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Nutrition Advice

To help cater for people with special dietary requirements, see our FAQ's. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a wheat free diet the same as a gluten free diet?
No, a wheat free diet is different from a gluten free diet. People who follow a gluten free diet usually have coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is a condition where sufferers are intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, oats, barley, kamut and spelt. When they eat gluten-containing foods, they often experience symptoms such as diarrhoea, gastric discomfort and lethargy. Following a gluten-free diet completely removes these symptoms.

People who follow a wheat free diet are intolerant to wheat. Like coeliac disease sufferers, they too can experience unpleasant gastric symptoms if they eat products containing wheat. This can occur even if the food has been processed to remove gluten because the remaining part of the wheat could still be present in the food, and therefore still affect them. To avoid the symptoms associated with wheat intolerance, a wheat-free diet should be followed.

All Brakes products that contain wheat as an ingredient have allergy information highlighted within the ingredients list.

Brakes have a range of products that are specifically made to be gluten free. Remember too that there are many products that do not contain wheat or gluten naturally such as:

Fruit & vegetables



Fresh plain meat & fish (without coatings)



Plain cheeses (without coatings)

Margarines & butter


Plain nuts and seeds

Ingredients that always contain wheat to look out for on labels include:

Durum wheat, spelt


Bran, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat gluten



Semolina, durum wheat semolina

Flour, wholewheat flour, wheat flour, wheat starch

Ingredients that sometimes contain wheat to look out for on labels include:

Starch, modified starch, hydrolysed starch, food starch, edible starch

Vegetable starch, vegetable gum, vegetable protein

Cereal filler, cereal binder, cereal protein

Does Brakes produce diabetic foods?
No, Brakes do not make products specifically for diabetic diets. People with diabetes don’t follow a ‘special’ diet as often assumed; they follow the same healthy eating diet that is recommended for everyone. Although people with diabetes should choose their food wisely and adopt sensible eating habits, they can still enjoy a wide variety of foods as part of a balanced diet. Diabetes UK (the largest UK charity for diabetes) state that ‘diabetic products still raise blood glucose levels, contain just as much fat and calories, are usually more expensive and can have a laxative effect’. Therefore, Brakes does not produce diabetic foods.

Which Brakes desserts are suitable for diabetics?
Brakes do not make any desserts that are specifically aimed at people with diabetes. People with diabetes don’t follow a ‘special’ diet as often assumed; they follow the same healthy eating diet that is recommended for everyone. Although people with diabetes should choose their food wisely and adopt sensible eating habits, no foods are 'banned' and occasional treats are acceptable. For everyday desserts eaten in moderation, foods such as fruit, yogurts, ice cream, fruit based crumbles, rice pudding, reduced sugar whips/mousse, reduced sugar cakes/sponges, reduced sugar jelly and fruit based trifles are all suitable for diabetic people.

Does Brakes produce a vegetarian jelly?
Yes, Brakes stock McDougalls vegetarian jelly.

Does Brakes produce dairy free yogurts?
Yes, Brakes stock dairy free milk and yogurt.

What’s the difference between sodium and salt?
Salt is made up of two components, sodium and chloride. Sodium is an essential nutrient that helps maintain the correct amount of water in our body but in excess, it can be bad for your health. It is recommended that adults consume a maximum of 6g of salt, or 2.5g sodium (about a teaspoonful) per day. Sodium is usually listed in the nutritional information on food labels. If you know how much sodium is in a food, you can work out roughly the amount of salt it contains by multiplying the sodium by 2.5. So if a portion of food contains 1.2g sodium, then it contains about 3g of salt.

What are hydrogenated fats and trans fats?
Hydrogenation is one of the processes that can be used to turn liquid oils into solid fats, for example, using olive oil to make spreads. The final product of this process is called hydrogenated vegetable oil, or sometimes hydrogenated fat. It is used in some biscuits, cakes, pastry, margarine and other processed foods. During the process of hydrogenation, trans fats can sometimes be formed. So foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oil (declared in the ingredients list) may also contain trans fats, which can be harmful and have no known nutritional benefits. Trans fats can raise the type of cholesterol in the blood that increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Trans fats can also be found naturally at very low levels in food products from ruminant animals, such as dairy products, beef and lamb. Find out more about how Brakes has been involved with public health policy.

Does Brakes produce any healthier foods?
Yes, Brakes produce a product range called Healthier Choices. The Healthier Choices product range meets strict nutritional criteria whereby all products have had the amount of fat reduced by at least 30% compared to their standard equivalent and have reduced or restricted salt and sugar.