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New study reveals 1 in 40 ‘gluten-free’ foods fail to meet standards

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New findings cause concern for those with Coeliac Disease

A study in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) found that almost 1 in 40 manufactured foods labelled as ‘gluten-free’ contain gluten.

Here’s what you need to know.

The findings

During the study, 300 of the most commonly purchased ‘gluten-free’ food options in Australia failed to meed to national standard. These foods included snacks, crackers, rice, noodles and pasta.

Although levels in the foods were relatively low, there were still many foods that contained gluten. For example, a type of pasta labelled as ‘gluten-free’ contained 3mg of gluten per serve. The experts at House Call Doctor say if the food is eaten frequently, it could prove to be harmful.

Gastroenterologist and the study’s lead researcher of the study Dr Jason Tye-Din said the results were concerning to people with CoeliacDisease.

“It’s troubling to think that these foods could be hindering the careful efforts of patients trying their best to avoid gluten,” Dr Tye-Din said.

“Patients who require a strict gluten-free diet for their treatment should be able to trust that food labelled as ‘gluten-free’ is what it says it is.”

CoeliacDisease in Australia

Coeliac Australia revealed recent figures that approximately 70% Australians are affected by Coeliac Disease, deeming it one of the most common autoimmune diseases encountered in general practice, however, around 80% of those people remain undiagnosed.

According to Dr Tye-Din, GPs and after-hours doctors can play a large role in detecting Coeliac Disease.

“As the first port of call, GPs are actually the most crucial player in this whole interaction,” Dr Tye-Din said.

“GPs who are mindful of the at-risk features that could prompt testing for the disease can play a really important role in this process by detecting it early.”

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