The boys and I are back on the coast in Blairgowrie and this week in addition to bringing you posts celebrating all that I love about Byron Bay and surrounds, I've decided to join those bringing awareness to coeliac disease, a debilitating disease that affects 1 in 100 Australians.
What is coeliac disease?
Sufferers of coeliac disease are unable to digest gluten; a protein found in wheat, oats, rye and barley. The disease results in damage to the small intestine which is responsible for nutrient absorption.
Left untreated, coeliac disease can lead to depression, infertility, malnutrition, osteoporosis and a small increased risk of certain cancers.
nausea and vomiting
bloating and flatulence
diarrhoea and constipation
bone and joint pain
easy skin bruising
weight loss or gain
failure to thrive in children
Symptoms of coeliac disease are sometimes confused with that of irritable bowel syndrome, wheat or other food intolerances. According to the Coeliac Australia website accurate diagnosis of coeliac disease involves blood tests and a small bowel biopsy.
Going gluten free
In recent years the availability of good quality gluten free foods has improved, with more restaurants and cafes being sympathetic to customers eating a gluten free diet.
There is one myth I would like to dispel and that is, just because a food is labelled gluten free it does not necessarily mean it is healthy or good for you. Sure it may not give those sensitive to gluten a stomach ache but often processed gluten free foods are packed with sugar, salt and fat. So, read the fine print and whether you are gluten intolerant or not making your own biscuit, dessert, cake whatever it may be is always preferable to something made in a factory.
Gluten free dry biscuits are one food I understand you wouldn't want to make yourself, a couple of brands I have tried and would recommend are: Mary's Gone Crackers and Yarra Valley Produce Company potato crackerthins.
Mary's Gone Crackers are pricey both on the dollars and carbon footprint as they are organic and made in America. If that doesn't put you off, in taste they are nutty and in crunch they are brittle, they go well with any dip or cheese.
The Yarra Valley Produce Company crackers are made in Victoria, Australia and being made from potato they are not unlike thick, flat potato crisps both in crunch and flavour, minus the saltiness.
I'll bring you more gluten-free products I've tried and enjoyed this week. Until then, happy days to you.