Globally, gluten free diets are on the increase.Is this due to health reasons or hype?

There are some amazing magazine resources available to food, nutrition and health teachers. My top favourites are the following:

delicious magazine

Complete nutrition magazine

You are probably thinking what is she getting for plugging these magazines? The answer is nothing personally but professionally these magazines have given me a wealth of knowledge which has improved my teaching and I would like to share an example of this with you all. Both of these magazines supported the food teachers campaign to reinstate food education at A level and although the campaign was not successful they clearly value the importance of food education in the UK.

See this link:

Click to access CNLetters-SaveFoodALevel.pdf

A level deli



And before the editors of these magazines supported this campaign, I subscribed to both magazines because they were and continue to be a tremendous aid in allowing me to plan exciting and well informed lessons.If you are a regular reader of my blogs you will know I love to keep up to date with current information and I am particularity keen to use evidence based and reliable resources.

So here is a lesson activity inspired by the following articles :

delicious 1-31 March 2016 ( The Sane View) Is it healthier to go Gluten free? by Sue Quinn

Complete Nutrition Vol 16.No 1. Feb/March 2016 Coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten/wheat sensitivity, irritable bowel syndrome.What is it all about? by Marianne Williams


Read out the following sentences until pupils guess the topic of the lesson.Explain using the sentences what gluten is and what it function in food production.

What am I ?

 I  give bread dough its elasticity and ability to rise.

 I  allows cakes to rise and keep their shape.

 I am  found in breads and cakes.

 I am  a hidden ingredient in many products such as sauces, stock cubes and processed meats.

I am the  general name for proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains.


Use PowerPoint to explain  Coeliac disease as follows:

  • Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition. If people with coeliac disease eat gluten they can suffer damage to their gut lining. The consequences of eating gluten can be severe including osteoporosis, anemia and even bowel cancer.

  • It affects 1% of the population.

  • Historically, it was seen in children will malabsorption symptoms but now there are far more adult cases than pediatric case.

  • Coeliac disease has a cast iron diagnosis which uses both blood tests and biopsies to confirm that a person has it.

Give magazine articles to pupils in groups. Ask them to skim read and take out important points which will help them answer the following exam practice questions.

Globally, gluten free diet are on the increase. Is this due to health reasons or hype? Discuss. ( 10 marks)

Give pupils 15 minutes to do this and then discuss how they should approach this question.

Discussion points to include:

  • A gluten free diet should not be used as a general healthy option or as a weight loss diet.
  • Many celebrities and health bloggers have made gluten free fashionable with claims that protein causes many illnesses from gut ache to,eczema.
  • Avoiding gluten unnecessarily can mean that some people are cutting out widely available healthy foods and are potentially eating less fibre, vitamins and minerals.
  • Some dietitians believe gluten frees popularity is also linked to the trend for low carbohydrate weight loss diets.
  • Anyone suffering from gut problems such as bloating or pain should seek medical advice rather than self diagnosing and cutting out gluten.
  • The gluten free market is so lucrative that even foods that don’t normally contain gluten are being labels ‘ naturally gluten free.’
  • Health experts have also coined a new term Non Coeliac gluten/ wheat sensitivity        ( NCGS). This conditions varies from coeliac disease in that patients do not appear to suffer with the coeliac symptoms of vitamin  B 12, iron and folate deficiencies and other malabsorptive features.
  • Many new products are launched to cater for the gluten free diet. Ibkka, the London based brand has launch a range of pasta made from 100 percent whole grain quinoa flour. Quinoa is actually  gluten free, high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids.
  • The general UK population are using gluten -free diets and the medical profession need to catch up.

Pupils to complete exam practice question for homework.






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