By Katarina Cepinova, Corporate Nutritionist

Coeliac Awareness week runs from 9th to 15th May 2016 and I have been rounding up all the research around food allergies and intolerances for my new seminar on this topic, available for the forthcoming Coeliac Awareness week. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Walking into a supermarket or a coffee shop one is amazed how responsive manufacturers and retailers are being to the growing demands for free-from foods. Only a few years ago I would struggle to find many gluten and dairy-free options, usually confined to a tiny area at the back of a specialist health store. Now the selection is astounding.

The free-from food market is now worth in excess of £400 million, forecasted to grow by almost half again over the next 5 years [1]. No wonder retailers and manufacturers are expanding their free-from research and development looking for convenient ways to replicate the taste of every day goods but without the allergen ‘culprits’. You can now find free-from pasta, pork pies, sauces, pizzas and meals for one. This may be good news for some, especially those suffering with serious allergies and conditions like coeliac disease [2].

But could we actually be missing the point? Are all free-from foods good for us?

We should commend the food industry for highlighting natural alternatives such as ancient grains – millet, buckwheat, teff, kamut, almond and coconut milk. However, it does not stop there, as on closer inspection, many free-from foods are packed with a never ending list of chemical sounding ingredients. In the quest to recreate the taste and texture of foods we like, the quality and healthfulness of free-from alternatives has suffered.

At Superwellness, as corporate nutritionists, our focus is to raise the understanding of healthy free-from food choices whilst introducing manageable steps to boost a person’s wellbeing and performance. If you would like to know more details about different programmes, please get in touch.

These simple tips can make a big difference in selecting healthy alternatives and choosing foods that are naturally good for you.

5 Healthy TIPS for picking healthy free-from alternatives:

  • Eat natural, fresh foods – processed foods are still processed foods even without gluten & dairy.
  • Put a rainbow on your plate – a variety of vegetables and fruits are your best free-from foods so aim for at least 5-7 portions daily, organic and seasonal where possible.
  • Don’t be label shy – reading product packaging and menus in detail will highlight unwanted ingredients to avoid.
  • Be a domestic god(dess) – try making raw snacks and foods from scratch with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Show off your skills with sweet potatoes brownies or courgette spaghetti.
  • Old is now new – experiment with naturally free-from ancient grains like teff, millet, and buckwheat, and with making your own almond or nut milks.

Would you like to raise awareness of allergies in your organization? My brand new seminar on ‘Food allergies and intolerances’ is available for Coeliac Awareness Week 9th – 15th May 2016. Contact us for more information at https://www.superwellness.co.uk/contact/

 

Katarina Cepinova, Associate and Registered Nutritional Therapist

Katarina is an accredited Nutritional Therapist with a specialism in supporting clients with allergies, food sensitivities, digestive issues, immune-compromised and nutrient deficient developing tailor made nutritional and wellbeing plans.

As a Superwellness Corporate Associate she has a special interest in delivering wellbeing programs, subject talks and events within the Retail sector, amongst others, enabling employers to focus on optimizing employees’ health and wellbeing through manageable bite-sized steps.

Katarina is a graduate from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, a well-known college accredited to the Nutritional Therapy Council. She is a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and is on a register of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

[1] Mintel (2014) ‘The development of the global free-from market’ Available at: http://www.fdin.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Development-Of-Global-FreeFrom-Market-Mintel.pdf Accessed on 1/4/16.

[2] Colombini (2012) ‘Free-from market soars due to self-diagnosis.’ Available at: http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Business-News/Free-from-food-market-soars-due-to-self-diagnosis Accessed on 1/4/16.

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