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‘Join the Gluten Freevolution’ is this year’s campaign headline for Coeliac UK’s annual Gluten Free Awareness Week which is set to increase gluten free choices on the go. With around only 1% of the UK diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, yet an estimated 20% who believe they are sensitive to gluten, there’s an ongoing need to raise diagnosis and awareness of the condition.

Gluten free diets have come under scrutiny in the press recently suggesting a diet lower in gluten may increase the risk of developing other health issues. Ultimately, these headlines bring attention back to consensus that gluten free diets aren't needed by the masses, rather those with a health need and the importance of wholegrains and healthy carbohydrates in any balanced diet. The research on the nutritional quality of gluten free diets has pulled out a tendency for lower inclusion of wholegrains, fibre, iron and B vitamins with higher levels of calories and saturated fat. When combined with already reduced absorption of nutrients in Coeliac Disease, this combination makes a balanced diet that bit more challenging to achieve.

Healthy choices in a gluten free diet is not only of rising interest to the nutrition science community, it’s also a top priority for our customers – with more requests for inspirational, healthy dishes no matter the type of diet. We’re continuing to develop more healthy, Eat Well choices across our Made Without Wheat range, especially for food on the go such as sandwiches and wraps using gluten free alternatives which are inherently healthier such as quinoa, buckwheat, wholegrain rice and legumes. And most recently we have just introduced our first Eat Well Made Without Wheat meals; a Spicy Prawn Spaghetti and Tomato & Basil Fusilli – perfect for a quick and healthy option for those avoiding gluten.

We’re also supporting Coeliac UK Awareness Week campaign for the second year running and will be hosting gluten free tastings and in store events in many of our stores from the 8-14th May showcasing highlights from the Made Without Wheat range. For more details on our Made Without ranges, visit: https://health.marksandspencer.com/your-diet-needs