Breaking up with gluten: what to look out for

Going gluten-free

Being diagnosed with an intolerance can feel like a breath of fresh air. On the one hand, it confirms that you have to stay away from specific ingredients, but it means you finally have an answer to why your stomach hurts or why you feel exhausted after eating. “Freedom!” you cry out, like Braveheart. Or George Michael, whoever you most identify with. Except it’s not always as easy as being told you need to go gluten-free.


Picture this, you find out you have a gluten intolerance and you follow a gluten-free diet only to find out months after that you actually can’t even eat some of those foods. If you love to start the day with a big bowl of healthy porridge, followed by a delicious salad, and a sneaky cookie, and finishing the day off with a healthy gluten-free vegetable pasta. Despite the diet that you spent time and effort adjusting to - not to mention, practising your cooking skills - your stomach isn’t feeling it even though you bought gluten-free products. But ingredients like oats might be causing you discomfort.

Unfortunately, in some gluten-free foods, there is an ingredient called gliadin which is so like gluten that the body reacts in a similar way. Let us off this rollercoaster of emotion; we want to eat cake!

Coeliac disease

Gluten-free products mean that they don’t come into contact with wheat, barley, or rye; which as gluten intolerance sufferers will know, is a big no-no. However, these oats contain avenin which is a gluten protein. Unfortunately, avenin can cause symptoms such as inflammation and other side effects similar to gluten intolerance. Avoiding averen and gluten is critical for those who have coeliac disease. You must be avenin a laugh! (...We’ll see ourselves out.)

Non-coeliac-disease sufferers can eat small amounts of gluten without risk of inflammation.

Supermarket shelves

From a legal standpoint, are gluten-free products with avenin allowed? Well, it depends on where in the world you are. Take Australia for example; they won’t stock gluten-free oats, but in the US they will. So should gluten-free oats be allowed on UK supermarket shelves? Well, yes and no. Not all people who have coeliac disease will be negatively affected by oats.

Although a study suggested that even people with coeliac disease were relatively safe consuming pure oats, 8% of people included in the study reacted negatively.

We don’t know about you, but we feel like Alice in Wonderland. There are different rules for different places - we’re going a bit mad!


If you think that you might have a gluten intolerance or you already go gluten free but feel unwell after eating, then you might want to try eliminating certain products from your diet, for example, oats. As there isn’t a test for intolerance as there is for allergies, the way to find out whether you have an intolerance or not is through trial and error by eliminating certain ingredients from your diet. Because nothing is easy when you have intolerances.

Signs that you have a gluten intolerance or can’t eat foods like oats include:

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Skin rashes
  • Poor emotional health

There is more to going gluten-free than cutting out the obvious gluten-filled food. Be sure to double check ingredients and eliminate any possible triggers from your diet. If you’re not completely sure whether or not you have an intolerance, we recommend seeing your GP. Do what you can to have a happy life.

If you have to give up porridge for breakfast, why not try our Designed2Eat free-from chocolate fudge brownie? Free from gluten, dairy, wheat, egg, soy, and corn, our chocolate brownie is a delicious snack or breakfast snack. Order yours today as a gluten-friendly, on-the-go snack when hunger strikes.

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