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Friday, 7 December 2012

Food Q&A by Sam Crilly

I recently found out that I may be gluten intolerant and going on a gluten free diet has made a vast difference for me. I have met so many people lately that are celiac or are gluten intolerant/ or have other food intolerances and have done quite a bit of research on how food and intolerances affect individuals in different ways and how this can actually be the cause of many other health issues. Does Sam have any advice on gluten intolerance, and perhaps some helpful alternatives to gluten?

This question is particularly interesting as the majority of people wonder if they are  intolerant to certain food groups. Firstly, gluten is a protein found in wheat and certain other cereal and grains, including rye and barley. Most people tolerate this protein, but for people with celiac disease, this protein  triggers an immune reaction in the gut. Which if left untreated can cause  permanent damage to the lining of the small intestine. The main symptoms people experience when gluten or celiac intolerant are either weight gain or weight loss, aching joints, depression, eczema, cramps tightening, numbness, bloating, constipation and generally feeling  extremely uncomfortable. A lot of people also think having a gluten free diet eliminates a lot of food choices from their diet, but there are so many gluten free alternatives which can actually make it extremely easy to follow a gluten free lifestyle. There are even sections in most of the supermarkets (such as Waitrose) which are full of gluten free  products such s bread, pasta, noodles, cereals etc. Which makes a fab base for standard meals. Your local health food store may have even more variety of gluten free alternatives, even healthy biscuits and baked crisps; some restaurants (such as Zizi's) also cater for a gluten free diet. So my advice would be to fit all these super gluten free  alternatives in your diet, if you’re feeling the benefits already, it can only get better. But don't stress too much, if you’re out with friends or family and there isn't an alternative. It won’t be the worst thing for you; you may feel a bit bloated as your digestive system won’t be used to it. So keep it minimal, and try to go for  wholegrain versions and drink plenty of water to flush out your system.

Model: Michelle Claase 

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