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Eating gluten-free in Luxembourg: becoming aware of the issue

Today, several thousands of people are concerned by food allergies and need a gluten-free diet for their entire life. Is Luxembourg ready to offer a specific and quality service for this specific public? Cristina, our italian ambassador who has the Coeliac disease, tell us her feeling about that. 

In the last years there has been a change in the awareness about alimentation and food. People are getting very attentive to the quality of what they buy and eat. An example of this trend, is the quick development of international associations like “Slow Food” www.slowfood.com  who have the objective to give value to the food and to his sustainability.

However, there is still confusion between the choice to eat responsibly and the need of particular dietary requirements.  This is the case of people who suffer the Coeliac Disease and need to follow a gluten-free diet for life (or have a food allergy or intolerance). It is very important to respect carefully the dietary requirements because this is the only way to avoid severe illness linked to these diseases. In the case of Coeliac Disease, this means not eating even the smallest quantity of gluten. The importance to avoid even traces of gluten is often not known. For this reason, going out with friends, being invited for a dinner or celebrate can become stressful moments.

It can be very difficult to find well informed people about this condition in Luxembourg, which makes the everyday life much more complicated. A lot of people confuse gluten free food with organic or vegetarian products.

What is it gluten at all and where is it to be found? Gluten is a protein found in many cereals like wheat, kamut, spelt, triticale, rye and barley but it is also hidden in a lot of products like ham, yoghurt, chocolate bars, drinks, soups, ready meals…so it’s not easy at all to avoid it.

Being informed is a good way to help and support people around us with food allergies and intolerance. Very useful information can be found on the website of the Association Luxembourgeoise Intolérants au Gluten www.alig.lu offering medical information, documents, recipes, useful addresses …It is also very interesting to have a look at the website “The gluten free Cupboard”  www.theglutenfreecupboard.com  full practical advices or at the blog “Cherry Blueberry” under titled “Health Food Happiness in Luxembourg” www.cherryblueberry.com/ written from a Diet and Nutrition Advisor.

And after becoming a specialist in food and allergies…spread the word!

Cristina Salio,
Italian Ambassador in the Just Arrived's Ambassadors Club

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