Chances are you’ve heard of “gluten-free” before. It’s become a buzzword in the world of diets even though only 1 in 70 Aussies and Kiwis have been diagnosed with coeliac disease and must stick to a gluten-free diet.
But what does this mean for those of us who aren’t gluten intolerant? Should we be cutting gluten out of our diets, too? First, the facts.
What is gluten?
It’s a naturally occurring protein found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale and oats. It’s the stuff that makes bread fluffy, and is commonly used as a stabiliser to prolong the shelf-life of a product.
Do i need to go gluten-free?
People diagnosed with coeliac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. Exposure to gluten can cause many uncomfortable symptoms and can compromise nutrient absorption, causing deficiencies like anaemia and osteoporosis. If you think you’d benefit from a gluten-free diet, it’s best to consult a medical doctor before making any major dietary changes.
Is it healthy to go gluten-free?
Not necessarily. Many people who don’t need to eat gluten-free food do so because they perceive it to be “trendy” and “healthy”. There’s no evidence to suggest a gluten-free diet is healthy for those without coeliac disease.
How can i eat gluten-free?
The good news is that it’s becoming easier to maintain a gluten-free diet. There are more menu options out there than ever before, and awareness of coeliac disease is growing.
There are plenty of wholesome grains that are naturally gluten-free, including sorghum, corn, rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Fresh fruits, veggies, legumes, dairy foods, nuts, seeds, fats and oils are also all naturally gluten-free.
Give these gluten- free grains a go!
- 1 cup of rinsed quinoa + 2 cups of water.
- Simmer covered for 12 mins. Remove from heat and cover to steam for 10 mins.
- High protein and gluten free.
- Try in a spiced quinoa porridge!
- 1 cup of rinsed buckwheat + 2 cups
- Simmer covered for 20 mins. Remove from heat and cover to steam for 10 mins.
- Helps control blood pressure.
- Try making buckwheat risotto!