FAQ - Frequently asked Questions

Are eggs gluten free?
If I am a celiac, can I eat meat from animals that are fed on a grain diet?
Can I eat chocolate with only 'trace' amounts of gluten?
Does 'glutinous rice' contain gluten?
Is glucose syrup (from wheat) or dextrose (from wheat) safe to eat?
Can I drink malt whisky's if I am a celiac?
If I suffer from celiac disease, can I use cream on my skin made from wheat products?
Should I only eat food that is labeled “gluten free”?
What is the difference between gluten free and wheat free?
Will I lose weight if I go on a gluten free diet?
If I put my cutting boards through the dishwasher, will that de-gluten them?
Is nicorette gum gluten free?
Is maltodextrin safe to eat on a gluten free diet?
Are emulsifiers gluten free?
Is Defatted Wheat Germ gluten free?
Are all "Thanksgiving Turkeys" gluten free?
Can I eat a "Thanksgiving Turkey" if the stuffing has gluten in it?
What is celiac sprue?
Is tropical sprue the same as celiac sprue (celiac disease)?
Are Domino's pizza bases gluten free?
Can an adult or child (who is a celiac) have vaccinations i.e. for Hepatitis B or cervical cancer or for travelling overseas even if they contain gluten?
Does cheese contain gluten?
Does Play-Doh contain gluten?
Are all raising agents gluten free?
How do you make gluten free baking powder?
Are all medications gluten free?
Is there a link with infertility and celiac disease?
Can I eat meat pies or fruit pies if I am a celiac?

Q. Are eggs gluten free?

A. Yes, all eggs are naturally gluten free. If the chicken is fed a grain that contains gluten  i.e. wheat or barley, the gluten is broken down during the digestive process (within the chicken) and is not passed into the body tissues or any products produced by the chicken.

Q. If I am a celiac, can I eat meat from animals that are fed on a grain diet?

A. All (non processed) meat is gluten free. If the animal is fed a grain that contains gluten i.e. wheat or barley, the gluten is broken down during the digestive process (within the animal) and is not passed into the body tissues or any products produced by the animal i.e. Milk.

Q.   Can I eat chocolate with only 'trace' amounts of gluten?

A.   No. No level of gluten is safe to consume on a gluten free diet.   If a product is declaring 'trace amounts of gluten', it is usually because a wheat starch blend has been used as the moulding agent.   This results in a dusting of wheat starch on the outside of the product.

Q. Does 'glutinous rice' contain gluten?

A. No. Even though the name sounds as if the rice should contain gluten, the name actually comes from the latin word “glutinous” which means sticky, viscous. It is called glutinous in the sense of being glue-like or especially sticky and not meaning that it contains gluten. Glutinous rice is also called sticky rice, sweet rice and pearl rice.

Q. Is glucose syrup (from wheat) or dextrose (from wheat) safe to eat?

A. Yes it is. Products containing dextrose, glucose or glucose syrup and caramel colour (150)  initially are derived from wheat but they are so processed that NO gluten is present in the finished product, making the product safe to consume on a gluten free diet.

Q. Can I drink malt whisky's if I am a celiac?

A. Due to these products being so highly processed, they have no detectable gluten even if derived from a grain that contains gluten.   Read more information

Q. If I suffer from celiac disease, can I use cream on my skin made from wheat products?

A. Yes, no gluten is absorbed through the skin; it must be digested.

Q. Should I only eat food that is labeled “gluten free”?

A. No. When you are first diagnosed it may be easier at first to eat food marked 'gluten free' but after you learn to read labels on food a whole range of different food will be opened up to you.  See more information on food labeling.

Q. What is the difference between gluten free and wheat free?

A. 'Gluten free' means the product contains no wheat, rye, oats or barley and therefore contains no gluten. 'Wheat free' means that the product does not contain any wheat but it could contain gluten . A wheat free product can contain other grains such as barley, oats or rye therefore containing gluten.

Q. Will I lose weight if I go on a gluten free diet?

A. You may initially,  until you work out what you can and cannot eat. It will also help if you stick to the natural gluten free foods i.e. fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy. If you eat too many gluten free processed foods like biscuits, cookies or cakes you may put on weight as these products can be high in calories and fat. Like anything – eating in moderation and exercising is the key to healthy living.

 

Q. If I put my cutting boards through the dishwasher, will that de-gluten them?

A. The dishwasher would work for non-porous surfaces, but not for porous surfaces such as wood. It would be suggested to get a glass or plastic cutting board.  See more on cross contamintation

Q. Is nicorette gum gluten free?

A. Yes, nicorette gum is gluten free. It does not contain any animal derivatives, latex, dairy products or gluten.

Q. Is maltodextrin safe to eat on a gluten free diet?

A. Maltodextrin can be derived from wheat or corn (maize). It is only safe to eat if the source of the maltodextrin is from corn, not wheat. If the source of the maltodextrin is not known, then do not eat the product. If the label states maltodextrin (wheat or corn) then it is not safe to eat on a gluten free diet as the manufacturer could use either, or both grains.

Q.  Are emulsifiers gluten free?

A.   Emulsifiers are substances that stabilise mixtures and prevent oil and water from separating.  Lecithin (322) occurs naturally in soy beans and egg yolk and is an emulsifier often used in margarine, chocolate and confectionery.   Our body digests emulsifiers in a similar way to fats, so can be considered safe.   Emulsifier 476 is used in chocolate and confectionery and is gluten free.

Q.   Is Defatted Wheat Germ gluten free?

A.   No. It is not gluten free.   Wheat germ is made up from the wheat kernel and is therefore not gluten free.   "Defatted" means that the 'lipid' part (the fatty part) of the carbohydrate of the wheat kernel has been removed.

Q.   Are all "Thanksgiving Turkeys" gluten free?

A.   No.   Some commercially produced turkeys contain gluten in the baste that they put on the skin, and also the broth used to inject them just under the skin to enhance them full of  flavours and salt.   Check the label and it should say no MSG or gluten on the front or under the nutrition label on the back.

Q.   Can I eat a "Thanksgiving Turkey" if the stuffing has gluten in it?

A.   No, you can't.   Even if you are sure it is a gluten-free turkey, cooking it with stuffing that contains gluten will contaminate it.   The gluten in the stuffing can permeate into the meat of the turkey so even if you think you can just eat the breast meat, it still could be contaminated.

Q.   What is celiac sprue?

A.   Celiac sprue is an alternate (and an old fashioned name) for celiac disease.    Other names for celiac disease are Gluten Sensitivity Enteropathy, Gluten Intolerance, Mal-absorption Syndrome and/or Intestinal Infantilism.

Q.   Is tropical sprue the same as celiac sprue (celiac disease)?

A.   No it is not.   Tropical sprue is a malabsorption disorder that develops in people who spend long periods in the tropics and subtropics.   It is usually treated with antibiotics.

Q.   Are Domino's pizza bases gluten free?

A.   Yes, the Coeliac Society of Australia is endorsing a gluten free pizza base made for pizzas at Domino's restaurants in Australia. Click here for more information.

Q.   Can an adult or child (who is a celiac) have vaccinations i.e. for Hepatitis B or cervical cancer or for travelling overseas even if they contain gluten?

A.   Gluten must be ingested to affect people with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis.   Medications that are not taken through the mouth and subsequently ingested, such as iv drips, injections, creams applied to the skin etc. are safe for a celiac.

Q.   Does cheese contain gluten?

A.   In its natural state - no it does not, however I came across some grated cheese that had been dusted in flour to prevent it from clumping together and to make it easier to spread on pizzas, salads, nachos etc.   When the cheese is dusted in flour, it also helps to make the cheese go further!!.   See Eating out at Restaurants

Q.   Does Play-Doh contain gluten?   

A.   Yes, Play-Doh does contain gluten.   On the outside packaging, it says "Beware - this product contains wheat".   Young children with celiac disease should refrain from playing with Play-Doh, as they tend to put things into their mouth and/or eat it.

Q.   Are all raising agents gluten free?

A.   No.   Baking Powder made from a wheat source (Anchor's Baking Powder) (sold in Australia and NZ) is not gluten free.   Ward's Baking Powder (sold in Australia) is marked gluten free so is therefore gluten free.

Q.   How do you make gluten free baking powder?

A.   For every cup of (gluten free) flour, add 1 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar and 1/2 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda.

Q.   Are all medications gluten free?

A.   NO, not all medications are gluten free.   Some are derived from a wheat source (i.e. wheat starch) and this is not necessarily written on the packet.   You should confirm with your doctor that the medications are gluten free, and double check with your pharmacist.   Beware of generic brands (whilst these may save you money, they may do you harm) as these may contain gluten.   If it is not written on the packet, then ask your pharmacist to check their literature and/or ring the drug company direct.   Beware also of the over-the-counter medications that you may purchase.  See Medications/Drugs - Are they all gluten free? 

Q.   Is there a link with infertility and celiac disease?

A.   Yes,  there is.   Research has shown that people (both women and men) who are undiagnosed with celiac disease and continue to eat a diet that contains gluten, then they can experience infertility, pregnancy loss or fetal growth problems. See Celiac Disease and Infertility Problems

Q.   Can I eat meat pies or fruit pies if I am a celiac?

A.  You can only eat meat pies (or any other fruit pies) that are especially made/labeled as gluten free.  A suggestion is to buy a pie maker from your local electrical retailer and make your own!!!   You can purchase gluten free pastry (short crust or puff) from any specialist store or health food store.  In Australia you can purchase it from Glutenfree Bakery.   When you have your pastry, you can make any gluten free filling to make up your pie.