Do You Understand Gluten-Free?
Gluten-free diets have dominated the news for quite a few years now and there is more and more demand for food retailers, restaurants and caterers in Melbourne to offer a selection of tasty gluten-free menu options. However, not everyone understands what gluten-free is and while for some people it’s a must-do because of medical implications, for many other people it’s a lifestyle choice as it perceived as a healthier way to live. At Brisk Catering here in Melbourne’s CBD, we offer plenty of gluten-free menu options to our corporate clients because we believe that it’s important to cater for all diets. Our gluten-free offering is extensive, from a selection of mouth-watering gluten-free sandwiches (that taste just as good as our regular sandwiches) and lighter wraps to flavoursome mini-gourmet pies, crispy tarts and lots of breakfast items as well as lunch items. There’s definitely something for everyone at Brisk and that’s why we are the corporate caterers of choice in Melbourne’s CBD.
One in 70 Australians have coeliac disease (https://www.coeliac.org.au/coeliac-disease/) which means they follow a gluten-free diet but according to the coeliac organisation here in Australia, many Aussies don’t actually realise that they have gluten intolerance. Avoiding gluten stops insensitivity in the digestive system and coeliac disease affects men and women. It causes discomfort in the tummy and it’s because the body’s immune system acts abnormally to gluten.
Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. It doesn’t mean that a gluten-free diet has to avoid all items made using wheat, rye, barley and oats either because today, there are so many products made leaving gluten out that taste just as good, if not better than the “real” thing. So, if you thought gluten-free meant avoiding a huge amount of different foods, you were wrong! A gluten-free diet can include plenty of breads, cakes and other items that are specially made to be gluten-free. Of course, gluten-free means you can eat meat, fish, eggs, chicken, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seed, rice and more in abundance! As a note, wheat-free doesn’t equate to gluten-free and the food type might include rye or barley, in which case it isn’t free of gluten.
You Don’t Lose Weight
You do have to be careful though, being gluten-free doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight. That’s a myth and actually, you could initially put on weight if you decide to go gluten-free for a healthier lifestyle. That’s because gluten-free substitutes for bread, cake, biscuits and pizza etc. are often higher in sugar and fat content. So don’t rely on a gluten-free diet for weight loss.
When Gluten isn’t Obvious
If you are serving a gluten-free meal to gluten-free guests, or indeed catering to a gluten-free audience at a business event, be aware that while wine and distilled alcohol is gluten-free, beer isn’t. Additionally, gluten isn’t always obvious as an ingredient. It is often hidden in sauces and dressings. For example, soy sauce, gravy and salad dressings often contain gluten so check first or leave it to the experts like us at Brisk!
Keep Up the Vits!
If you do follow a gluten-free diet, bear in mind you might lack some important nutrients. For example, a gluten-free diet can lead to a loss of B vitamins, iron and amino acids because of a lack of fortified food. To combat this, make sure you eat plenty of colourful fruit, vegetables and legumes as well as protein, quinoa and gluten-free wholegrains. You need plenty of fibre too and adding a supplement with Vitamin B and iron won’t hurt either.
When catering at a business event for any diet, be it for health reasons, lifestyle choice or religious reasons, it’s best to speak to experienced corporate caterers to take proper advice. At Brisk, we cater for everyone, so do let us know what you need for your next business lunch or business event and we’ll make sure it’s extra-delicious no matter what diet it caters for!