Do you have Coeliac Disease? Let’s be honest; it’s not a pleasant diagnosis. Your entire life changes when you find out you have to eat a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life. If you were only recently diagnosed, you might be feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, and shocked. The good news is that you’re not alone. While coeliac disease cannot be cured, it can be controlled with a strict, life-long diet, and we’re here to help.
Eating Gluten Free
When you first find out you have coeliac disease, you might focus on all the foods you can’t eat—nothing with wheat (including spelt), rye, barley, or oats—but instead you should focus on all the foods you can eat. There’s still a ton of food available for you to enjoy.
Naturally Gluten-Free Foods: You can still enjoy natural foods like fruit, vegetables, meats, eggs, nuts, legumes, milk, fats, oils, and grains such as rice and corn.
Gluten-Free Products: Products in Australia that are labelled “gluten free” contain no detectable gluten and are still available for you to enjoy.
Products with the Coeliac Australia Endorsement Logo: Products displaying the coeliac Australia Endorsement Logo are endorsed by Coeliac Australia and are tested to be suitable for people with coeliac disease. 12 Health was recently approved for endorsement by Coeliac Australia! In fact, all of our products have been approved!
Eating Out with Coeliac Disease
When making food at home, it might seem easy to eat gluten free, but what happens when you eat out? The good news is that most restaurants now have gluten free options available on their menus and thanks to Coeliac Australia, there’s a gluten-free standard for food service providers that outlines best practice food preparation.
When heading out, we recommend following these steps to protect yourself and your food.
Speak to the Waiter: When you first arrive at a restaurant, make sure you tell your waiter that you require a gluten-free diet because you have coeliac disease. Ask the waiter what food options are available to you and what the restaurant has done to protect against cross contamination.
Be Realistic: It’s highly unlikely that everything at the restaurant will be gluten-free, and your options might not be the foods you really want. However, don’t despair. Many restaurants contain gluten-free options of your favourite foods so you can still enjoy what you want.
Order Last: If you’re out with a big group, make sure you’re the last person to put in your order. This makes it more likely that they’ll remember your food and get your order correct.
Remember, just because you have coeliac disease doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. You just might need to think a little outside the box. Try different cuisines such as Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, and Indian, which have many naturally gluten-free meal options.
The key is to ask questions and to double check if you have any concerns. If you order a cake, and it is sprinkled with icing sugar, check that the icing is gluten free. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.