Why gluten and milk free?

Many people in the UK have cut out products containing milk from their diet. Although some choose to do so for general health and wellbeing reasons, for others it's because of a dairy allergy or an intolerance.

The most common form in adults is lactose intolerance. Intolerance usually develops during adulthood, as opposed to milk allergy, which usually only affects babies and infants. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and wind.

Intolerance is caused by the gut not producing enough lactase – an enzyme which breaks down lactose, the sugar found in milk and products made with milk. Lactase deficiency can be genetic, or it can be caused by a problem with the intestine, caused by other conditions.

One of these conditions is coeliac disease. When someone with coeliac disease eats gluten, their small intestine is damaged, reducing its ability to absorb nutrients and produce vital enzymes such as lactase. This is why many people who have just been diagnosed with coeliac disease are also lactose intolerant – fortunately, after following a gluten free diet for some time, your intestine can repair itself and you'll be able to eat dairy again. However, until that happens, you will need to carefully follow a gluten and dairy free diet.

Maintaining a gluten and milk free diet

Cutting both gluten and milk out of your diet may seem daunting at first, but you will soon feel the benefits if you're intolerant. Fortunately a huge range of foods are naturally free of gluten – check out our gluten free food guide for more information.

You will need to avoid milk (including goat's milk), butter, yoghurt, cheese and cream – luckily there are plenty of dairy free alternatives on the market, often soya based. It's also important to carefully read the ingredients lists on packaged goods, chocolate, pastry, biscuits, ready meals, sauces, soups and so on – just like going gluten free, you might find it's easier to make your meals from scratch. You can find a range of dairy free products in the free from aisle at major supermarkets.

If you're following a gluten and milk free diet, it's absolutely essential you keep a close eye on your nutrient intake – particularly calcium. Vital for healthy bones, calcium can be found naturally in soya and tofu, chickpeas, kidney beans, nuts, and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Vitamin D is also important to help you absorb calcium, and is found in oily fish and eggs. Dietary supplements are also available.

What's more, if you have a gluten free prescription you can get our pharmacy gluten and dairy free loaves, which are fortified with calcium and iron.

Enjoy our gluten and milk free foods

We want everybody to be able to enjoy our delicious product range, which is why we have now ensured all of our fresh bakery products are now dairy free. We use no dairy-containing ingredients, and our bakery facility in Newburn is completely dairy free; which means our fresh bakery products are suitable for anybody with a dairy allergy or intolerance, as well as people with coeliac disease.

So, build indulgent sandwiches with our gluten and milk free farmhouse bread or sandwich thins, pack our soft rolls with your favourite fillings, or check out our recipes section for loads of great ideas for using our gluten and dairy free wraps. Starting a gluten and milk free diet needn't mean the end of great food; in fact, you might find it's just the beginning.