April 13, 2017 11:11 am Leave your thoughts
Gluten-conscious is a new term and a really good one. It’s an accurate description of the huge number of people out there who aren’t gluten-intolerant or even necessarily gluten-averse, but who like to keep a close eye on gluten in their diet.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. For those with coeliac disease, gluten sparks off an autoimmune reaction that damages the lining of the small intestine, with serious repercussions for digestion. It’s thought that coeliac disease affects around 1 in 100 people.
Many other people find that an excess of gluten in their diets makes them feel bloated, sluggish and uncomfortable. Others don’t notice any particular ill-effects, but are keen to avoid a diet that’s too gluten-heavy. In our Western world, we have a fairly unprecedented reliance on gluten. It’s not hard to go through the day eating gluten-rich food for every single meal and snack: toast for breakfast, sandwiches or a pie for lunch, pasta for tea – and a slice of cake or couple of biscuits for pudding. Even our sauces, sausages and desserts can be based on or bulked out with gluten.
Gluten-conscious: being aware of gluten
Gluten-conscious eaters are keen to establish which foods do and don’t contain gluten. Foods that register gluten at less than 20ppm (parts per million) can be labelled ‘gluten-free’ – but in practice, are only labelled as such if you’d expect them to contain gluten (no-one is labelling apples ‘gluten-free’ for example, though they clearly are). These labels are a good place to start.
Another wise move is to choose food from brands that specialise in gluten-free products. We stock a number of gluten-free specialist brands at Naturally Good Food, including:
On our website, we clearly indicate, underneath the product picture, whether a product is gluten-free. You can also use the checkboxes on the left-hand side to narrow a search down to purely gluten-free items.
With this huge range of brands, it’s clear that eating gluten-free needn’t be limiting in any way. There’s no need at all for gluten to take over our diets: the alternatives are great. First of all there are the natural gluten-free alternatives: things such as quinoa, amaranth, almond flour, brown rice, oats, buckwheat and millet – grains and nuts that are staples in much of the rest of the world. Then there are the manufactured alternatives to our standard Western diet – bread, pasta, crackers, pastry, sauce and cake mixes, for instance, which look and taste similar to ‘normal’ products, but which don’t contain gluten. We stock all of these and welcome the gluten-conscious with open arms!
To see our full gluten-free section, click here.
Tags: Against the Grain, almond flour, amaranth, Amisa, Barkat, Big Oz, brown rice, buckwheat, coeliac, Doves Farm, gluten, Gluten free, gluten-conscious, ground almonds, Hale & Hearty, millet, Natures Path, oats, Orgran, quinoa
This post was written by Yzanne