If a product is marketing itself as ‘gluten free’ it has been produced to suit people who suffer from coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune disease which is estimated to affect 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 people in various parts of the world. It is not a food allergy or intolerance. If a person with coeliac disease consumes gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, their small intestine becomes inflamed and damaged and is unable to absorb other nutrients from food. This can cause a person to develop other health issues, such as osteoporosis and poor immunity if undiagnosed.
Gluten can be found in foods and drinks such as bread, cakes, pizza and beer and in processed foods like gravy, soups and sauces, chocolate and sweets. So yeah, all the stuff that tastes great! Symptoms include bloating, flatulence, IBS, chronic fatigue and diarrhoea. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms and if you are concerned you should consult your GP and/or a registered Dietitian.
Non coeliac gluten sensitivity (that’s a bit of mouthful) may also occur in some individuals who experience some of the symptoms described above when gluten is consumed but the difference here is that no damage to the lining of the gut occurs.
Some people choose gluten free options when shopping or eating out as they believe it is a healthier option as opposed to regular bread, wraps, cakes etc. If a person is not suffering from coeliac disease or non coeliac gluten sensitivity there is no evidence to suggest that this is a healthier food choice.
If you do suffer from coeliac disease or non coeliac gluten sensitivity check out our wide range of Good4U snacks which are all natural and all gluten free. Not to mention unbelievably tasty!
Michelle Butler is a Registered Dietitian and one of the founding members of Good4U where she leads the Innovation team. Good4U’s mission is to empower people of all ages to live healthier lives and Michelle hopes that by creating healthy foods without compromising on taste or price this mission will be easily accomplished.