travelling abroad gluten free
For people following a gluten free diet, travelling abroad can often be difficult. We have a few useful tips that should make your gluten free travels abroad a little easier.
What is gluten?
- Let your tour operator/airline know in advance that you follow a gluten free diet, they can make provisions for when you travel.
- Research the gluten free options in the area where you are staying. A useful website for this is www.glutenfreeroads.com/en
- Take some emergency gluten free snacks in your suitcase, ensuring that you check with the airline that this is acceptable. Small items such as biscuits and crackers are best to snack on.
- Coeliac UK has information leaflets which include language translations for over 40 countries. Simply contact their membership services team for a copy of the leaflet.
- When booking your travel insurance, let the insurer know that you have coeliac disease, the costs shouldn’t be too prohibitive as long as you are healthy and following the diet.
- If you are staying in self catering accommodation, gluten free foods are increasing available in Europe. Our parent company, Dr Schar, has a number of gluten free brands available including Schar, Glutano and DS Foods. Why not check to see if you can order gluten free food online from supermarkets and get it delivered to your accommodation before you arrive?
- Remember to check the labels of the foods you buy abroad in the same way you would in the UK. Packaged foods in the EU are covered by the same food labelling legislation as the UK, which means that the manufacturers must list all of the ingredients in the ingredients list including grains (e.g wheat, barley etc).
Gluten is a protein, which is commonly found in rye, wheat and barley. Gluten is found in most types of cereals, bread and pasta.
What can I eat?
Dietary Specials have constructed a table which is a quick reference guide, by category, to the foods that contain gluten versus those that are gluten free.
How can I tell which foods are gluten free?
There are several ways you can verify that foods in the "foods to check" column of the "what can I eat" page are safe foods for coeliacs.
Avoiding gluten contamination
It is important that gluten free foods are not contaminated by gluten during storage and food preparation.
How healthy is a gluten free diet?
Within the media there have been questions raised about gluten free diets, claiming that they are unhealthy, lead to a high intake of fat and sugar and just don’t provide the nutrients needed for a healthy diet. This is simply not true!