Gluten... problem or not..?

This is an interesting article.

If you suffer gluten intolerance, how do you cope?

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My Mum has coeliac disease and it’s way more serious than just an intolerance to gluten. It’s an auto-immune disease that can have serious consequences if sufferers do not follow a strict gluten free diet. Just a tiny crumb of bread containing gluten can cause symptoms for my Mum. She has 2 toasters and separate bread boards. Eating out can be a minefield because cross contamination is so easy - restaurants need to use separate pans, utensils, oil etc.

When she used to come to visit us it was really difficult to cater for her. There is such a limited choice of gluten free products here. In the UK it is totally different and has become a big industry. There are whole aisles of gluten free products in supermarkets now.

I’m sure France will catch up eventually.

Largely because it has become something of a fad. Unfortunately there is evidence that, if you do not have coeliac disease, a gluten-free diet can be a very unhealthy one.

Hopefully those with a genuine need might find the larger range of products makes their lives easier.

Donkeys years ago in UK… we noticed a friend, Ann, was losing a lot of weight … we thought Cancer… but said nothing. She was finally diagnosed with Coeliac like your Mum.

Great relief, yes, but it was difficult to cope with her eating needs. Her Mum went to great lengths to ensure that her diet was correct and Ann gradually got back to her normal svelte self.

When she came to dine with us… I dished up basic meat and vegetables and she brought her own gravy mix… we had fresh fruit for dessert… and had a great time… Alcohol was on the OK list… :relaxed:

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You’re right of course. The supermarkets are just following demand but that is wonderful for those with coeliac disease who find shopping an enormous chore. You find wheat or barley in all sorts of products that you would not expect to find it in and have to read every label closely. It’s great for Mum to be able to go to one section of the supermarket to get everything.

The demand also means an enormous improvement in quality of gluten free products. In the past most gluten free bread, pasta, pastry products etc were dire. Now the manufacturers have had to align the taste, texture etc with the normal products they replace.

Another benefit, especially for Mum, is that many fish & chip shops now have special gluten free products or gluten free days. Unheard of in the past and Mum used to really miss her fish & chips. Not any more :grinning:

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Yes you’re right Stella, a simple home cooked meal with no processed products is fairly straightforward to ensure it’s gluten free. When someone stays for a week or more it’s far more difficult. Bread, in particular, is a big problem as well as obvious things like pasta, biscuits, breakfast cereals, pastry etc. Less obvious things like condiments and sauces are a big problem. For example, you have to make sure vinegar is gluten free (ie no barley, malt). How about suet? The normal brands contain gluten. You mention alcohol being OK but most beers are a problem because they contain barley. It can be very complex and easy to get wrong.

:relaxed::relaxed::relaxed: I don’t think I have ever seen Ann drink beer :grin:… anyway, in those days it would have been wine with the meal… and not much else… different lifestyle to here and now…

Something odd that springs to my memory… Branston pickle…for some reason I think that was OK… but Bisto was definitely out…but, frankly, her list of no-goes…was so long… we kept it very simple.

It’s a minefield Stella :confused:

You’re right about Bisto :wink:

Branston Pickle is NOT gluten free as it contains barley as does HP Sauce. Heinz Tomato Ketchup though IS gluten free as it doesn’t contain malt vinegar. :exploding_head:

Oh the list is endless…

Aha… it’s my ketchup… I knew we had something she could eat… OH had HP and I had Heinz…:slight_smile:

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My mum has had coeliac disease for over thirty years and the improvements in product ranges and taste in the U.K. in recent years has been fantastic. She will be bringing plenty of goods with her when she visits us as there is sadly not the variety here in France yet. Hopefully it will improve.

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This site might be helpful to sufferers…and their families… l’Association Française Des Intolérants Au Gluten … loads of pages and brochures… lots of help and advice.