Why Gluten Free
People suffering from Coeliac Disease are unable to tolerate gluten in their diet. It’s a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have Coeliac Disease are unable to tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley.
About 1 in 100 people in the UK are coeliac sufferers, with many more undiagnosed (see www.coeliac.org.uk for more information). The symptons are often similar to Crohn’s Disease and some unfortunate people have both. Coeliac Disease was almost unheard of several decades ago. The industrialisation of our food system, favouring fast grown and heavily processed foods, is often cited as a major contributor to these increasing numbers, writes the Vanessa Kimbell on the Sustainable Food Trust. Click here to read our Q&A with Better Food customer Kate as she shares her son’s story of life with coeliac disease on our blog.
Crohn’s and IBS
People suffering from Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) often find a gluten free diet alleviates symptoms, though it’s not necessarily going to help. No two Crohn’s sufferers are the same.
Many people choose to follow a wheat-free diet and find cutting wheat out helps with symptoms such as skin irritations, rashes, hives, nasal congestion, gas, bloating and other digestive issues.
Interestingly, some people who find wheat hard to digest are able to stomach some of the older, more traditional grains, such as spelt.
Alternatives to gluten-containing grains
Oats don’t contain gluten. The problem is that they’re often milled in the same places as gluten-containing cereals such as wheat and are therefore at risk of contamination. We sell some oats and oat products (such as Nairns gluten free oat cakes) that are made with oats that have never come into contact with gluten-containing cereals, and so are safe to eat.
Corn (or maize, in products from the US), millet, sago, buckwheat, tapioca and quinoa don’t contain gluten. We also sell flour made from coconut.
What gluten free products can you expect to find in store?
Because we have so many gluten free options, we don’t have a ‘Gluten Free’ section, like supermarkets tend to. You’ll find our alternatives ‘in range’ with their gluten cousins. Please ask if there’s something you can’t find.
We’re always looking to increase our gluten-free range, and new products come to our attention all the time, many of which are also organic.
Hobbs House gluten free GiFt loaf
Brands with a good range of gluten free biscuits, flour, cereals, pastas etc include:
Doves Farm (a particularly good selection of flour)
Hale and Hearty (cake mixes and pasta)
Hobbs House Bakery (fresh ‘sandwich-style’ bread)
Isabel’s (including batter and cake mixes)
Nairns (gluten free oats and porridge)
White Rabbit (fresh pizza bases)
If you’re feeling adventurous, try pasta made from edamame beans and black beans …
If you’re wheat free rather than gluten free, try some Dove’s ancient grain flours, such as Einkorn, Emmer or Khorasan.