"Eating for Celiacs:, What foods should they avoid?",
It is estimated that approximately one in seventy people within the population of Australia suffer from Celiac disease (Coeliac Australia, 2016). But what is Celiac disease?
Celiac Australia (2016), defines Celiac disease as the abnormal reaction, by the immune system, to the presence of gluten. An intolerance to the proteins contained within gluten causes a reaction known as villous atrophy. A reaction which reduces the absorption area of the small bowel which can cause gastrointestinal distress and inflammation within other areas of the body (Coeliac Australia, 2016).
I can hear you all shouting, whoa slow down egg head. That's all well and good for the 'sciencey' types, but what about the rest of us? OK, I hear you. Basically, it means an inability of the body to break down the proteins found in gluten (Kerr and Cherney, 2015).
So where is gluten found? First, let's take a look at what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in grains. It is contained within the two proteins Glutenin and Gliadin. Digestion of these two proteins, by a gluten intolerant person, is to be avoided at all costs.
Avoiding gluten, however, is easier said than done.
"Eating for Celiacs",
Avoiding gluten-containing foods can be a challenge for those who are gluten intolerant. Many of the foods we all grew up eating contain gluten. So which ones are they? What foods should a Celiac avoid?
The easy ones.
As we said earlier, gluten is found in all grain based foods. All bread and cereals most likely contain gluten. That warm piece of toast you enjoy for breakfast every morning, that chocolate biscuit you love and that cheesy piece of pizza all contain gluten.
The hidden sources.
Although spotting grain-based foods seems easy, there are also other foods that are gluten-containing even though there are no grains in their ingredient lists. Pasta sauces can contain traces of hidden gluten. Processed lunch meats may also contain gluten. Other food products manufactured in large processing plants can also be prepared in areas that may be cross-contaminated with gluten.
To avoid unintended contact with gluten, the Coeliac, or those shopping for Celiac sufferers, will need to be diligent in checking food labels carefully for any indication that the food they are buying contains gluten.
The good news.
With careful management Celiac sufferers can lead a normal and full life. "Eating for Celiacs", has become easier. Avoiding gluten-containing foods and eating a healthy and nutritious diet filled with lean meat, fruit and vegetables will ensure the Celiac sufferer remains fit and healthy throughout their life.
Understanding of the disease is now mainstream and there is now a wealth of chefs and food professionals offering delicious gluten-free meals and recipes. There is also a suite of replacements for those foods you thought you had to give up. With a little research, you can now find recipes for gluten-free bread, gluten-free pasta, and gluten-free pizza. And yes...
Even that chocolate biscuit.
Coeliac Australia, 2016 'Coeliac Disease', Coeliac Australia,
Kerr, M & Cherney K, 2015, 'Gluten allergies food list: what to avoid & what to eat', Health Line, 2015