What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley. When it’s mixed with water gluten forms stretchy, sticky strands that bind mixtures together and trap bubbles to form the light and airy consistency of bread and cakes. This means that cooking without gluten requires different ingredients and methods.

What does gluten-free actually mean?

Although the term ‘gluten free’ implies no gluten, in reality tests aren’t sensitive enough to detect a zero level of gluten.

Only foods that contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm), sometimes expressed as 200mg gluten/kg, can be labelled ‘gluten-free’, which allows even those who have a high sensitivity to gluten to be able to eat them with confidence.

It’s important to read food labels when starting on a gluten-free diet, as gluten can be found in the most unexpected places such as in soy sauce and cooking sauces. UK law means that all foods must say if they contain any allergens and so you’ll be able to see straight away whether something contains gluten.

What are the benefits of eating gluten-free?

Scientists are still testing exactly what it is that makes gluten cause some people to feel bloated, and in addition to Coeliacs – people who cannot eat gluten for medical reasons – there are thousands of others with a minor or medium intolerance who feel better, healthier and have more energy by following a gluten-free diet.

What foods should I avoid?

  • Bread

  • Pasta

  • Cakes

  • Biscuits

  • Flour

  • Cereals

What foods can I still enjoy?

As well as all the yummy gluten-free Summer Garden foods, there are lots of naturally gluten-free foods. These include meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and meat. Rice, potatoes and lentils are also naturally gluten free and so make great healthy meal accompaniments too. Check out our range of products for great meal ideas.

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