About Us

At The Olive Branch, we like to make it easier for people with dietary needs to find something to suit their taste. That’s why we have a range of items on our menu that are suitable for coeliacs, people with diabetes and people who have a dairy intolerance.
If it’s not on the menu, we can tailor a menu item to suit, so come in and give us a try. Even some of our frozen take home meals are designed to suit.
Some more information about these dietary requirements can be found below.



Coeliac disease

What is it?
Coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac) is not an allergy or simple food intolerance.

In fact it's an autoimmune disease, where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues.

In people with coeliac disease this immune reaction is triggered by gluten, a collective name for a type of protein found in the cereals wheat, rye and barley. A few people are also sensitive to oats.

In coeliac disease, eating gluten causes the lining of the gut (small bowel) to become damaged and may affect other parts of the body.
For more information, why not contact the Coeliac Society in SA.

Diabetes Facts

Diabetes Facts

  • Diabetes is Australia’s fastest-growing chronic disease
  • It is the seventh highest cause of death in Australia
  • People with diabetes are almost three times more likely to have high blood pressure, obesity or elevated blood fats eg cholesterol
  • They are two to three times more likely to have cardio-vascular disease, eg heart disease and stroke
  • 65%-80% of people with diabetes will die of coronary heart disease
  • 15% of people with diabetes have heart disease compared to 2.5% without diabetes
  • Diabetes the leading cause of kidney failure
  • Renal disease accounts for 8% - 14% of deaths in people with diabetes
  • 5% of people with diabetes will experience foot ulcers
  • Of the 3000 amputations in people with diabetes, most are preventable
  • Visual problems are common in people with diabetes
  • Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness for people under 60
  • Australia’s indigenous population suffers the fourth highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the world
  • 275 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every day
  • An average of 55,000 people are diagnosed every year
  • More than 3 million Australians have diabetes or prediabetes
  • By 2010, Diabetes Australia expects the number to reach 1.7 million
  • Type 2 diabetes, usually found in middle age, is increasingly being diagnosed in children.


  • Total diabetes health bill is $1.2 billion a year
  • In two years it is expected to be $2 billion
  • 4% of people who have diabetes account for 12% of health costs.

High risk categories for developing type 2 diabetes

  • Over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
  • Over 45 years of age and overweight
  • Over 45 years of age and one of more members of the family has/had diabetes
  • Over 55 years of age
  • Have heart disease or have had a heart attack
  • Have/had high blood sugar levels during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • Have recorded a borderline blood glucose level
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome and overweight
  • Over 35 years of age and are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • Over 35 years of age and from Pacific Islands, Indian subcontinent or Chinese Cultural background.

For more information about Diabetes, why not contact Diabetes SA.
Lactose intolerance
Milk and other dairy products contain a sugar or carbohydrate called lactose. Normally, the body breaks down lactose into its simpler components with the help of the enzyme lactase. Most mammals stop producing lactase when they are weaned; humans, however, continue to produce it throughout life. Without enough lactase, a person can have digestive problems like abdominal pain and diarrhoea. This is known as lactose intolerance or lactase deficiency.

It is rare for Caucasians to develop lactose intolerance. However, it is quite common among people from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and some Mediterranean countries, as well as among Australian Aborigines. Up to five per cent of Caucasians and up to 75 per cent of non-Caucasians living in Australia are lactose intolerant.

Many Australian babies are unnecessarily weaned because their irritability is wrongly assumed to be lactose intolerance. In reality, the severe form of this condition – known as primary lactose intolerance (where the infant does not produce lactase from birth) – is rare. Secondary lactose intolerance (which develops after weaning) is more common.
This can occur temporarily after a bout of gastroenteritis, for example, but often improves after several weeks as the lining of the gut heals.


Many people with lactose intolerance have a particular tolerance level, which allows them to consume some lactose with minimal symptoms. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhoea.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance are often confused with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People with IBS are not lactose intolerant, but tend to have difficulty tolerating fat. If you think you may be lactose intolerant, see your doctor.

Undigested milk sugars

The enzyme lactase breaks down milk sugar (lactose). Lactase enzymes are found in the mucus of the small intestine. They change the milk sugar into the absorbable compounds – glucose and galactose.

If there is not enough lactase around, the lactose skips the usual digestive process and is partially broken down by the bacteria in the intestines. This fermentation process causes excessive wind, bloating and associated pain. Any undigested lactose is sent along the intestinal tract. Water is not removed from the faecal matter and diarrhoea is the result.

Causes of lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is largely genetically determined. Some causes include:

  • Congenital – this is the main cause so you can blame your genes if you have less lactase than usual.
  • Gastroenteritis – this can strip the intestines of lactase for a few weeks.
  • Parasitic infection – this can temporarily reduce lactase levels.
  • Iron deficiency – lack of iron in the diet can interfere with lactose digestion and absorption.

For more information about Dairy Intolerance why not check out NoMilk.com.