup, dextrose, maltose and fructose that are identified as coming from wheat.
This is because they are so highly processed that there is no gluten protein remaining, making it safe for those with Coeliac Disease. However if you have a separate allergy or intolerance to wheat than it is not safe.
- This doesn’t apply to things ending in -in that say they come from wheat.
This includes maltodextrin or dextrin that identify they are from wheat eg. maltodextrin (wheat). It is advisable to avoid these if they say wheat. If they do not identify from wheat eg. just maltodextrin then they are safe.