Gluten Free Diet

A gluten free diet involves choosing foods that do not contain gluten.  Gluten is contained in the following:

Gluten-containing grains:

  • - Wheat (all varieties, including spelt, durum, kumut and dinkel)
  • - Barley
  • - Rye
  • - Oats
  • - Triticale, and
  • - Derivitives of these products, eg. malt

Food products that are sources of gluten:

  • - Breads and cereals made from these grains
  • - Most breakfast cereals
  • - Wheat flour (including wheaten cornflour, dinkle, kumut, spelt)
  • - Wheat pasta, noodles
  • - Semolina, couscous, burghul, stuffing
  • - Wheat biscuits, cakes, pastry, scones, communion hosts
  • - Wheat crumbed and battered foods
  • - Wheat pastry foods e.g. pies, pizza

Gluten may also be present in other foods such as confectionery, sausages and smallgoods, sauces, dressings and other condiments, canned soups, stock cubes, malted and cereal drinks, yeast extract spreads, soy milk, custard powder, icing sugar mixture, baking powder, beer, medications, etc.

A gluten free diet involves a lot more than just avoiding regular bread and wheat based pasta. It is very involved. Despite this, there are plenty of foods you can still enjoy! For example, many food groups are gluten free already. The gluten free diet permits fruits, vegetables, plain meat, fish and chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and lentils, most dairy foods, oils and margarines.

Fortunately, there are also now a great range of alternative gluten free products available. This will enable you to make the transition from a wheat-based diet to gluten free diet easily without sacrificing good nutrition or enjoyment of food. Specialty gluten free products include gluten free pasta, breakfast cereals, breads, crispbreads, sweet biscuits and many others. The health food section of supermarkets, health food stores and other specialty outlets will stock a variable range of gluten free foods.

Gluten-free grains and starches:

  • - Rice (all forms, even glutinous)
  • - Corn/maize
  • - Potato
  • - Soy
  • - Tapioca/cassava
  • - Arrowroot
  • - Buckwheat
  • - Sago
  • - Lentil/pea (besan, urid, gram flour)
  • - Amaranth
  • - Lupin
  • - Sorghum
  • - Quinoa
  • - Millet

People with coeliac disease can buy two types of gluten free foods;

  1. those that are clearly labelled on the packet as being gluten free
  2. those that are determined to be gluten free by reading the ingredients of a packaged food, and confirming that each individual ingredient is gluten free, to then know that the whole product is safe.

Identifying “type 2″ foods above can be an overwhelming task! Understanding ingredients is a necessary skill and must be taught properly. To help ensure you are enjoying your diet safely and you are educated about making the correct choices and enjoying a good variety of foods, it is recommended you see a dietitian with experience in coeliac disease. Also, it is important to have access to ongoing information and support.

Publications through organisations such as the Coeliac Society allow you to keep up to date. The Coeliac Society of Australia has branches in all states of Australia, and details can be found at The Coeliac Societies will also be able to provide you with details of dietitians with experience in coeliac disease.

The following table is general in nature. People requiring a gluten free diet should check the ingredients of every food they consume to ensure suitability. * = check

Foods to Avoid Foods to Include
Flours Wheat flour, wheaten cornflour,  bakers flour, spelt flour, rye flour,  custard powder made from wheat, oat flour, barley meal, gluten flour. Rice flour, pure cornflour (maize flour), cornmeal, soya flour, potato flour, arrowroot, buckwheat, sago, sorghum, millet, tapioca,  besan flour, urid flour, lentil flour,  amaranth, lupin,  baby rice cereal
Bread All bread including rye, and commercial soya bread, flat bread, wuppertaler, pumpernickel, sourdough bread,  biscuits, buns, pastries, muffins, crumpets, pikelets, croissants, breadcrumbs Rice cakes, corn cakes, some rice crackers *Gluten free bread, breadcrumbs, biscuits, rolls, cakes, pastries and desserts from allowed flours.Gluten free bread, biscuit and cake mixes.  Cornmeal, polenta.
Cereals Breakfast cereals containing wheat, oats, semolina, barley, rye, malt, malt extract, wheatgerm, wheatbran, oatbran,  bulgur Rice and corn breakfast cereals (check for malt and malt extract)Homemade muesli using allowed ingredients.
Pasta Spaghetti, noodles, pasta, instant pasta meals (unless labelled gluten-free), couscous, gnocchi, Rice,  tapioca, buckwheat, gluten free pastas, rice vermicelli, rice noodles
Fruit Commercial thickened fruit pie filling*, fritters, choc coated sultanas and nuts*. Fresh, frozen, canned, preserved, stewed or dried fruit, fruit juices
Vegetables Canned or frozen vegetables in sauce, commercially prepared vegetable and potato salads*, commercial hot chips/wedges* Fresh, frozen, dehydrated, or canned vegetables without sauces, vegetable juices
Meat, Fish, Poultry Foods prepared or thickened with flour, battered or crumbed, sausages, processed meats* and fish*. Meat pies, frozen dinners, corned beef* Fresh, smoked, corned, frozen without sauces, crumbs or batters.  Canned meat or fish without sauce or cereal.  Ham off the boneBacon, gluten free sausages
Dairy Products Malted milksIcecream with cone or crumbs Block or processed cheese, cream or cottage cheeseUHT, evaporated, powdered or condensed milk, buttermilk,Yoghurt (check), dairy desserts*Plain or flavoured icecreamFresh or canned cream
Legumes, nuts Textured vegetable protein products, gluten steaksSome baked beans* Dried, canned or fresh beans, nuts and seeds, peanut butterGluten free canned baked beans
Takeaway food Hamburgers, pizza, souvlaki, sausages, battered food (e.g. fried fish), crumbed food (e.g. crumbed chicken), stuffed roast chickens Steamed rice, grilled fish (check no flour), chicken (no stuffing), steak, steamed vegetables, baked potato, some chips*
Snacks Packet savoury snacks*, many sweets and filled chocolates, licorice, many frozen desserts, flavoured potato crisps and corn chips* Plain chocolate, popcorn, jelly, meringue, plain potato crisps, plain corn chips, rice crackers*, most yoghurts*
Beverages Cereal-based coffee substitutesCereal-based cocoa beverages(e.g. Milo®, Ovaltine®, Aktavite®)Soy milks*Barley watersMilk flavourings*

Beer, ale, stout and lager

Alcoholic soft drinks containing malt vinegar

Water, tea, coffee, cocoa, milk, cordials, soft drinks, soda water, mineral water, fruit and vegetable juicesWine (including sparkling and fortified wines), most spirits and liqueurs, cider
Miscellaneous Malt vinegar, soy sauce containing wheat, baking powders containing wheat flour, mixed seasonings, beef, vegetable and yeast extracts (e.g. Vegemite®, Marmite®, Promite®), Many sauces, pickles, relish, chutney, salad dressing, stock cubes*, chicken salt. Tomato sauce, most vinegars, honey, jam, peanut butter, salad dressings not thickened, gelatine, gluten free baking powder, gluten free custard powder, gluten-free soy sauce, sugar, golden syrup, Mighty Mite®, Vege Spread®, Aussie Mite®Some stock cubes, gravies, sauces and condiments*.

Where can I get advice?

For expert dietitian advice, please book an appointment with one of the Shepherd Works dietitians on +613 9890 4911, or complete and submit the form details on the Book an Appointment page.

Day time and early evening appointments are available. For people who live interstate, overseas or are unable to make it to one of our practice locations, Shepherd Works offers a phone consultation service – please phone +613 9890 4911 to arrange.