Understanding What Foods Are 'Gluten free'

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What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, such as wheat, rye and barley.

It helps food maintain its shape by providing elasticity and moisture

If you have coeliac disease your immune system reacts to gluten and damages the lining of your gut. This causes symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, tiredness and headaches, which only occur if gluten is eaten.

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The only treatment for coeliac disease is the gluten free diet, so by avoiding all gluten (some people also need to avoid oats), your gut can heal and your symptoms should improve.

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

  • Meat

  • Fish

  • Fruit and vegetables

  • Rice

  • Potatoes

  • Lentils

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After diagnosis of coeliac disease, healing and how long it takes to feel better on a gluten free diet can vary.

It can take between six months and up to five years (in some cases longer) for the gut damage caused by eating gluten to fully heal. Several factors are thought to be involved in the variable time taken for the gut to heal, including age and severity of gut damage at diagnosis.

If you have coeliac disease, eating gluten damages your gut. If you make the occasional mistake and eat gluten by accident, it’s unlikely to cause lasting gut damage.

Gluten-Free Whole Grains

  1. Quinoa

  2. Brown rice

  3. Wild rice

  4. Buckwheat

  5. Sorghum

  6. Tapioca

  7. Millet

  8. Amaranth

  9. Teff

  10. Arrowroot

  11. Oats

Grains to Avoid

  • Wheat, all varieties (whole wheat, wheat berries, graham, bulgur, farro, farina, durum, kamut, bromated flour, spelt, etc.)

  • Rye

  • Barley

  • Triticale