With holiday planning high on the agenda for many in 2024, a new study has uncovered the struggles of Aussies following a gluten-free diet when it comes to travel, revealing that over 82% of individuals restrict their holiday plans based on their dietary needs.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of GluteGuard, found that among gluten-free Australians, 97% still choose to travel, but over two-thirds (68%) prefer domestic or close-to-home holidays, highlighting the challenges they may face in ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience while also needing to adhere to a gluten-free diet.

Bad past experiences of course contribute to the gluten-free travel dilemma; among those who have had gluten-contaminated food in the past year, more than eight in ten (84%) have specific travel preferences, with almost half (45%) citing self-catered trips as their top choice.

One Australian who understands these challenges well is world record holding champion swimmer and GluteGuard ambassador, Ariarne Titmus. One of the many Australians who suffer from gluten sensitivity, Ariarne has followed a strict gluten-free diet herself since a medical diagnosis in 2017. As she prepares for the Paris 2024 Olympics in July, Ariane has some advice for those facing gluten-related challenges. Ariarne says, “Having experienced the challenges of needing to stay gluten-free while travelling, I know first-hand the importance of being prepared. Navigating different cuisines can be a hurdle, but with careful planning and packing gluten-free essentials like GluteGuard, you can enjoy your holiday by minimising the risk of being ‘glutened’. It’s about taking control so you can focus on the adventure, not the worries of being gluten free away from home.”

GluteGuard, developed by Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company Glutagen, offers a solution for those facing gluten-related challenges. The product, a tablet taken before meals when gluten contamination is uncertain, features Caricain, an innovative enzyme derived from papaya fruit. It is the only clinically proven product1 that breaks down harmful fractions of gluten the body cannot digest before they cause symptoms, inflammation and the associated immune response that leads to intestinal damage. GluteGuard helps to protect those with medically diagnosed gluten sensitivities from the symptoms of accidental gluten ingestion and offers support when eating foods prepared by others such as when traveling.

Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian Dr Kim Faulkner-Hogg explains that it requires thoughtful consideration to maintain a gluten free diet while travelling, saying, “I advise my clients when they are on holiday to pack enough snacks and gluten free basics to get them to a supermarket at their destination. When dining out, use phone apps to help choose cafes or restaurants that accommodate gluten-free options. Where possible – always opt for naturally gluten-free foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Be cautious with sauces, dressings, and processed snacks, as hidden gluten can lurk there. Use translation cards (where appropriate) to more clearly communicate gluten free needs, and travel with GluteGuard for backup. It’s about proactive choices and staying mindful of potential sources of gluten to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.”

GluteGuard is available to Australians at over 3,500 retailers and comes in a 10-tablet pack with a recommended retail price of $12.95 or a 30-tablet pack for $29.95. To find store stockists visit Gluteguard gluteguard.com.au/storelocator and for more on the product, visit gluteguard.com.au.

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