Using the food charts  
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- Other Chemical Elements in Food -

50: GLUTEN

Gluten is a part of the protein found in wheat, and to a lesser extent in rye, barley and oats. Gluten is largely responsible for the ability of wheat flour to form 'elastic' batters and doughs. Without gluten in flour it would not be possible to produce light-baked products or the well-risen breads that are characteristic of wheat flour.

There are some people who have a condition in which the lining of the intestine is damaged by gluten; this is known as coeliac disease. This damage inter feres with the normal absorption of nutrients from digested foods and can lead to an illness that resembles general malnutrition.

Coeliac disease is controlled by excluding gluten from the diet. This means avoiding foods containing wheat, rye, and barley. The position of oats is controversial but some people who suffer from coeliac disease also have a sensitivity to oats. If you have coeliac disease you must strictly adhere to the gluten-free diet, and it is usually necessary to continue for life. Good dietary guidance is essential, as wheat flour is 'hidden' in many convenience foods, in which it is used as a filler. There are gluten-free goods available, as well as specially prepared gluten-free products, such as bread, biscuits and cake.

For specific food advice, check with your doctor, dietitian or local Coeliac Society. In Australia, the Commonwealth Department of Health has compiled a Dietary Guide for the Treatment of Coeliac Disease, which is available from Australian Government bookshops.

General guidelines for gluten-free foods are shown in Figure 65. (Other foods labelled 'gluten-free' may also be used.)



FIGURE 65: GUIDELINES FOR A GLUTEN-FREE DIET

FOODS THAT CAN BE EATEN FOODS TO AVOID
Butter
Cornflour*
Eggs
Fruit
Margarine
Meat
Milk
Potato flour
Rice
Rice flour
Sage
Soya bean flour
Vegetables

All canned and packaged foods

Bread/bread crumbs

Bread seasonings

Breakfast cereals containing wheat and oats

Sausages and luncheon sausage meats


*Some 'cornflours' are made from wheat flour - check the label.

 

Other Chemical
Elements in
Food
- Other Elements
- Lecithin
- Caffine
Gluten

Also on this page:

-  Figure 65: Guidelines
   for a gluten-free diet

 

 

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