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The risk of coeliac disease increases from one in every 100 people to one in 10, when a first-degree relative has the disease. That’s according to the Coeliac Society of Ireland, which today launched its annual Awareness Week. Coeliac Awareness Week 2018, which is supported by Ireland’s leading grocery retailer SuperValu, takes place nationwide 14th to 20th May.

This year, the Coeliac Society of Ireland are highlighting the impact of coeliac disease on families, and in particular, children. A number of events will be taking place during Awareness Week, including a series of in-store events at SuperValu stores around Ireland, featuring dietetic talks, advice from the Coeliac Society of Ireland and gluten free food samplings.

Commenting at the launch today, Mary Twohig, Chairperson of the Coeliac Society of Ireland, said: “Each year, Coeliac Awareness Weeks provides us with an important opportunity to highlight the seriousness of the disease. It’s not a fad or a lifestyle choice, it is a serious, lifelong condition. If undiagnosed, people with coeliac disease could develop osteoporosis, anaemia, nerve damage and it can have negative impacts on fertility.

“If people are suffering with symptoms we want them to be aware that if a first-degree relative has coeliac disease, their own chances of having the disease are increased to one in ten. It’s also important to note that some people with the disease experience no symptoms but internal damage is still taking place. We advise anyone with a first blood relative diagnosed as coeliac to discuss testing with their GP.”

Officially launching Coeliac Awareness Week 2018 was Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD, who said: “I am delighted to officially launch Coeliac Awareness Week 2018. With approximately 47,500 people in Ireland affected by coeliac disease, it’s hugely important that the medical risks of the disease are highlighted.

The Coeliac Society of Ireland’s annual Awareness Week is an important event in the calendar for not only those with the disease, but the general public as a whole – we can all do our bit to make sure we’re familiar with the seriousness of the disease, and find out how we can help those with it live life to the full.”

Also at the launch of Coeliac Awareness Week was Paddy Curran, SuperValu’s Health & Wellness Manager, who said, “At SuperValu, we are committed to ensuring we provide a range of products that provide quality, choice and value to meet our aoeliac shoppers needs. Our focus is to provide the same food experience for our Coeliac customers as we do for all our shoppers.

We’re excited about our new ranges available in store. We are delighted to be sponsoring Coeliac Awareness Week again this year, providing our support in helping raise awareness of coeliac disease and being able to demonstrate that there are hundreds of gluten free products available to the coeliac community in our stores – peoples’ lifestyle and eating habits do not need to be restricted.”

Commenting further at the launch, Ms. Twohig said “A diagnosis of coeliac disease can be a difficult adjustment but with some planning and family support it’s possible to live a full and healthy life. We would encourage friends and family of a person diagnosed as coeliac to learn a little about the disease so that those diagnosed don’t feel left out of family occasions. The Coeliac Society website have top tips for hosting/cooking for a coeliac person both in and out of home.

 “Some of our top tips for hosting a coeliac guest at your home include:

  • Discuss what you plan to cook with your coeliac guest (or their parent, if it’s a child) in advance. Often a meal can be made gluten free with some minor tweaks.
  • Cook gluten free food separately, if using a deep fat fryer ensure the oil is changed if it was previously used to cook a gluten containing food. If using a toaster, try toaster bags to ensure gluten free bread is not contaminated.
  • Sharing is not always caring where a coeliac guest is concerned. For example, using the same butter knife for standard and gluten-free bread could make your guest ill. Allow your guest to serve themselves first at a buffet meal to avoid cross contamination. Providing a separate dish for butter or dips is also a good idea.”

Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease that prevents those affected from digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  The disease can manifest itself at any stage in a person’s lifetime, with symptoms including abdominal pain, recurring mouth-ulcers, weight-loss, vomiting and diarrhoea.  It is estimated to affect 47,500 people in Ireland.

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Whether by choice or dietary necessity, the gluten-free food trend has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years and pretty much everyone and their mother has jumped on the bandwagon.

However, it now seems that one of the world's most popular diets may not be all it's cracked up to be.

According to experts at Monash University in Australia, the only people who should be avoiding gluten are those with a medically diagnosed intolerance.

Suzanna Mahady, a gastroenterologist and senior lecturer at the university says there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that gluten-free foods are a healthier alternative.

“For people without coeliac disease, there’s no evidence to support claims a strict gluten-free diet is beneficial for health,” she writes for The Conversation

“It’s even possible the opposite is true, and the avoidance of dietary whole grains resulting in a low fibre intake may be detrimental.”

Research has shown that consuming wheat fibre can actually provide you with additional protection against cardiovascular disease.

One such study, which assessed its subjects over a 26 year period, found that “the avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may affect cardiovascular risk,” due to the dwindling levels of triglycerides in your blood.

Long story short, gluten isn't as scary as the health food industry has made it sound.

Crisp sandwich, anyone?

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Gluten-free foodies rejoice!

Whether by choice or dietary necessity, the gluten-free food trend has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years and pretty much everyone and their mother has jumped on the bandwagon.

As a result, many Dublin restaurants have began to switch up their menus to accommodate for all customers, but this latest gluten-free offering may just be the most exciting yet.

The Exchequer D2, one of the capital's best established and most loved eateries, has just launched an incredible new menu made up of entirely gluten-free dishes.

The delicious dishes, created by new head chef Marty Montgomery, have been designed for any gluten-free foodies who don't want to compromise on taste. 

The lovingly selected menu offers a host of amazing starters, mains and desserts including cured salmon with cucumber and wasabi dressing, hake with asparagus, mussel and garlic sauce as well as a sumptuous steak tasting board including bavette, flank and featherblade.

Available seven days a week, The Exchequer's new gluten-free menu is the latest in a long line of food innovations at the Gastropub.

Bookings can be made at www.theexchequer.ie – what are you waiting for?

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There's no doubt that Irish people are becoming more informed when it comes to the importance of healthy eating, and with that, many of us have started to explore the benefits of an alternative diet.

Whether by choice or necessity, enjoying a 'free from' diet is not always as easy as it sounds and shopping for suitable ingredients can often add unnecessary hassle to meal times.

However, making wholesome and tasty meals that still comply with your dietary needs is about to get a whole lot easier.

From Monday August 14, Lidl are introducing an exciting new 'Free From' range with a selection of delicious ingredients and tasty treats suitable for all gluten free, lactose free, vegan and vegetarian diets.

Here's a selection of the products you can expect to see in stores nationwide. 

Gluten Free

Gluten Free Fruit Bar – €1.49

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets 300g – €1.99

Lactose Free

Lactose free  Chocolate Hazelnut Cream – €1.99

Vegan Ice Cream – €1.99

Vegan

 

Vegan/Vegetarian Ready Meals – €2.49

Goji Berries – €1.99

Vegetarian

Falafel – €1.79

Vegetarian Sausages – €1.79

What's more, Lidl have also created a variety of recipes so you needn’t miss out on delicious dishes.

Check out their recipe for some delicious organic cracker bread with topping below:

1.  Dollop of Milbona Cottage Cheese with a few slices of radish and sprigs of dill on top 

2.  A smear of Goldessa Soft Chesse Spread and a spoonful of mashed minty peas 

3.  Finely diced beetroots with balsamic vinegar and cream cheese 

4.  A spoonful of Milbona Cottage Cheese topped with slices of salted cucumber 

5.  Slivers of Deluxe Irish Organic Smoked Salmon on cream cheese topped with cubes of gherkin 

6.  Roast butternut squash with Meadow Fresh Houmous and pomegranate 

7.  Smashed avocado and a sprinkle of sweet paprika 

8.  Peach, cream cheese and a drizzle of Kilderg Honey

All 'Free From' products will be available in Lidl's 151 stores nationwide from Monday August 14, and with items in the range starting at just €1.49, they won't break the bank. 

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While many people suffer from an actual gluten intolerance, others have been clinging onto a gluten-free diet as their current health fad.

With an increase of gluten-free food in demand, many cafes and restaurants have had to update or add on to their menus, but one particular cafe is having none if it anymore.

The White Moose Cafe in Dublin posted on their Facebook wall this morning, saying that they now require you to show a doctor's note if you ask for a gluten free meal.

It read: "This morning a girl asked us if we did gluten-free pancakes and when we asked her if she was a coeliac, she didn’t even know what the word meant and then proceeded to order regular, gluten-rich pancakes anyway.

"From now on, guests who demand gluten-free food are required to produce a doctor’s note which states that you suffer from coeliac disease. Guests following a gluten-free fad, who don’t even know what gluten is, can cop the f*ck on and eat regular food like everybody else."

However, it's making a lot of people angry. BUT WAIT UNTIL YOU READ THE COMMENTS! We don't like to bad mouth but the cafe is being SO rude:

Holy ham!

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Twisters are one of our all time favourite things to have on a hot(ish) summers day in Ireland.

And although we'll never get sick of the original, HB has unveiled a brand new flavour – and we're in love.

The new Twister is GLUTEN FREE (yes!) and low fat and boasts juicy flavours of blackcurrant and strawberry. Mmmm…

Now all we want to do is travel out to Howth and have about ten of these…

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A new food trend is sweeping over Instagram and Pinterest and we think it might just be the answer for carb-addicts everywhere.

Cloud bread has popped up on numerous food and health blogs. It is gluten-free, carb-free and has very little sugar in it too.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it only have four ingredients so you can try it out yourself at home.

All you need is eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, and a packet of sweetener or honey (which is optional).

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  • Separate your eggs. Then, in one bowl, mix together the egg yolks, cream cheese and sweetener until smooth.
  • In the second bowl add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the whites and beat the whites on high speed until they are fluffy and form stiff peaks. Beat the egg whites until it looks like whipped cream. 
  • Slowly fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Be careful as you don't want it to break.
  • Be as quick as possible doing this as the mixture may start melting – Split the mixture into 10-12 even circles on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then before you serve, grill for 1 minute and watch it until the tops become golden.

Serve and enjoy!

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Jennifer Lawrence is set to upset a LOT of people suffering with gluten-intolerance out there!

In her recent interview for Vanity Fair, in which she opened up about those nude snaps for the first time, Jen also speaks about what she’d like to find in a boyfriend.

During the conversation, Jennifer branded a gluten-free diet as “the new cool eating disorder” saying that those who follow such a diet are saying: “Basically I just don’t eat carbs.”

Ouch, Jen – those comments are going to sting a lot of people!

We wonder if Chris Martin has finally found his soulmate in Jennifer after years and years of uber healthy eating with Gwyneth Paltrow…  

While many people today suffer from gluten intolerance, Jimmy Kimmel recently did a sketch in which he quizzed people on what gluten actually was (it didn't go well)…and as Jimmy says himself: "Some people can't eat gluten for medical reasons, but a lot of people in Los Angeles don't eat gluten because someone in their yoga class told them not to."

We think Jen agrees with you, Jimmy!

 

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A study conducted over the course of a day has found that a lot of people think that eating a gluten-free diet, even if you’re not a celiac, is healthier and can help you to lose weight.

Word to the wise: it’s not, and it doesn’t.

In fact, eating gluten-free foods when you don’t have to can actually be bad for your health, as a lot of gluten-free foods are not fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. People with celiac disease are advised by their doctors to balance their diet with a vitamin supplement.

A study by nutrition experts at the University of Florida has found that one third of 97 participants believed that eating gluten-free was healthier. Also, 60% of participants thought it could treat medical conditions, and 32% thought that doctors prescribed gluten-free eating for weight loss.

Just eat your sandwiches, guys. Get them into ye!

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While many people can’t eat gluten due to medical reasons, others willingly choose not to eat it out of choice or “because someone in their yoga class told them not to.”

Jimmy sent a crew out to a popular fitness spot to figure out if these people even know what gluten is…

 

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This gluten-free chocolate cake is rich and dense  and you only really need a small slice that’s of course,  if you can resist!

What you’ll need:

  • 400g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 320g light brown sugar
  • 260g butter
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • Espresso shot (optional)

What you’ll need to do: 

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl set over a saucepan of previously boiled simmering water.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool and stir in the sugar and egg yolks, stirring swiftly so the yolks don’t set. Add the coffee at this stage if using.
  3. Fold in the egg whites slowly until they are fully incorporated.
  4. Pour into cake pan and bake for about an hour until the outside is set and cracked in the middle.
  5. Unfortunately, this cake is too dense for a wooden skewer test. The cake should look firm but with a very slight jiggle.
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Everyone loves pancakes right?

Our guess is that there is a very small percentage of people who dislike them. With all the gluten-free, grain-free and starch-free recipes out there, there’s just so much you can do to pancake to make them suit your desires or dietary needs.

Here are some tips on how you can prepare for Pancake Tuesday:

Look out for deals
Plenty of supermarkets are doing discounts on pancake toppings such as chocolate spread, lemon juice or honey. So make sure you head down to your local supermarket to see what deals they have

Make your own topping
If you want to be creative, you could always make your own topping beforehand. Maple syrup is pretty easy to make and you can store it away for a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long).

Be prepared to share
We know, it’s a tough one. But look at in this way, the more you share, the less pounds you put on!

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