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10 Myths About Coeliac

There are so many misconceptions floatig round in relation to Coeliac including the fact heat kills gluten and Coeliac is a fad diet, we try and put a few of those myths straight here.

Added 30th August 2017
Updated 13th December 2020

10 Myths About Coeliac
There are so many myths surrounding Coeliac from it being a trend, to heat destroying gluten so it's safe for Coeliacs. These myths just make our lives harder. Here are 10 we hear frequently!

1. It's a trend
Coeliac is definitely not a trend or fad diet. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder which should be taken seriously. "Fad dieters" are doing it for the apparent health benefits such as losing weight. If I wanted to lose weight I'd be doing a low calorie diet, not cutting out an important food group in the hope I shed I few pounds. I want to eat doorstep toast covered in butter, huge chocolate eclairs and a great greasy donuts, I wouldn't willingly give those up unless I really had too!

2. It's a healthy eating "diet"
No. Have you looked at the sugar content in gluten free bread recently? It's so high! If I was healthy eating I would be cutting out processed foods and living off fresh fruit and vegetables. I'm not eating gluten free alternatives because I want too, I am eating them because I have no choice, they are definitely not healthier.

3. You can't have dairy
Maybe semi true for some, but still a myth. Some Coeliacs do develop lactose intolerance, which is often temporary but dairy don't mean gluten. Dairy is dairy, it doesn't contain gluten, unless its something like cookie dough ice cream, then it does (unless its Tesco own Cookie Dough Ice Cream). Have you ever been to a restaurant and been told you can't have x or y because it contains cheese or milk? I have! And walked straight back out. If a restaurant can't understand what's got gluten in, I ain't going to waste my time risking eating there.

4. You only have to eat gluten free for a few years
Absolutely not. Gluten free is necessary for life. Eating gluten will cause damage to the gut again which can result in far worse illnesses, including cancer. Even if you try gluten and don't get a reaction, this doesn't mean no damage is occuring.

5. One crumb won't harm you
1/8th of a tsp of gluten is enough to cause harm, so yes a crumb will cause damage. You wouldn't put one drop of acid on your hand and not expect it to burn would you?

6. You can't eat potatoes
Potatoes are fine, they are a carbohydrate that doesn't contain gluten containing grains, so why potatoes wouldn't be fine, I have no idea. Some people do react to potatoes though, some class them as a "cross reactive" products which can cause reactions in Coeliacs, but as a whole potatoes are fine. The only time they aren't is if you personally can't tolerate them or have an allergy to them.

7. That cross contamination won't cause you harm
See number five, a small amount causes a reaction. So if you prepare gluten free bread on a surface that had normal bread on, if you cook a cake in a pan that held a gluten filled cake before, crumbs may still be around and stick to the products. Put it this way, if you were told a surface was previously covered in a lethal poison and hadn't been cleaned properly or even at all before preparing your food on it, would you eat it then? I thought not.

8. Vinegar isn't gluten free
All vinegar is gluten free, even the ones made from barley. They are distilled to such as extent that gluten is no longer present. Some Coeliacs do still react to vinegar though, especially barley malt vinegar. However it is gluten free. Barley will be highlighted as an allergen though as it is an allergen by itself not just as a gluten containing grain.

9. Heat kills gluten
Am I allowed to swear? It's my blog... but I won't. I will say bull poop though. First off gluten isn't killable. It is a flaming protein not a living thing. Secondly heat CAN destroy gluten but only at extremely high heat, far higher than your oven and deep fat fryer can ever dream of reaching. Have a nosy at this blog for more on this one.

10. It's an allergy
NO NO NO. It's not an intolerance either. It is an autoimmune disease. What's the difference? With Coeliac the autoimmune system attacks itself when it mistakes gluten as something harmful. An allergy means skin reaction or anaphalaxis usually. And intolerance is normal similar symptoms to Coeliac but it doesn't have the autoimmune response, you may have the upset stomach but your autoimmune system isn't attacking itself.

What other crazy myths have you heard about Coeliac? Let us know!

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