Articles,  Coeliac Disease,  Irritable Bowel Syndrome,  Nutrition,  Other Services

What exactly is gluten free and who needs to strictly follow this diet?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Food such as barley, rye and wheat breads and wheat pastas, wheat and oat based cereal, biscuits, cakes, pastries as well some processed foods, dressing, sauces and yeast extract contain gluten.

Those with coeliac disease have an adverse immune response to gluten resulting in an inflammatory reaction and damage to the lining of the small intestine. The damage to the lining of the gut can cause nutritional deficiencies and abdominal symptoms. The only treatment for coeliac disease is to follow a strict life-long gluten free diet.

There are many foods which are naturally gluten free and can be used widely in the diet. However label reading skills are required for processed and packaged foods to determine if they are suitable and gluten free for someone with coeliac disease.


Australia has one of the strictest Food Standards Codes, regulates the production and labelling of gluten free products, in the world!


  • Food labelling laws in Australia state that ‘allergens’ must be declared on the food package. Gluten containing grains and their hybrids are defined as allergens.
  • Ingredients derived from wheat, rye, barley and oats must be declared on the food label.
  • A food can only be labelled gluten free if there is no detectable gluten in the final product.

If you need help with your nutrition and a gluten free diet why not come in and see Amelia or Steph at SPARC, 90 Henley Beach Road, Mile End T: 8234 9707 for appointments!

Stephanie Gaskell is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, an Accredited Sports Dietitian, and a competitive Ultra Trail Marathon Runner. She is available for Phone and Skype Consultations, and has published the FODMAP™ & Gluten Status Sports Supplement Guide.

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