If you’ve ever made bread, you’re intimately familiar with gluten. Gluten is the hunk of proteins that turns a ball of crumbling dough into an elastic, yummy ball of bread-to-be. The protein is found in wheat and related grains that are food staples in large parts of the world.
Gluten is rarely a health problem, but it does come locked into big, high-calorie servings of carbohydrates, pumping us full of un-needed calories and putting us at risk for obesity and diabetes.
For a small part of the population, gluten isn’t just a part of the obesity epidemic. About 1 in 133 Americans develop an allergy to the protein leading to a condition called “celiac disease”. Numbers are higher in Europeans and higher in people with typical symptoms and people who have family members with the disease. When gluten hits the gut in someone with celiac disease, it sets off an immune reaction which kills off the cells forming the inner lining of the small intestine.
Since many important nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, patients can suffer problems related to malnutrition: osteoporosis, anemia, vitamin deficiencies. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are common but not universal, and some people suffer from significant weight loss.
The nice thing about celiac disease is that we understand very clearly how it works, and can eliminate its negative effects by avoiding foods with gluten. We can easily measure antibodies in the blood formed by people with celiac disease, and their intestine shows specific changes under the microscope.
A gluten-free diet can completely eliminate the symptoms of celiac disease. It has become easier and easier to find gluten-free foods as the public has become more aware of the disease. Some of that awareness has gone a bit overboard.
A quick googling of the topic shows just how deep into the rabbit hole we can go with “gluten sensitivity”. This poorly-defined syndrome is usually self-diagnosed by someone who feels unwell and then is better when following a “gluten-free” diet. People blame gluten for everything from child behavior and learning problems to chronic pain and fatigue.
As is often the case with vaguely-defined syndromes, many of the symptoms are vague and subjective, and few studies have confirmed that a disease even exists. The field is complicated by the fact that gluten-sensitivity diagnosis and treatment is often patient-driven. Doctors in the office are often confronted by the problem, and patients and doctors both are frustrated by the lack of knowledge.
But there is a lot we do know. People who feel they are gluten-sensitive but do not test positive for celiac disease do not have celiac disease. The usually don’t have any pathology we can put a finger on, but this may be due to the lack of studies. People with celiac disease improve dramatically with proper diet, and sicken dramatically when they stray even a little bit. It is unclear what effect if any gluten-free or gluten-diminished diets might have on people with self-defined gluten sensitivity.
People with celiac disease usually have a certain type of cell surface receptor that helps set off the immune reaction. Is there another way that gluten may cause disease aside from the well-understood immune mechanisms of celiac disease? At this point, I haven’t seen any convincing hypotheses.
Based on the available literature (and my clinical practice), I think that in a few years time we will have found perhaps a small number of people who feel “better” on gluten free diets, either because of the decreased gluten or more likely because of avoidance of carbohydrates in general. The rest of the self-defined gluten-sensitive will find that there really is no dramatic change in their life that isn’t due to chance alone or the natural course of other diseases, and the gluten-free craze will fade.
Restaurant operators interested in offering gluten-free items are more often highlighting naturally gluten-free options and making simple changes as opposed to developing new innovation, said Kathy Hayden, a food service analyst with Mintel International, Chicago.
“The best bet for restaurants is to point out items that are naturally gluten-free,” she said.
The number of gluten-free menu claims has risen dramatically in recent years. According to Mintel Menu Insights, there was a 275% increase in gluten-free menu item claims from 2009 to 2012. Gluten-free claims for pizza and hamburgers have increased especially dramatically as restaurants have worked to offer gluten-free crusts and buns. Salads, fondue and chicken breasts also have increased significantly in gluten-free claims.
Technomic, Chicago, has found gluten-free claims are the most prevalent at Top 500 and emerging full-service restaurants, according to a recent healthy eating trends report. The claims also represent the top health claims on emerging-chain limited-service menus. Limited-service pizza and sandwich chains along with full-service, varied-menu operators have been active in the development of gluten-free options since 2010, Technomic said.
“Take a look at your current menu; you may be surprised at how many items can easily be converted to gluten-free,” said Beckee Moreland, director of gluten-free industry initiatives at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. “By using gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce, or using cornstarch to make a roux, you can open up the possibilities.”
Ms. Moreland said items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy are naturally gluten-free, and there are gluten-free alternatives for flour, pasta and bread, but operators should confirm with the manufacturer that the products have been tested or certified gluten-free.
While many simple changes are occurring, there is also some true innovation being developed. Domino’s Pizza, Ann Arbor, Mich., has launched a gluten-free crust, although it is not recommended for consumers requiring strict gluten avoidance.
“Unfortunately, our kitchen practices do not allow for a full gluten-free product intended for those with celiac disease, but we are pleased that the … people who suffer from gluten sensitivity now have an option,” said Chris Brandon, Domino’s spokesperson.
Mr. Brandon said training across Domino’s restaurants has been important. The company required training videos for assistant general managers and general managers to review, a brochure with frequently asked questions and facts are available for reference at all stores, key facts are required to be in view at every order-taking station, and the company communicates its disclaimer in many ways. Domino’s even requires on-line customers to acknowledge they have read the disclaimer before ordering the gluten-free crust.
“At this time, a gluten-free crust pizza is within our operational capabilities, responds to the needs of a choice consumer base and provides many of our customers – who weren’t able to prior – the ability to enjoy a Domino’s pizza,” Mr. Brandon said. “For those reasons alone, we are pleased it will continue to be a part of our menu.”
Subway, Milford, Conn., is currently testing gluten-free rolls and brownies in about 535 restaurants in several markets across the country. The products are pre-packaged. Mark Christiano, worldwide baking specialist for Subway, said the company is working to make sure a process is in place to ensure there is no cross-contamination during the making of the sandwich.
Ms. Moreland said restaurant operators need to assess the risks in their kitchen, and once they decide what they may safely offer, they need to clearly convey that message to customers. She said a dedicated kitchen space is always preferable, but there are ways to reduce risk in a shared kitchen, such as instituting procedures that recognize hot spots and prevent cross-contact. She said the best approach is to complete a gluten-free training program and implement the recommendations made in the training.
Ms. Hayden said pre-packaged items are always a good option in helping offer gluten-free alternatives, although there is still a risk for cross-contamination.
Overall, Ms. Hayden said while she doesn’t see the gluten-free market as a fad, she does believe it’s a trend that will level.
“If you can at least keep something on the menu that addresses these needs, then it’s worthwhile,” Ms. Hayden said. “But in terms of reformulating entire menus or even sections of menus, that might be unwarranted at this point. I think it’s a trend that will settle.”
Ms. Hayden and Mary Chapman, director of product innovation at Technomic, suggested the market is being driven by the same factors that are driving the market in retail — an increase in celiac diagnosis, increasing numbers of people with gluten intolerance, and a consumer perception the products are healthier.Ms. Chapman said once additional medical research emerges suggesting the products aren’t necessarily healthier, there might be an additional leveling of the market.
Grocery shopping has become challenging for me, because large sections of the grocery are off-limits. I have celiac disease (CD). CD is a systemic autoimmune disorder caused by exposure to gluten in genetically-susceptible people. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. The immune response activated in celiac disease causes the body to attack gluten as if it is an antigen. Symptoms and other health problems associated with CD include including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, psychiatric disorders, infertility, birth defects, osteoporosis, and life-threatening conditions such as intestinal cancer. According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, there are approximately 300 recognized symptoms of Celiac Disease. CD affects 1 in 133 people in the U.S. -- the number of people in the U.S. with CD could fill 4,400 Boeing 747 jets.
The only treatment for CD is adherence to a gluten-free diet. This means that I must avoid anything that contains or has come in contact with gluten (wheat, barley, or rye). The list of gluten-containing substances I must avoid is not limited to food. People with CD must find cosmetics, beauty products, cleaning supplies, and medications that are gluten-free. Exposure to gluten from these sources can also result in a CD immune response and its accompanying symptoms.
I learned quickly after my diagnosis that the easiest way to eat is to buy fresh food. You know, the food found on the perimeter of the grocery store. I have little use for the guts of the grocery store where all the tasty bagged, boxed, and canned foods live.
When I pick up an organic bunch of kale, I know what is in it. That is not true of food that comes in boxes, bags, and cans. Decoding the ingredients of processed products is tricky. In foods not labeled "gluten-free," I avoid anything that includes the ingredients "natural flavors," "artificial flavoring," or anything else that is vague. Then, I have to spend time Googling or using my gluten-free phone app to see if I can determine the gluten-free status of any other ingredients.
I am that lady standing in the aisle, probably in your way, basket on the floor, can in one hand, and an iphone in the other. Even if the product I am looking at has the words "gluten-free" on the label, I still have to wonder if it is gluten-free. I cannot just sigh with relief and toss it in my basket.
In the United States, there is no legal definition for the phrase "gluten-free." That is right; manufacturers can use that phrase as they choose without meeting any established, regulated standards. "Gluten-free" means whatever they say it means as long as, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is not "misleading." There are instances of food products being sold with "gluten-free" labeling, andsome products contain varying amounts of gluten, include "wheat" in the ingredients, and are exposed to gluten in the manufacturing process.
How can this be?
The FDA has failed to accurately define the term "major food allergen," establish safe gluten thresholds for food products, and meet its legal obligation under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCP) to create and implement final rules for gluten-free food labeling.
The phrase "major food allergen" under FALCP means:
(1) Milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g. almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts and soybeans.
(2) A food ingredient that contains protein derived from a food specified in paragraph (1), except the following: (A) Any highly refined oil derived from a food specified in paragraph (1) and any ingredient derived form such highly refined oil. -- 21 USC 321(qq) (2012)
The FALCP requires that manufacturers identify these allergens by their common names (i.e. wheat, milk, or soy) on labeling for easy identification by consumers.
In order for a product to be gluten-free, it must be free of all gluten: wheat, barley, and rye. Unfortunately, the current law does not meet that standard. The definition of major food allergen includes only wheat. It does not include rye and barley, both of which contain gluten. The FDA's definition of major food allergen must include the term "gluten" or the words "wheat, barley, and rye" to safely protect citizens with CD or other non-celiac gluten sensitivities.
Additionally, the FALCP charged the FDA to have final standards for gluten-free labeling in place by 2008, no later than four years after the enactment of FALCP. In 2007, following up on the mandate from FALCP, the FDA issued a proposed rule "Food Labeling: Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods." The proposed rule states that a food is gluten-free if the food does not contain any of the following:
(1) an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains;
(2) an ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten;
(3) an ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten; or
(4) 20 ppm or more gluten. -- "Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods," 72 Fed. Reg. 2795 (proposed January 23, 2007) (to be codified at 21 CFR Part 101).
The FDA's notice described the currently-adopted analytical methods for gluten detection as being able to reliably and consistently detect gluten at levels of 20 parts per million or more in a variety of foods. Participation by food manufacturers would be voluntary if they wish to market products as gluten-free. The comment period for these rules passed with no action. No final rules were issued by the FDA.
In 2011, the FDA reopened the comment period on the same proposed regulations for "Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods." That comment period closed and, again, no action was taken. No final rules were issued by the FDA regarding the labeling of gluten-free foods.
Over a year later, on Dec. 14, 2012, the FDA issued a new proposed rule titled "Request for Comments and Information on Initiating a Risk Assessment for Establishing Food Allergen Thresholds; Establishment of a Docket." The comment period on these proposed rules is open until Feb. 12, 2013, and an advisory committee meeting of the FDA is scheduled for March 7, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have you ever shopped for a gluten-free cookbook for yourself or a friend? Do you know anyone with CD? It is likely that you do. Please consider supporting them by taking time to help prompt the FDA to do something with the power provided to it by Congress. Commenting on proposed government rules is a way for us to directly impact policy making. Your comments can directly impact and in some cases be included in the FDA's final rules. Let your voice be heard.
It has been five years since the statutory deadline for final rules on gluten-free labeling, and the FDA has taken no final action. Five years. It is time for the FDA to do something. Please go to the Federal Register and comment on the FDA's latest rule (Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0711) regarding the establishment of gluten thresholds for food.
RestaurantNews.com reported last week that Mark Cuban has invested in Find Me Gluten Free, a restaurant search and review app for iPhone and Android users. He stumbled upon this latest venture by way of Naked Pizza, a national chain that serves up healthy pizza on gluten-free crust, which Cuban is already an investor. In setting up an advertising deal between the two companies, Cuban became interested in the technology app and threw some money at it - something he's known for doing in a most gracious way.
Find Me Gluten Free has over 20,000 gluten-free restaurants on its database and continually adds to its thousands of user-generated reviews. With daily promotions, advertising opportunities, and of course, reviews, the app helps gluten conscious consumers find restaurants or bakeries.
Taking the site for a little test drive, if you're looking for a gluten-free burger in Dallas for lunch, Company Café gets top billing (both locations), followed by BoomerJack's and Red Robin. The latter two only have one rating apiece. Pizza for lunch? Looks like Picasso's is the place to go. There's obviously some need for growth here - enter Mark Cuban.
One question though: why isn't there a Naked Pizza in Dallas?
In other celiac news, the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo is in Dallas on September 8 and 9 at the Westin Park Central.
For a lot of people, gluten-free diets are more trend than treatment, a new study shows.
The study estimates that 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease. Another 1.6 million are on gluten-free diets, the recommended treatment for celiac disease. Yet there's almost no overlap between the two groups.
"So here' we've got this kind of irony where those who need to be on [a gluten-free diet] aren't on it, because they don't know they have it. And those who are on it probably don't need to be on it, at least from a medical point of view," says researcher Joseph A. Murray, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "It's a little frustrating."
The study is based on data collected through the government's NHANES survey, which takes regular snapshots of the health of the U.S. population.
Celiac disease is a disorder that's triggered by eating gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye.
Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms. Others experience non-specific complaints like chronic fatigue, depression, brain fog, abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia, diarrhea, and other stomach problems.Celiac Disease 'Dramatically Undiagnosed'
Along with using the survey data, the researchers also used blood tests to screen nearly 8,000 people, ages 6 and up, for antibodies against the gluten protein. Those who showed gluten antibodies were given another test to look for proteins that indicate the body is attacking itself. A total of 35 people were considered to have celiac disease.
Based on those results, researchers estimate that as many as 1.8 million Americans may have celiac disease, though roughly 80% are undiagnosed.
The study is published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
"This is very much in keeping with what we had known about celiac disease in the U.S. before. There's a lot of it out there, around 1%, and it's dramatically undiagnosed," says Daniel A. Leffler, MD.
Leffler, the director of clinical research at the celiac center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, says the condition often slips by primary care doctors because the symptoms vary so much from person to person, and it's not always something doctors think to look for.
"It still suffers from the stigma of being a rare childhood disease," says Leffler, who was not involved in the research.Many on Gluten-Free Diets Don't Have a Celiac Diagnosis
Lack of a doctor's diagnosis hasn't deterred people from trying gluten-free diets, which have gotten high-profile plugs from celebrities and talk show hosts. The market research firm Mintel estimates Americans will spend $7 billion on gluten-free foods this year. The market for gluten-free products has grown 27% between 2009 and 2011.
Among 55 people in the study who said they were on gluten-free diets, 53 tested negative for celiac disease. That led researchers to estimate that 96% of people on gluten-free diets may not need to be on them.
Gluten-free eating has exploded in the United States in recent years, partly in response to an increase in people diagnosed with gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. Many people who adopt a gluten-free diet probably do so needlessly, doctors say. But research suggests that thousands of people have undiagnosed gluten disorders.1.8 million
The number of Americans thought to have celiac disease, a digestive disorder that prevents the body from absorbing some nutrients. People with celiac disease can suffer abdominal pain and diarrhea when they eat wheat, rye and barley, or other foods that contain the protein gluten.1.6 million
The number of Americans who have adopted a gluten-free diet without being diagnosed with celiac disease. "There are a lot of people on a gluten-free diet, and it's not clear what the medical need for that is," said Dr. Joseph Murray, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist. "It is important if someone thinks they might have celiac disease that they be tested first, before they go on the diet."78 percent
The percentage of Americans with celiac disease who don't know they have it, according to research released last week by the Mayo Clinic. That adds up to about 1.4 million people.$6.1 billion
The amount Americans spent on food labeled gluten-free in 2011, according to international consumer research company Mintel. Gluten-free foods have become so popular that even products that are inherently gluten-free - like seafood and tomato sauces - have adopted the labels.
It sounds like an unfolding epidemic: A decade ago, virtually no one in the U.S. seemed to have a problem eating gluten in bread and other foods. Now, millions do.
Gluten-free products are flying off grocery shelves, and restaurants are boasting of meals with no gluten. Celebrities on TV talk shows chat about the digestive discomfort they blame on the wheat protein they now shun. Some churches even offer gluten-free Communion wafers.
"I don't know whether there's more people getting this or that more people are noticing" they have a problem, said the Rev. Richard Allen, pastor at Mamaroneck United Methodist Church, north of New York City.
Or is it just another food fad?
Faddishness is a big part of it. Americans will spend an estimated $7 billion this year on foods labeled gluten-free, according to the market research firm Mintel. But the best estimates are that more than half the consumers buying these products - perhaps way more than half - don't have any clear-cut reaction to gluten.
They buy gluten-free because they think it will help them lose weight, or because they seem to feel better, or because they mistakenly believe they are sensitive to gluten.
"We have a lot of self-diagnosing going on out there," said Melissa Abbott, who tracks the gluten-free market for the Hartman Group, a Seattle-area market research organization.
Fads aside, research suggests more people are truly getting sick from the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley, but the reasons aren't clear.
In the most serious cases, gluten triggers celiac disease. The condition causes abdominal pain, bloating and intermittent diarrhea. Those with the ailment don't absorb nutrients well and can suffer weight loss, fatigue, rashes and other problems.
It was once considered extremely rare in the U.S. But about 20 years ago, a few scientists began exploring why celiac disease was less common here than in Europe and other countries. They concluded that it wasn't less common here; it was just under-diagnosed.
More recently, a research team led by the Mayo Clinic's Dr. Joseph Murray looked at blood samples taken from Americans in the 1950s and compared them with samples taken from people today, and determined it wasn't just better diagnosis driving up the numbers. Celiac disease actually was increasing. Indeed, the research confirms estimates that about 1 percent of U.S. adults have it today, making it four times more common now than it was 50 years ago, Murray and his colleagues reported Tuesday in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
That translates to nearly 2 million Americans with celiac disease.
Celiac disease is different from an allergy to wheat, which affects a much smaller number of people, mostly children who outgrow it.
Scientists suggest that there may be more celiac disease today because people eat more processed wheat products like pastas and baked goods than in decades past, and those items use types of wheat that have a higher gluten content. Gluten helps dough rise and gives baked goods structure and texture.
Or it could be due to changes made to wheat, Murray said.
In the 1950s, scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make hardier, shorter and better-growing plants. It was the basis of the Green Revolution that boosted wheat harvests worldwide. Norman Borlaug, the U.S. plant scientist behind many of the innovations, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
But the gluten in wheat may have somehow become even more troublesome for many people, Murray said.
That also may have contributed to what is now called "gluten sensitivity."
Doctors recently developed a definition for gluten sensitivity, but it's an ambiguous one. It's a label for people who suffer bloating and other celiac symptoms and seem to be helped by avoiding gluten, but don't actually have celiac disease. Celiac disease is diagnosed with blood testing, genetic testing, or biopsies of the small intestine.
The case for gluten sensitivity was bolstered last year by a very small but often-cited Australian study. Volunteers who had symptoms were put on a gluten-free diet or a regular diet for six weeks, and they weren't told which one. Those who didn't eat gluten had fewer problems with bloating, tiredness and irregular bowel movements.
Clearly, "there are patients who are gluten-sensitive," said Dr. Sheila Crowe, a San Diego-based physician on the board of the American Gastroenterological Association.
What is hotly debated is how many people have the problem, she added. It's impossible to know "because the definition is nebulous," she said.
One of the most widely cited estimates comes from Dr. Alessio Fasano, a University of Maryland researcher who led studies that changed the understanding of how common celiac disease is in the U.S.
Fasano believes 6 percent of U.S. adults have gluten sensitivity. But that's based on a review of patients at his clinic - hardly a representative sample of the general public.
Other estimates vary widely, he said. "There's a tremendous amount of confusion out there," Fasano said.
Whatever the number, marketing of foods without gluten has exploded. Those with celiac disease, of course, are grateful. Until only a few years ago, it was difficult to find grocery and dining options.
"It's a matter of keeping people safe," said Michelle Kelly, an Atlanta-area woman who started a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free bakery in 2010 after her son was diagnosed with celiac disease. While conventional bakers use wheat flour, she uses such ingredients as millet flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour and tapioca starch.
At one of Atlanta's largest and busiest health food stores, Return to Eden, manager Troy DeGroff said over a third of his customers come in for gluten-free products for themselves or their family.
"Thank you, Elisabeth Hasselbeck," he said, referring to one of the hosts of the daytime talk show "The View" who helped popularize gluten-free eating.
It's hard to say how many of his customers have a medical reason for skipping gluten. But "they're at least paying attention to what they're sticking in their mouth," he said.
On a recent Friday afternoon, several customers bought gluten-free, though none had been diagnosed with celiac disease or had digestive problems from eating wheat.
Julia White said she picks up gluten-free items when her granddaughters visit. They've been diagnosed with problems, she said. "They don't just make this up."
Another customer, Meagan Jain, said she made gluten-free cupcakes with a school friend and liked the taste. But she doesn't buy gluten-free often because "it's expensive."
For her, "It's a fad. It's part of the eclectic, alternative lifestyle."
Foods with a "gluten-free" claim are a big—and growing—business these days. And everywhere you turn, it seems another celebrity is touting the benefits of his or her new gluten-free diet. All of a sudden, gluten appears to be public enemy No. 1. But if you've watched this whirlwind of gluten-free activity unfold without fully understanding what, in fact, gluten actually is, fear not. You're probably not alone.
Gluten is shorthand for a family of storage proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. The gluten proteins are found in the mature seed of these cereal grasses, which is what we refer to as the grain. Close relatives of wheat, such as spelt, triticale, kamut, farro, and einkorn, also contain gluten and must be avoided on a gluten-free diet. While you may hear the term "gluten" used to refer to rice (e.g., glutinous rice), rice protein is not actually a gluten and need not be avoided on a gluten-free diet. Conversely, while oats don't technically contain gluten, they're almost always cross-contaminated with wheat gluten due to processing methods in this country. As a result, unless an oat-containing product is specifically labeled "gluten-free," one should assume it contains gluten.
Since gluten is a storage protein found in cereal grass seeds, it's not found in the young, green grasses that sprout from these seeds. For this reason, wheatgrass and barley grass are technically gluten-free. However, to ensure that wheatgrass or barley grass juices are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet, you need to make sure that no seeds accidentally make their way into the juicer.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not yet regulate the use of the claim "gluten-free" on consumer products, proposed legislation would mandate that products labeled "gluten-free" must be tested to ensure that they contain no more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, a threshold under which current testing methods are unable to detect the presence of gluten (and a level under which no adverse reactions appear to be triggered in those with Celiac disease). Currently, numerous grain-free products that are inherently gluten-free—from hummus to dried fruit—are carrying a gluten-free claim, presumably as amarketing tactic to make them appear healthier than competitive items. According to the FDA's proposed guidelines, this practice would be outlawed.
While there are segments of people who must avoid eating gluten due to adverse reactions, gluten is not an inherent "toxin" as many would have us believe. People with an immune-mediated wheat allergy and those with Celiac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet, as gluten triggers harmful reactions. Others who have tested negative for wheat allergy or Celiac disease but still find that eating wheat causes unpleasant side effects may have a non-immune gluten intolerance or a wheat/gluten sensitivity. Those who experience gas and bloating in particular after eating wheat may actually be reacting to a form of carbohydrate in the wheat called fructans, rather than the gluten protein itself. For these latter groups, avoiding wheat and gluten may alleviate uncomfortable side effects; however, eating wheat/gluten does not cause damage to their cells nor trigger dangerous allergic reactions. For everyone else, gluten is just one of many food proteins encountered in the course of a mixed diet, neither detrimental nor essential to good health.
In other words, if you tolerate gluten and enjoy it, there's no compelling reason to avoid it. If you don't tolerate it or just prefer not to eat it, there's no compelling reason for you to keep it in your diet (other than, perhaps, convenience). Many people find that cutting out gluten helps them avoid the temptation of the numerous empty-calorie, high-glycemic, processed snack foods that they want to eliminate. Others, however, find that cutting out gluten only to replace it with gluten-free versions of these same empty-calorie, high-glycemic, processed snack foods is of no benefit for weight loss, energy levels, or improved health. (Foods with a high-glycemic index release sugar quickly into the bloodstream, causing a quick spike in energy that's followed by a dramatic dip in blood sugar levels. This dip leads to hunger relatively soon after eating.) A "gluten-free" claim is by no means an indication that a food is more natural, healthful, or lower in calories.
If you're following a gluten-free diet, either by necessity or choice, your best bet is to choose minimally-processed foods that are naturally gluten-free. Gluten-free oats, brown or wild rice, millet, buckwheat (kasha), and quinoa are nutritious, high-fiber whole grains that can replace wheat-based staples like pasta, wheat bran, couscous, bread, and cereal on a gluten-free diet. Beans, chickpeas, lentils, and the flours made from them are important, nutritious staples in a gluten-free pantry, as are nuts and nut flours. And, as is the case in any healthy diet, loads of fruits and vegetables make sure your gluten-free diet delivers essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If you're willing to think outside the (bread) box, a gluten-free lifestyle can add a surprising amount of diversity to your diet, and may not feel like a restriction at all!
Hungry for more? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, concerns, and feedback.
Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN, is a NYC-based registered dietitian whose clinical practice specializes in digestive disorders, Celiac Disease, and food intolerances. Her personal blog,www.tamaraduker.com, focuses on healthy eating and gluten-free living.
Gluten-free diets are revered as "enlightened eating" by followers -- and this hot trend is now making its way to the London Olympic Games, with a few high-profile athletes reporting greater gains in performance after banning wheat from their plates.
"American distance runner Amy Yoder Begley and British runner Andrew Steele are just a few of the Olympic competitors who credit more energy, better race times, faster recoveries, and fewer injuries to a gluten-free lifestyle," reports Q by Equinox.
Tennis champion Novak Djokovic's nutritionist discovered last year that the star was allergic to gluten, and he reported a boost in physical energy and weight loss after altering his diet.
A gluten-free diet is traditionally used to treat celiac disease, which is marked by an inflammation in the small intestines when digesting gluten. But gluten-free followers believe that there is a spectrum of intolerance to pretzels and pizza dough. "From an evolutionary standpoint, a lot of us are not wired to process grains very well," said Paul Spector, MD, ASCM and Equinox Tier 4 coach in New York City, in an interview with Q by Equinox. "Grains are pro-inflammatory. In avoiding them you're allowing for proper absorption of the nutrients and energy you need."
Others disagree, saying that there is no scientific evidence of improved athletic performance in eliminating gluten, or that anyone without celiac disease would need to ban gluten from their diets. "I know of no evidence confirming that this kind of diet leads to all the health benefits being claimed for it these days, everything from relief of other auto-immune disorders to osteoporosis, arthritis, depression, and indigestion," writes American nutrition expert Dr. Andrew Weil on his website.
But will going gluten-free give athletes an edge? No, Marie Spano, M.S., R.D., an Atlanta-based sports dietitian, told ESPN. "It will only help those who are truly sensitive to gluten, but it won't benefit those who aren't." Also don't make the mistake of assuming gluten-free packaged products are healthier options, because that's not necessarily the case, she adds.
Still, the Olympic Village will reportedly be providing plenty of gluten-free options to athletes this summer. And Genius Foods, one of Europe's top gluten-free brands, is sponsoring Steele, who has no medical reasons for giving up gluten.
Savvy gluten-free travelers always carry crackers, dried fruit, and nuts in case gluten-free food isn’t available but Carol Fenster, an expert in gluten-free living and author of Gluten-Free 101, carries additional items to make sure she has safe food while enroute and at her destination.
Fenster, whose travels have taken her around the world?despite her gluten-free lifestyle?selects these items so that they pass airport-security screenings, are non-perishable, and are substantial enough to make a light meal, if necessary. “There’s nothing worse than being away from home and hungry,” says Fenster. “Whether traveling for business or pleasure, with these items in a purse or carry-on gluten-free travelers are always prepared for airport delays, long plane rides, or destinations that lack gluten-free options.”
Individual-serving packets of nut butters. Tear one end open and squeeze the packet to distribute the nut butter on apples, carrots, or gluten-free crackers?with no need for a knife.
Fenster chooses gluten-free versions and carries a few sticks in a plastic, resealable bag. Chewy, filling, yet non-perishable, they can make a small, but high-protein meal.
Individual-serving packets of gluten-free rolled oats, in plain or flavored versions. Pour into a paper cup designed for hot beverages, add hot water, and let stand (covered) for a few minutes to reconstitute the oats. Some airport concessions serve ready-to-reconstitute paper cups of oatmeal, but Fenster cautions that these may not be made with gluten-free oats.
Whether home-made or store-bought, granola can be eaten as trail mix (just add nuts and candy bits), as a breakfast cereal, or sprinkled on yogurt. Always verify that it is made with gluten-free oats. Fenster carries a small bag to eat enroute, with additional bags in her suitcase to eat throughout the trip.
Fenster packs a couple of gluten-free bread slices into a child’s sandwich box (the kind shaped like a slice of bread). The rigid sides protect the bread from being crushed as well as keep it fresh longer. The bread can be toasted, used in sandwiches, or eaten with nut butter. If possible, she then buys a loaf of gluten-free bread at her destination and keeps a couple of slices with her at all times (storing the rest of the bread in a hotel room refrigerator).
Immersion heaters are small coils attached to electrical cords. When plugged in to an electric outlet, the heated coil rapidly heats the water in a cup or bowl. Ideal for use in hotel rooms, the hot water can be used for oatmeal, hot tea, dry soup mixes, or any food item that requires hot water.
Reusable, plastic bags that allow toasting a slice of bread or a grilled cheese sandwich in a toaster without risk of contamination from residual bread crumbs. The bags are washable and made of a special silicone-treated material that allows the heat to penetrate through to the bread while in the toaster slot, without burning the plastic bag.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you've probably heard about "going gluten-free." If you're not entirely sure what that means, here's the gist. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and malts. While most of the human population can digest it, it's estimated that about one in 100 people have celiac disease, which is defined as the body's inability to tolerate gluten. And an even larger portion of our population has gluten sensitivities that leave its victims feeling tired, achy and bloated.
But lately, there's been an increasing number of people following gluten-free diets -- and they don't all necessarily have a gluten intolerance. While celebs like Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Zooey Deschanel have a legitimate cause to go gluten-free (they're celiacs), others who are looking to shed a few pounds don't do it for health reasons -- you can count Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckhamamong them.
Regardless of whether you need to follow a gluten-free diet or not, everyone wants their food to taste good. We set out to conduct a blind taste test of 10 types of gluten-free sandwich bread that are easily found in major supermarkets, judging on flavor, texture, and likeness to traditional bread. Several of our tasters follow a gluten-free diet, making them experts in the field (their comments are bolded, below).
We found there to be a wide disparity in the quality and likability of the 10 breads we chose. Because everyone has different tastes, check out our comments below to help you figure out which ones you might (or might not) like.
Which brand of gluten-free bread do you buy? Leave us a comment below.
From huffpost - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/the-best-gluten-free-brea_n_1440168.html
Commentary: Why going gluten-free doesn't always help
Food sensitivities, especially to gluten, are some of the most common nutritional challenges I see in my Cupertino practice. For many, going gluten-free is the "holy grail" that resolves many chronic health issues.
However, for others eliminating gluten seems to be ineffective, leaving them to question if gluten is the real problem. Upon deeper investigation, we often discover that gluten isn't the only food sensitivity present; it's identifying and addressing the additional sensitivities that often allows these patients to find relief from chronic symptoms.
One of the primary issues with food sensitivities is that they often lead to inflammation and tissue destruction. This occurs most commonly in the gastrointestinal system.
Years, or even decades, of food sensitivities can lead to a condition called "leaky gut," in which the damaged intestinal lining allows for large food particles to get into the blood stream. These particles are normally unable to bypass the barrier and when they do, it can trigger an immune response to the now "foreign invader."
By identifying foods that break down the system and eliminating them from the diet, natural healing can occur.
Some of the most common food sensitivities include: alpha-casein, amaranth, beta-casein, barley, buckwheat, casomorphin, chocolate (milk), coffee, corn, cow's milk, egg, hemp, milk butyrophilin, millet, oats, Polish wheat, potato, quinoa, rice, rye,sesame, spelt, sorghum, soy, tapioca, teff, whey protein, and yeast. Now, before you get too discouraged, the above mentioned foods usually lead only to a temporary food sensitivity. Once they are identified and removed from the diet, accompanied by a gut healing protocol, they can typically be reintroduced into the diet after six weeks.
The key here is to consume these foods in moderation and not as an everyday staple. One solution is to rotate foods on a four-day cycle to limit the possibility of re-establishing the food sensitivity.
To determine if you are sensitive to certain foods, analyze the list above. Do you overconsume any of them? If so, the source of your symptoms may be obvious. If this isn't, the next step is to conduct a food elimination diet.
The food elimination diet I recommend eliminates the above listed foods completely, 100 percent, for 30 days. Afterward, you can add them back to your diet, just one item per week.
Each day, pay close attention to your symptoms. It just takes a few months to discover which foods are your possible troublemakers.
Additionally, I often correlate these patient observations with empirical data, such as an extensive food sensitivity/allergy test. These tests look for immune reactions to the most common foods.
Immune reactions are found in the blood by checking for the presence of antibodies such as IgE, IgG, IgA, and IgM. Typically, a conventional allergy test looks for only severe allergies, indicated by IgE antibodies.
This narrow window often means slight to moderate sensitivities do not show up, sometimes resulting in false negatives. Thankfully, modern testing increasingly focuses on IgG and IgA antibodies, assessing a much broader range of sensitivities and autoimmune reactions.
If you've tested negative for food allergies in the past, but still have chronic health issues, you may want to test with another lab. Some labs, such as Cyrex Laboratories, are pioneers in the arena of food sensitivities and autoimmune disorders.
These tests, in addition to an elimination diet, can help you methodically analyze how your body reacts to foods, determining the true cause of your ailments.
No one should have to suffer health problems caused by food sensitivities and allergies. Finding and accepting the fact that some of our favorite foods may cause us harm is an exercise in soul searching.
But it's a step in setting a commitment to health that in the long run pays big dividends.
Dr. Daniel Auer is the founder of Auer Integrative Health in Cupertino. He takes a whole body approach to health by balancing all the body's systems through the combination of modern diagnostic methods and holistic healing modalities. For more information, visit www.doctorauer.com.\
from - http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_21115953/commentary-why-going-gluten-free-doesnt-always-help
Home baker finds success with gluten-free cakes, cookies, breads
When Mary Michals was diagnosed with celiac disease in the 1980s, there wasn’t much in the way of commercial baked goods that she could buy.
“I found nothing I liked,” said the grandmother, of Jacksonville, Ill. Celiac disease is intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
So she started experimenting in her own kitchen, tweaking recipes she found in cookbooks, until she mastered cakes, cookies and breads to the point where they tasted like they were made with traditional wheat flour.
This year, she started selling her gluten-free baked goods at the Illinois Products Farmers Market. Her company is called Gluten Free at Last.
“It was at the urging of friends and family that I started,” said the former executive legal secretary.
Products include Texas sheet cakes, carrot cakes, German chocolate cakes, banana nut and blueberry muffins, peanut butter cookies and Snickerdoodles, lemon poppy seed quick bread, cinnamon-streusel coffeecake and chocolate cupcakes.
“I’ve had messages from people thanking me because they hadn’t had a birthday cake since they were diagnosed. I know how important that is. I feel like I’m giving something back,” Michals said.
She has a panel of tasters, some on gluten-free diets, some not. It makes it easier, she explained, when everyone in a home can enjoy eating the same thing.
“I’m always adding to the product line. I also make mints, and pies are coming.”
Her home kitchen is completely gluten-free, with no cross contamination, she said. Michals’ secret to tasty gluten-free baking is using an array of high-quality flours and adding zero-fat Greek yogurt to the batters.
“In the beginning, there were flops, but I kept working at it, and the turning point was when I started using that yogurt,” she said. At the farmers market, she and her husband, Joe, give out samples so customers can judge before buying. Her personal favorite is the red velvet cake.
“A year ago, I never dreamed I would be doing this. I feel like I’m not only baking and selling, I’m helping people,” she said.
Food editor Kathryn Rem can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her via twitter.com/KathrynRemSJR.
Looking for a delicious and flavorful gluten-free breakfast option? You're not alone - according to a survey* conducted on behalf of Chex(R), a quarter (24%) of Americans are looking for a gluten-free option when buying cereal for themselves or their families. Luckily, Chex has it covered with new Apple Cinnamon Chex, the latest addition to its line of gluten-free cereals. Apple Cinnamon Chex offers families a simple and great-tasting breakfast they can feel good about for the rest of the day.
Real Flavors, Real Deliciousness
Sprinkled with real apple and cinnamon, new Apple Cinnamon Chex delivers a delicious start to the day. It's sure to be a hit at the breakfast table, as two-out-of-three (67%) Americans agree apple cinnamon is a flavor combination their whole family enjoys.
All Chex cereals have more whole grain than any other ingredient, and 77% of Americans say they look for whole grain in their cereal. With nine grams of whole grain per serving, and no artificial colors or flavors, Apple Cinnamon Chex provides key nutrients, vitamins and minerals to start the day on a high note.
"We're thrilled to introduce a new choice for breakfast with show-stopping great taste," says Liz Abate Mascolo, Marketing Associate Director for Chex. "New Apple Cinnamon Chex provides families, including those living a gluten-free lifestyle, with a wholesome and flavorful breakfast option they'll love."
Something for Everyone
The majority of Americans (88%) say finding something flavorful is their number one consideration when searching for something for breakfast. With six delicious, gluten-free Chex cereals to choose from - including Rice, Corn, Honey Nut, Chocolate, Cinnamon and new Apple Cinnamon - it's easy to find something the whole family can enjoy!
Chex gluten-free cereals are available on cereal shelves nationwide for an average retail price of $3.39 per box. New Apple Cinnamon Chex will be available starting in July 2012. To learn more about gluten-free Chex cereals, visit Chex.com/GlutenFree.
Chex cereals, made by General Mills, have been a family favorite for decades. Today, General Mills makes a total of eight delicious Chex cereals, including six gluten-free flavors - Rice, Corn, Honey Nut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, and Apple Cinnamon - as well as Wheat and Multi-Bran, which are not gluten-free. To learn more about Chex, visit www.Chex.com .
About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world's leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries. Its consumer brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant and Old El Paso. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2011 net sales of US$14.9 billion.
The referenced survey was conducted via the CARAVAN(R) omnibus survey by Opinion Research Corporation May 10, 2012, and presents findings from a sample of 1,000 men and women, 18 years of age and older. Interviews were weighted by age, geographic region and race to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total population.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50335346&lang=en
SOURCE: General Mills
Side-by-Side Comparison of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Market
Habit, convenience, and proximity are major factors in shaping where we purchase food and which foods we purchase. The decision to eat a healthier diet can be much easier than deciding which foods to purchase and from where to purchase them. While healthier options are becoming more widely available, where you live may determine what is or is not available. In Indianapolis, the 12th largest city in the United States, we have at least one farmers market year round, as well as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Market. Proximity plays a major role in where I shop most frequently, but perhaps that is not the most important factor.
Farmers markets may give you the best opportunity for the freshest produce and to speak with farmers about the conditions in which animals and produce are raised, but they are often not available throughout the week and selection of goods can vary. Whether we like it or not, we all visit a grocery at least occasionally, and the majority of Americans buy the majority of their food at a box store. Your farmers market may not offer fresh-made pasta or gluten-free baked goods like mine does, but your Whole Foods is probably a lot like my Whole Foods.
Whole Foods probably feels the most like a traditional grocery, so it may be an easier transition for those looking for a new store. What I have heard is that Whole Foods is more expensive than other similar stores, but my price comparisons did not show that to be true. Organic, cage-free eggs were less expensive at Whole Foods than at Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market, but Whole Foods also offered humane, pasture-raised eggs for quite a bit more.
The lowest price of organic milk was also less than the lowest price at Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market. It was also the only store where I noticed refrigerated rice milk.
While the chicken was more expensive, there was much more information provided at the meat counter, including animal welfare ratings for each product.
The options for coffee at Whole Foods was nearly overwhelming. Whole Foods may be the best option for those eating a vegetarian and vegan diet.
Trader Joe’s may be the most “fun” option with child-sized carts, a game to keep children engaged while accompanying parents through the store, and enthusiastic employees. There seem to be more snack items and pre-packaged foods. Trader Joe’s is infamous for the “three buck chuck,” or Charles Shaw $2.99 bottles of wine. All of the Trader Joe’s stores that I have visited have been smaller than traditional grocery stores. As a result, the products available are at least partially seasonal; for example, they only offer yeast around the holidays.
Unlike Whole Foods and Fresh Market, there is not a meat counter at Trader Joe’s. It was the only store where I noticed chicken marked Kosher.
While Whole Foods also seemed to have the largest selection of milk, I only noticed goat’s milk at Trader Joe’s.
Organic, red potatoes were less expensive at Trader Joe’s.
Trader Joe’s marks gluten-free foods very clearly and provides gluten-free tours, but it makes me uncomfortable that the gluten-free bread is not frozen or refrigerated.
Fresh Market is the store closest to my home, so it is generally the place I turn to for last minute items that aren’t at the nearby farm stand. While I sometimes find the meat counter to be slow, over all it is a fairly relaxing shopping environment. It certainly helps that there are free coffee samples near the front of the store! Coffee is displayed in bins as well as bags, creating an appealing visual and olfactory experience. I often notice the soft music played.
Fresh Market offered slightly more options for organic apples than Whole Foods or Trader’s Joe’s.
The organic, red potatoes were considerably more expensive unfortunately.
While not as clear as Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market also marks gluten-free foods.
Fresh Market has a wine display of 90+ point wines for under $20 that provides good descriptions of the wine. While more expensive than Trader Joe’s, this makes it easier to get a good wine that you will enjoy.
Which of these health specialty stores do you shop?
LYNDHURST, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dr. Schar USA, a subsidiary of Europe’s market leader in gluten-free food, announced today the official opening of the company’s first gluten-free manufacturing facility in the United States, which expand its reach to the growing celiac and gluten-free consumers. With a commitment to gluten-free foods that are tasty, delicious and nutritious, the new Schar facility delivers the promise of the company’s mission to enable celiac and gluten-free communities to enjoy foods without the worry.
“The launch of our first facility in the United States is an exciting milestone for the Schar brand”
Located in Swedesboro, New Jersey, the 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will produce Schar’s popular and newest baked goods. Most notably, Schar is excited to also announce the introduction of gluten-free plain and cinnamon bagels to the U.S. marketplace in response to consumer demand. Additionally, the site will produce the following baked goods:
- Classic and Multigrain Ciabatta Parbaked rolls, and baguettes
- Hearty White Frozen Bread
- Hearty Grain Frozen Bread
- Upcoming baked goods currently in development
“The launch of our first facility in the United States is an exciting milestone for the Schar brand,” says Donna L. George, President and COO of Dr. Schar USA, Inc. “The facility will help accelerate the growth and availability of innovative gluten-free foods in grocery, natural, and specialty stores as well as restaurants and other food outlets across the country. Dr. Schar is committed to raising awareness and improving the quality of life of those in the U.S. who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Our vision is for the Schar brand to be the U.S. market leader in gluten-free foods and innovation and New Jersey is a perfect location to support our national distribution and growth.”
“We are proud to proclaim that Dr. Schar, the market leader in Europe based on a platform of quality, safety, knowledge, and research, is now also made in the USA.”
As a gluten-free facility, Schar will strictly adhere to the same rigorous production standards followed by all company facilities across the globe. From the selection of raw materials to the manufacturing of gluten-free baked goods, the facility will comply with the 20 ppm or less maximum gluten content standard established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission—a joint program of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization.
Special guests Caren S. Franzini Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and actress Jennifer Esposito, a celiac, currently starring in CBS’ Blue Bloods, attended the event. In addition, Dr. Peter H. Green of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University shared a congratulatory message via video to celebrate Schar’s facility opening.
The new production site is projected to create more than 50 new jobs and help fuel the state’s local economy in addition to supplying the demands of the exploding gluten-free marketplace which is expected to top $2.6 billion by the end of 2012.
“The new Schar facility is a tremendous service to consumers in our country that are in need of gluten-free and baked foods. The company now has breads, rolls and bagels that are gluten-free and delicious,” said Caren Franzini, Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Ms. Franzini added, “The Schar facility is also a great economic benefit to the state of New Jersey. We are pleased that Schar made the right decision to choose New Jersey as the home of their first facility in North America. We look forward to the company’s continued growth in our state.”
At the event, Schar honored actress Jennifer Esposito’s non-profit organization, Jennifer’s Way Foundation for Celiac. The non-profit’s mission is to provide education on celiac disease and to serve as a resource for those living with the disease and choosing to live a healthy gluten-free life. With a philosophy that every month is Celiac Awareness Month, Schar selected Jennifer’s Way Foundation for Celiac to help the organization continue to work on raising awareness of celiac disease and provide information for the community. The company presented the non-profit with a monetary donation of $2,500.
Ulrich Ladurner, owner and president of Dr Schär Group, who launched the company over thirty years ago and built a trusted household name among those with celiac disease, closed the ceremony.
“The U.S. is our new home and we are proud to launch the facility in New Jersey. With a comprehensive portfolio of products – over 300 – in Europe, the U.S. facility enables Schar to expand its distribution in the country, while strengthening the Schar brand that so many consumers have learned to trust and love,” said Mr. Ladurner.
Dr. Schar’s parent company, Dr. Schär AG/SPA based in Burgstall, Italy, invested over $15 million into its new facility. The company has been developing and producing gluten-free products for over 30 years and is the leading gluten-free manufacturer in Europe known for quality, safety, innovation and education with the mission of improving the lives of those with celiac disease and related intolerances. The company’s comprehensive portfolio offers a range of products, including breads, rolls, pasta, cookies, crackers and frozen meals. Schar USA was incorporated in 2007 and has introduced over 33 products to the U.S. market.
Carb lovers with gluten allergies and intolerances may be able curb their cravings with a bowl of gluten-free spaghetti made with green bananas.
Food researchers from the University of Brazil have created a pasta made with flour milled from green bananas which, in their taste test, proved to be more popular and palatable than whole wheat pasta, they say in the recently published study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In addition to being a gluten-free product, researchers say their green banana flour pasta is cheaper to produce, lower in fat and higher in protein compared to the whole wheat pasta in their study.
Currently, the most common gluten-free pastas are made with brown rice, corn, quinoa, potatoes and soybeans.
More importantly, the pasta made with green bananas -- a sub-product of little commercial value -- was also the more acceptable of the two products in a taste test that included 50 participants without celiac disease, and 25 people with celiac disease.
Both groups of testers preferred the green banana pasta in areas like aroma, flavor, texture and overall quality.
The modified pasta could also help control glycemic indices, cholesterol, and intestinal regularity, researchers claim, due to the high level of resistant starch.
Meanwhile, the gluten-free trend shows no sign of waning, with mainstream commercial food makers and retailers adding gluten-free products to their portfolios.
Domino's Pizza, the largest pizza delivery chain in the world, also announced the launch of a new gluten-free crust in the US last month.
From never-before-seen flavor combinations to globally sourced ingredients to food trucks and more, the 93rd Annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and 5th annual International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event showcased the hottest trends driving the restaurant and foodservice industry. This year's Show - which attracted 1,900 exhibitors and more than 61,000 registrants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries - offered a sneak peek into the industry's future.
According to the National Restaurant Association's 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, nine out of 10 restaurant operators said their customers are more knowledgeable and sophisticated about food and beverages than ever before. This year's NRA Show was proof positive that the industry has responded to this evolution, as products and services catering to those hungry for the latest trends were prevalent throughout the show floor.
"Our goal with each NRA Show is to create a venue where restaurant industry professionals find the newest technologies, latest equipment and hottest products and services, and we were pleased to see that become a reality once again," said James Balda, chief marketing and communications officer for the National Restaurant Association. "Exhibitors really brought their 'A game' this year, and attendees were buzzing about the non-stop action - from the Robofusion ice cream robot at the Stoelting booth, to the world's largest potato, courtesy of the Idaho Potato Commission. There was undoubtedly something new to do, see and eat at every turn!" Top trends from the exhibit floor at NRA Show 2012 - held at Chicago's McCormick Place May 5-8 - included:
Healthful Alternatives: In response to Americans' growing interest in health and nutrition, the Organic and Natural Pavilion featured a host of wholesome, nutritious food products. For example, Mara's Pasta, a 2012 recipient of The NRA Food & Beverage Product Innovation Awards, showcased Maragrain, (TM)nutritious pasta made from a proprietary non-durum variety of wheat grown for Cook Natural Products. Karoun Dairies, which manufactures Mediterranean specialty cheeses and dairy products, displayed an all natural yogurt drink.
Premium and Artisan Products: Targeting the evolving tastes of savvy restaurant customers looking for a unique dining experience, premium products were a clear food trend this year. Exhibitors showcased products with non-traditional flavor combinations, customizable offerings and premium ingredients, including SasaPops - another recipient of The NRA Food & Beverage Product Innovation Awards-with its all natural frozen pops in flavors like Pink Guava and Salted Peanut Caramel. FerminIberico, a recipient of the same award in 2011, displayed high-quality cured Iberico and Serrano pork.
Gluten-Free Products: According to the National Institutes of Health, about one in 100 Americans is affected by celiac disease. As awareness of gluten intolerance is growing, gluten-free products are making their way into the mainstream market, and the NRA Show 2012 exhibit floor featured a range of such products. Venice Bakery, a third-generation pizza manufacturer, offered products such as gluten-free pizza dough and gluten-free focaccia. And proving that the trend has also made its way into the beverage industry, all ciders featured at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, including Angry Orchard and Woodchuck, were gluten-free.
Food Trucks: Food trucks continue to drive interest, as six in 10 consumers say they would visit a food truck offered by their favorite restaurant, proving that mobile restaurant options aren't a flash-in-the-pan concept. Mobi Munch, a company that manufactures customized food trucks, showcased their services, including a POS platform, menu consultation, brand-building services and truck rental, allowing interested restaurateurs to take advantage of the food truck trend. In addition, six food trucks were exhibiting.
Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors: Responding to consumers' increasingly global palates, the NRA Show's International Cuisine Pavilion was home to foods from around the globe, providing a one-stop-shop for those looking to satisfy their international curiosities and cravings. Mediterranean Gourmet offered unique products like Traditional Grilled pepper salad from Tunisia and Paella from Spain. Attendees also sampled offerings like Ace Farms USA Inc's roasted seaweed snacks, a staple of Korean diets for thousands of years.http://www.marketwatch.com/story/healthier-alternatives-gluten-free-items-and-food-trucks-reign-supreme-at-the-2012-national-restaurant-association-restaurant-hotel-motel-show-2012-06-25
Attention gluten-free eaters: University of Brazil researchers may have developed a new option to add to current offerings of gluten-free pasta -- one made out of green banana flour.
Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers found a way to make pasta out of green banana flour -- which is gluten-free because it does not contain gluten from wheat -- and it passed taste tests compared with whole-wheat pasta.
"There was no significant difference between the modified pasta and standard samples in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor, and overall quality," study researcher Renata Puppin Zandonadi, PhD, of the University of Brazil, said in a statement. "Green bananas are considered a sub-product of low commercial value with little industrial use. For banana growers and pasta product makers, there is the possibility of diversifying and expanding their market."
Celiac disease is a condition where the body's immune system reacts to consumption of gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and maybe oats, according to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. This reaction causes damage to the small intestine's lining, thereby affecting absorption of nutrients. People who have celiac disease must avoid eating gluten in order to alleviate symptoms.
For the study, researchers had study participants (50 of them without celiac disease, and 25 with celiac disease) compare whole wheat pasta made with eggs, with pasta made from green banana flour, egg whites, gums and water.
Both the testers with celiac disease and without celiac disease said that the banana flour pasta was overall better than the whole wheat pasta.
"The possibility of developing gluten-free products with green banana flour can expand the product supply for people with celiac disease and contribute to a more diverse diet," researchers wrote in the study.
Currently, pasta options for gluten-free eaters include that made of quinoa, corn, soybeans and potatoes, according to the Whole Foods Pasta Guide.
from - huffingtonpost
It's a tough challenge, opening a coffee shop in a location that has seen four other owners go out of business in the last nine years, the last one in just two weeks.
It's an even bigger challenge when the biggest name in the coffee industry has a shop right across the street.
But for Marlon O'Reilly, owner of O'Reilly's Organic Coffee House in Burnaby, the secret is to offer something different from the expected in coffee culture.
After two weeks of intense renovating and cleaning, O'Reilly and his wife, Michelle Savidant, reopened the store on Feb. 10, with a new look and a new name.
Inside the large, rustic café, there is ample seating at tables, booths and overstuffed couches, where magazines and newspapers are piled on antique chests for people to peruse while they enjoy their morning brew.
Besides coffee and an assortment of gourmet teas, customers can also order paninis, soups, quiche, muffins and some sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan options.
Everything is local; from the coffee, which comes from a supplier in Langley, to the art on the walls and musicians who perform at the Thursday open mike nights.
Outside, there's a sign on the window that reads "Dogs eat free."
Lucky pups get Milk-Bones while their owners get their mochaccinos.
"When I've got 10 stores, I might bring in raw steak," O'Reilly says, though for now, the pet menu, unlike the human selection, is still quite limited.
Above all else, the one thing O'Reilly says is sure to put his shop on the map is the batch of homemade cinnamon buns Savidant makes from scratch every morning.
"You have to go out of the box," says O'Reilly. "If I served the same baked stuff (as the big name coffee shops), I'd be dead in the water."
Originally from Coquitlam, O'Reilly has worn many hats before opening his Burnaby business, and the entrepreneurial spirit is a family trait.
His grandmother was a successful business owner in the 1950s, before women did that sort of thing, and his brother managed a busy restaurant before becoming a top realtor on the Sunshine Coast.
O'Reilly himself started O'Reilly Landscaping in 1996 and built up the business while working on his music career.
So with all that going well, why coffee?
"I'm a bit of a coffee connoisseur," he says. "I've wanted a coffee shop for over 10 years. It's the vibe of all the customers being there. You know, everybody hanging out. - Here's the thing; I'm a passionate guy, about anything I do."
Being passionate about his customers is what O'Reilly anticipates will keep regulars coming back, knowing they'll hear their name when they walk in the door.
Of course, getting people into the store in the first place is still the biggest challenge. There is no parking available directly outside, and most people don't realize there's free parking underneath the building at Burnaby Square.
And it doesn't help that there's a steady of parade of loyal customers at the Seattle-based coffee shop just steps away.
"It's like a revolving door over there," says O'Reilly. For customers like writer Graeme Ward, though, it's nice to have an alternative, like O'Reilly's, where it's less noisy and less crowded.
"This is my office," says the BCIT marketing student. "When I started working on my novel again this was just the best place to come. It is a little bit out of the way, but there's no distractions here. They let me sit in the booth for eight hours with my headphones plugged in. - Granted, I do buy a lot of coffee and breakfast wraps," he says with a laugh.
Next to Ward's table a couple of senior women sit chatting over cups of tea, and at a booth next to them a handful of businessmen in suits conduct a serious meeting.
None of these people look like they're in a hurry to leave.
"That's the type of people we want to attract," O'Reilly says. "People who want to come here to hang out."
O'Reilly's Organic Coffee House is at 7885 Sixth St. in Burnaby, at the corner of 10th Avenue. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
Jenny McCarthy is an actress and author famous for her charming appearance and outrageous sense of humor who has a successful career as a television personality and comic actress.
Apart from public activity, Jenny is also a devoted mother and autism activist. The latter is closely related to her son Evan’s health problems who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. Since then Jenny and her son seriously took up struggle against this disease. She turned to research, collected materials on the latest trends, on the latest findings and learnt about theories that have worked for other parents, mainly that proteins in wheat and dairy have a quite negative effect on children’s’ brains who suffer from autism.
Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, a pediatrician, father of an autistic son himself, explained that gluten and dairy act as a morphine-like substance; they react by becoming either lethargic or giddy after consuming these products. Thus McCarthy immediately started Evan on the diet and she was truly surprised by the improvements that were noticed after adhering to gluten free diet. It was like her kid was getting out of the cloud and soon with daily therapy, medication, a special diet and other supplements 5-year-old Evan has made a remarkable transformation.
To match her son diet Jenny herself has switched to gluten- and dairy-free diet which also helped her lose weight. Her daily eating plan includes an egg white omelet for breakfast, then fresh fruit and veggies with fish for lunch. For snacks Jenny enjoys “those little packets of nuts from Starbucks”.
So McCarthy remains hopeful and feels blessed by her son’s progress. She is finally ready to talk publicly about her ordeal in her new book.
Just a month ago, Kim Kardashian gloated over her gluten-free gorgeous body, tweeting: "Gluten free is the way to be!" Last week, though, Kim posted photos of Top Ramen noodles and strawberry shortcake, tweeting, "Late night Top Ramen noodles with Lawry's garlic salt #yumm," OKmagazine reported Friday. (Kardashian followers may want to add Kim's new favorite tag of "#yumm" to their vocabulary lists.) We're betting that she took extra QuickTrim diet pillsafter that high-carb binge.
That type of fattening food indulgence isn't Kim's usual style, though. Was she anxious about her interview withOprah Winfrey, which aired last night? Kim told Oprah during the interview for OWN’s “Oprah’s Next Chapter” that she experienced a "deep depression" after her short-lived, much publicized marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries. It could be that talking about it caused Kim such discomfort that she overate. Kim normally follows a high protein diet that's low in starchy carbs.
In addition, Kim works out regularly with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson. Although he recommends moderation when it comes to diet, saying, "Don’t always skip the delicious stuff for raw carrots and brown rice," Gunnar is known for his intense exercise sessions. Click here to get the inside story on her tough fitness regime.
Individuals with celiac disease and those with a myriad of other stomach disorders must monitor their diets carefully to eliminate their intake of gluten and other ingredients.
Today, manufacturers, chefs and other food personnel have made it less arduous to follow the gluten-free path. From grocery stores carrying gluten-free products, to restaurant menus touting recipes without gluten, and cookbook authors offering diverse recipes for the limited lifestyle, consumers have choices.
"Gluten intolerance has become a lot more widely understood," says Bette-Jeanne Arbor, co-owner with her husband Gerry of Molly Bea's Ingredients in Chesterton. Arbor says more people are being helped by medical personnel, lifestyle coaches and food experts to better identify it these days. "And they're coming to the store and asking for various products."
At Molly Bea's Ingredients, Arbor sells a variety of products, including granola and corn flakes, assorted flours, baking mixtures, almond butter, licorice, relishes, candy, snack bars and other gluten-free goodies.
According to the National Celiac Awareness Foundation, one in 133 Americans have celiac disease, which is aggravated by consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. "People are learning to make much better choices with the foods they eat," says Nancy Cherven, a gluten-free lifestyle coach from Crown Point.
Cherven, who has had an intolerance to gluten for twelve years, says she's been helping others as a lifestyle coach for the past six years. And she's noticed many more options in the marketplace for those on a restrictive diet. She says food manufacturers and other experts have made great strides in informing people about what's in their food. "They've made huge efforts in the U.S. and Canada to label products so people know what they're eating."
Highland resident Brandi Hayes recently started a gluten-free blog (glutenfreekids-brandi.blogspot.com) as well as Twitter and Facebook pages dedicated to the gluten-free lifestyle. She initially started it because her 2-year-old son can't consume gluten. While there's much gluten-free information out in the marketplace for adults, Hayes says, "I didn't find a lot of resources out there for parents with kids who are gluten-free, so I wanted to try to help people."
Cherven says the best thing to keep in mind when you're baking or making gluten-free recipes is to take "baby steps." If you experiment little by little, it's easier to be successful.
Is gluten bad for you? The short answer is no, but as is the case with food in our culture, the short answer is incomplete. Individuals with celiac disease have no choice but to eat a gluten-free diet; it’s really a matter of life and death for them. Celiac sufferers experience an immune reaction in the gut that creates significant issues with malabsorption and malnutrition. There are still others who may experience sensitivity to gluten without actually have celiac disease. However, for the majority of the US population gluten is not an issue, but the results from gluten-free dieting appear so promising that many choose to avoid it altogether in the hopes of achieving significant weight loss. Having heard my fill of testimonial (both positive and negative) about gluten-free eating I decided to consult cookbook author and gluten-free expert, Jacqueline Mallorca.
Mallorca’s first love was food and food writing, often contributing to the San Francisco Chronicle and penning over a dozen cookbooks (including one on breads, a significant source of gluten) before being diagnosed with celiac disease. Rather than submitting to the scripted and sterile diet offered by her doctors, she set out to create gluten-free cuisine. Her latest titles include The Wheat-Free Cook: Gluten-Free Recipes for Everyone and Gluten-Free Italian.
Her gluten-free foodie perspective offers some fresh insight for anyone considering such a diet.
Is gluten bad for you?
No, unless you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant (many similar symptoms but without the gut damage), or have a wheat allergy. As with any other food allergy, eating wheat products could cause hives and breathing difficulties.
Why do you think gluten has such a negative reputation these days?
I think many people have assumed that if a food is “free from” something, that something must be bad. Gluten is part of the protein in wheat, which is a good grain that sustains millions around the world in the form of bread. But food is not a one-size-fits-all proposition any more. Some of us (about 1 in every 100 Americans) have digestions that cannot tolerate the gluten in wheat. Our bodies react as though gluten were a toxin.
What’s the biggest mistake people make with regard to gluten diet?
They have the perception that the benefits from the diet will occur overnight. Everyone is looking for a culinary magic bullet, but it takes work to be healthy.
Is living gluten-free difficult?
For people who enjoy cooking it’s not. It was absolutely effortless for me, but I love to cook so I saw this as a different form of cooking, rather like exploring French cuisine. It was just another challenge. I think it’s tough for mothers who have children with gluten issues. They are trying to keep the child safe while the child is coping with peer and societal pressure.
Read more - http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/06/06/is-a-gluten-free-diet-right-for-you-an-expert-weighs-in/
Bill to subsidize gluten-free bread passes hurdle
A private member’s bill that would subsidize gluten-free bread – which is required by the tens of thousands of Israelis suffering from celiac disease – was approved Monday by the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee for its first reading in the plenum. The bill was initiated by Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit.
According to the proposal, the cost of gluten-free bread will be kept at a level that is never higher than that of standard bread. In addition, those who suffer from celiac disease will be reimbursed for up to NIS 500 per month per family for purchasing special food, and the income tax rates of companies that sell gluten-free food products will not go above 25 percent.
Gluten-free grains include corn, millet, teff, rice, wild rice and quinoa; oats are also considered safe for celiac patients’ consumption.
The bill was approved by the committee despite strong opposition from representatives of the Finance and Justice Ministries, who argued that the cost of implementation could add up to “hundreds of millions of shekels” a year.
Tali Stein, a Justice Ministry representative, said it was “wrong to pass a law that is specific to one disease, and thus discriminatory,” even though there previous laws have passed that prove compensation to victims of other diseases, such as disorders resulting from radiation for ringworm.
Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is a genetic disorder that affects about 1% of the population or more. Its symptoms, including diarrhea and weight loss or isolated nutrient deficiencies without gastrointestinal problems, can appear at any age. It is caused by a reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. The immune system’s reaction causes an inflammatory reaction that interferes with the absorption of nutrients.
The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet, as no medication exists to combat the disease.
Subsidies of gluten-free bread and other foods exist in other countries including the UK and the US.
Committee chairman MK Haim Katz said at the session that previous efforts to prepare the bill failed because of government opposition. “It may be that Kadima’s joining the coalition helped us. Even if the bill is not exactly what we wanted, we must try to make a crack in the wall. Despite the government’s opposition, we will work hard for approval of the bill in the plenum,” said the Likud MK.
Sheetrit said tens of thousands of celiac patients have been “treated unfairly for years, as even a super-capitalistic country like the US has tax benefits for celiac patients, and gluten-free food companies receive billions of dollars in tax benefits. What about our patients?” Kadima MK Rachel Adatto, a physician by profession, said the ministries’ opposition was “absurd.”
Committee members approved the proposed bill unanimously, and it will be sent to the plenum for consideration.
Learning To Live Gluten-Free in College
Should you go gluten-free?
It’s not often that a serious medical condition sparks a dieting fad. Such is the case with the gluten-free craze. Sufferers of Celiac Disease, an autoimmune digestive disease, absolutely must avoid foods containing gluten, but somehow gluten-free has caught on with non-sufferers who think cutting out gluten will help them eat better or lose weight. It won’t necessarily do either, yet right now there are loads of gluten-free products being marketed to the general population that suggest they can. Even Domino’s Pizza is on the bandwagon with gluten-free pizza crust, although the company’s website cautions that it is not recommended for true Celiac suffers!
Perhaps you have been considered going gluten-free? Before you stop eating breads, pastas and cereals let’s look at the facts about gluten, Celiac, gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat that gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keep its shape. Gluten is a combination of gliadin and glutenin, which is joined with starch in various grains. Gliadin is what enables bread to rise properly while glutenin is the major protein in wheat flour, making up 47 percent of the total protein content.
When people with Celiac Disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. The tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine are damaged or destroyed. Called villi, they normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, regardless of the quantity or quality of food eaten.
Recognizing Celiac Disease can be difficult because some of its symptoms mirror those of other diseases. In fact, sometimes Celiac Disease is confused with irritable bowel syndrome, iron-deficiency anemia caused by menstrual blood loss, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, intestinal infections, and chronic fatigue syndrome. As a result, Celiac Disease is commonly misdiagnosed. According to National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse, more than 2 million people in the United States are affected by Celiac disease, or roughly, 1 in every 133 people.
Early signs and symptoms of Celiac include: stomach pain, bloating, gas, decreased appetite, weight loss, intermittent or constant diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, and floating stools that are bloody or fatty in appearance. Long-term symptoms include easy bruising, hair loss, missed menstrual periods, fatigue and joint pain, and dermatitis, or itchy skin.
Often the results of a blood test help detect Celiac Disease. If a blood test comes back positive for the appropriate antibodies, an upper endoscopy may be performed to assess possible damage to the small intestine, more specifically the duodenum. If there is a flattening of the villi, those finger-like projections that absorb nutrients, the doctor or a registered dietitian will work with the patient to create a gluten-free diet. After a few months, the doctor may order another round of blood tests and endoscopy to evaluate the body’s response to the new diet. If the results are normal, it is confirmed that Celiac Disease is the cause. Genetic testing is also helpful for relatives of those with Celiac Disease, as the disease is hereditary and very common with first-degree relatives.
Long term damage from eating gluten with celiac disease
According to the American Celiac Disease Alliance, eating gluten can cause those with Celiac Disease to be malnourished. This is because the body cannot absorb vitamins and minerals from food and instead excretes them in the stool. This can cause weight loss and vitamin deficiencies, which if severe enough can lead to stunted growth, neurological problems, and low bone density. Calcium and vitamin D are lost in the stool as well, which can lead to rickets in children (a type of kidney stone), as well as osteomalacia (softening of bones), osteopenia, and osteoporosis. Cancer, especially gastrointestinal cancer, has also been reported to occur in many cases of longstanding untreated celiac disease.
Sufferers of Celiac Disease cannot eat foods containing all-purpose flour; bleached flour; bran; bread crumbs; durum flour/wheat; enriched flour; farina; gluten; semolina; spelt; wheat bran; wheat germ; wheat starch; whole wheat flour; cornstarch; hydrolyzed vegetable protein; gelatinized starch; modified food starch; MSG. Having eliminated these from the diet, gluten-free alternatives include rice flour/starch; potato flour/starch; oat flour/rolled oats; various “gluten-free” products.
Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity
Some people suffer from gluten intolerance, which is different than Celiac in that it is not an immune mediated response. The symptoms of gluten intolerance appear after eating wheat or other foods containing gluten, which can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhea and flatulence. Researchers are looking into whether gluten intolerance over a long period causes permanent intestinal damage.
More commonplace is gluten sensitivity, which affects approximately 18 million people in the United States and it is characterized by a less severe form of gluten intolerance. The gastrointestinal symptoms are similar to those with Celiac Disease, however gluten sensitivity does not cause damage to the intestinal lining.
Deciding to eat gluten-free?
Of course eating gluten free makes sense for anyone with Celiac Disease or a significant sensitivity to gluten. But for the majority of us who are not bothered by gluten, are there real benefits to banning foods containing gluten? Not really. Just because a food product is billed as “gluten-free” does not mean that it is healthier. Gluten-free products can be high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. Some people who go gluten-free actually gain weight. There’s probably no harm in cutting out gluten as long as you continue to eat a balanced diet. But unless you have medical reason to avoid foods containing gluten wouldn’t you prefer to stick with whole foods, which are likely to be cheaper, better tasting, more convenient and nutritious?
May is National Celiac Awareness Month. For more information about Celiac Disease and gluten-free eating visit the comprehensive website produced by the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Gluten-Free Diets: What You Need to Know
Kim Kardashian recently sparked debate after posting "Gluten free is the way to be” on her Twitter account, along with a photo of herself posing. With so many celebrities like Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba rumored to be on gluten-free diets, more and more people are hopping on the bandwagon. While most go gluten-free due to allergies or celiac disease, many also do so with the hope that it will help them lose weight. But is it actually a good idea?
A gluten-free diet excludes food like wheat, barley and rye that contain gluten. “People often don’t understand that gluten-free diets are really only beneficial to people that have the gluten allergy,” says San Francisco nutritionist Rania Batayneh. “Oftentimes people count it as a weight loss tool because with the absence of breads and other products that contain wheat, some people start losing weight.”
The big mistake that many make is they assume when something says “gluten-free” it means that it’s better for you. “Gluten-free doesn’t equate to a healthier option. Some foods can have more corn starch and gums to make up for lack of wheat gluten,” says New York nutritionist Ellie Krieger.
What’s more, many companies often add in fat and sugar to their gluten-free products to make up for the loss in flavor. “Just because its gluten-free doesn’t mean you can eat the whole thing—a cookie is still a cookie, a brownie is still a brownie, a cake is still a cake. Something may look healthy, but it’s not,” says Batayneh.
You don’t have to be gluten-free to lose weight. You can achieve weight loss by eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and minimally processed food. But if you’re determined to go gluten-free, it is still possible to lose weight if you do it the right way. An example of a healthy gluten-free meal would be a piece of salmon or chicken that’s either baked or grilled, a colorful vegetable medley and a serving of brown rice. However, what it really comes down to is reducing your calorie intake rather than removing gluten from your diet.
Going gluten-free can also be beneficial to your skin, but again, only if it’s done the right way. Those on a gluten-free diet tend to see improvements in their skin because they’re consuming less sugar. Since sugar can cause inflammation, removing them from your diet can help clear up your skin and even reduce rosacea and psoriasis flare-ups.
Miley Cyrus’ Flat Stomach Secret
How does Miley Cyrus look so good? Her abs always look fantastic! Ok, she’s 19. But aside from that she puts in the work! Since February of this year Cyrus has been training with Pilates guru Mari Winsor five to six days a week to tone the young actresses body, improve her posture, and of course, sculpt great abs.
Cyrus’ favorite moves always involve Pilates equipment but she also loves the hundred, double leg stretch, and criss-cross, which can all be done with just a mat. Footwork on the reformer is one move Cyrus relies on to lengthen and tone her legs. When Cyrus is on the road she uses Winsor’s Lower Body Pilates DVD ($15;gaiam.com) in combination with Flat Abs Pilates.
A Favorite American Food Helps Families Living A Gluten-Free Lifestyle During National Celiac Awareness Month
BATTLE CREEK, Mich., May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, while "gluten-free" has become a household term, there are still countless myths that make it tricky for moms and their families to navigate a gluten-free lifestyle. This May, National Celiac Awareness month, Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal asked dietitian Tricia Thompson, M.S., R.D., to bust these myths to help moms make gluten-free meal choices easier.
Three Popular Gluten-Free Myths
With much uncertainty surrounding the gluten topic, Thompson's myth-busting tips help moms feel assured that they're making good choices for their kids:
"There are ways to eat a gluten-free diet without sacrificing several nutrients, including fiber, iron, folate and niacin," said Thompson. "For example, a breakfast that includes a whole grain- or vitamin and mineral-fortified cereal, like Kellogg's Rice Krispies Gluten Free, served with sliced bananas and milk is a quick, healthy and delicious way for kids to start the day."
Kellogg's Rice Krispies Gluten Free Cereal
Moms on the hunt for tasty choices for their kid's gluten-free diet don't have to look further than the cereal aisle, where they can find Kellogg's Rice Krispies Gluten Free cereal. The gluten-free ingredients give family members with celiac disease the chance to enjoy one of their favorite cereals and snacks. It's also:
About Kellogg Company
Driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter, Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) is the world's leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of snacks and frozen foods. Every day, our well-loved brands - produced in 17 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries - nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. With 2011 sales of more than $13 billion, these brands include Cheez-It®, Coco Pops®, Corn Flakes®, Eggo®, Frosted Flakes®, Kashi®, Keebler®, Kellogg's®, Mini-Wheats®, Pop-Tarts®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, and many more. To learn more about Kellogg Company, including our corporate responsibility initiatives and rich heritage, please visit www.kelloggcompany.com.
About Tricia Thompson, MS, RD
Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, is a nutrition consultant, researcher, and creator of Gluten-Free Dietitian Web site (www.glutenfreedietitian.com) and founder of Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC (www.glutenfreewatchdog.org). She has authored numerous publications for both scientific and popular readerships, including articles published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics and New England Journal of Medicine. Tricia is also the author of a variety of books and book chapters on the gluten-free diet, including The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin), the American Dietetic Association's booklet Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, the American Dietetic Association's Easy Gluten-Free: Expert Nutrition Advice with More Than 100 Recipes, and the American Dietetic Association's Pocket Guide to Gluten-Free Strategies for Clients with Multiple Diet Restrictions.
SOURCE Krispr Communications
Gluten-free Glutton: Don't take advice from Miley Cyrus
Kim Kardashian Credits Gluten-Free Diet For Her Hot Bod
Kim Kardashian knows how to stir her Twitter fans’ imagination. The reality TV star posted a sexy picture of herself wearing black lingerie and knee-high boots. According to US Weekly, the sexy brunette credits the gluten-free diet for her hot body.
Women have more reasons to envy Kim Kardashian who is not only rich and famous, but she is also the possessor of an enviable body. The star proved this by posting a sexy picture on her Twitter account on Friday. The image revealed a Kim Kardashian that we haven’t seen in a while, that is, the E! star was wearing black bondage-like lingerie, knee-high leather boots and leather gloves.
As if the outfit itself was not enough to draw millions of Instagram followers in the blink of an eye, the Kardashian sister adopted an alluring pose to look even sexier. The 31-year-old star was kneeling on a white chair allowing everyone to see her world-famous posterior. Judging by the reality TV star’s blonde hair, we may infer that the photo was made several years ago because Kim has had her hair dyed black in the past months.
Kim, however, seems to have used this photo in order to draw her fans’ attention on another aspect besides her sexy image. The “Keeping Up With The Kardashian” star used the lingerie pic to suggest people that they should adopt the gluten-free diet if they want a sexy body like hers. She posted the message “Gluten free is the way to be” underneath the picture and later on, added that she feels bored.
Kim Kardashian is not the only celebrity who has tested the gluten-free diet. Miley Cyrus, too, has recently stated that she gave up eating products containing gluten and benefitted from numerous positive changes in her body and her mind. On April 9, she tweeted that people should go gluten free for at least a week and they will soon understand how amazing this diet is for their bodies.
Doctors, on the other hand, contradict the two celebrities. In their opinion, gluten is a necessary protein for our bodies and this type of regimens should be used only by people with gluten-related disorders.