The Gluten-free Diet

Gluten is the name given to a protein, which is found naturally in Wheat, Barley, Rye. It is responsible for the elasticity of dough and chewiness in baked goods.

Some individuals may have a reaction to the protein gluten, when gluten is eaten. Gluten can trigger an abnormal immune response during the digestive process, which can lead to damage of the lining of the gut in those individuals whom are either gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. This can prevent the absorption of vital nutrients from the diet. The most well-known condition caused by an immune response to gluten is called Coeliac Disease. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is another condition which may be affected by gluten.

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Weight-loss
  • Dizziness
  • Anaemia
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches

Avoiding gluten allows the gut to heal and symptoms to become relieved. It is the only way to manage the condition Coeliac Disease.

Individuals diagnosed as gluten intolerant, a term used for non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, are typically recommended a gluten-free diet by their doctors.

Gluten-free foods

Some examples of grains, which don’t contain gluten naturally are sorghum, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, corn (polenta) and teff. Oats are also gluten-free, but can be contaminated during processing.

On the gluten-free diet you can eat any naturally gluten-free foods, such as:

  • potatoes
  • lentils
  • fruit and vegetables
  • rice
  • meat
  • fish.

Processed foods which don’t contain gluten, such as ready meals and soups, may also be consumed.

The following drinks are not suitable for the gluten-free diet, unless stated gluten-free:

  • lager/ stout/ ales/ beer
  • barley squashes.

As gluten is a protein responsible for elasticity in doughs and other baked goods, it can often prove troublesome when working in the kitchen to produce some of the baked items we very much enjoy. Having said this, there are some great alternative recipes and products about. This has encouraged us to also provide home based recipes, which have been tried and tasted over our many years of experience. Why not give them a go and see for yourself.

Follow our recipes for some great home-baked treats for yourself and you families to try out and enjoy together!

Going gluten-free may improve digestion, relieve symptoms of the associated conditions, although going gluten-free can cause nutrient deficiencies as many whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals, therefore supplements are often consumed by those following or considering this diet for personal reasons.

The time to feel better following undergoing a gluten-free lifestyle may vary from person to person. If you mistakenly consume gluten, there are a few things you may do if you have symptoms associated to the consumption.

-Keep well hydrated (particularly if you are vomiting or have diarrhea

-Continue with a gluten-free diet

-Speak with your GP/Pharmacist if your symptoms are more severe.