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plumbago

Should Enriched gluten-free Flour Be The Next Battle?

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Please correct me if I am wrong, but our gluten-free flours are not fortified with riboflavin, thiamin, niacin like wheat flour is by law, the Enrichment Act of 1942. So this trickles down to our gluten-free breads and cereals and baked goods.

 

Should our flours be fortified? I know that many gluten-free baked goods, like bread, is fortified with iron, which is great. But what about B6, and folate (1996 law added folate/folic acid)?

 

Is this the next frontier? I know we are all protective of and grateful to the companies producing gluten-free products, but there are undoubtedly some Celiacs who either aren't aware of this and/or get many if not most of their sustenance from gluten-free baked goods without supplementing from the other food groups that are high in B vitamins.

Plumbago

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It is our responsibility to know what we're eating and eat a balanced diet and if necessary, supplement with vitamins. After being diagnosed I had blood work done twice that year, and do it once a year now, to check for any deficiencies. While many of us enjoy packaged products, there are many of us who also prefer our food to be as unadulterated as possible. This could also create significant problems where there don't need to be any for people with additional intolerances due to the sourcing for additives. If you're deficient in something, take a vitamin. We don't need to create additional rules and laws for 1% of the population, create problems for people with more than enough already and do something unnecessary to raise the price of our foods.

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It is our responsibility to know what we're eating and eat a balanced diet and if necessary, supplement with vitamins. After being diagnosed I had blood work done twice that year, and do it once a year now, to check for any deficiencies. While many of us enjoy packaged products, there are many of us who also prefer our food to be as unadulterated as possible. This could also create significant problems where there don't need to be any for people with additional intolerances due to the sourcing for additives. If you're deficient in something, take a vitamin. We don't need to create additional rules and laws for 1% of the population, create problems for people with more than enough already and do something unnecessary to raise the price of our foods.

Thanks for your reply, but I note that the price of our foods is already twice that of wheat flour foods, usually.

 

Anyway, thanks.

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Thanks for your reply, but I note that the price of our foods is already twice that of wheat flour foods, usually.

 

Anyway, thanks.

 

Which is kind of my point. I don't see the benefit in doing something unnecessary to raise those prices further.

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I agree with Adalaide here.  There actually are some companies who supplement gluten-free baked goods and flours already, so if you are concerned about that, you can buy from them.  Off the top of my head, you can buy fortified gluten-free bread that is amazingly good from Gluten Free Creations in Arizona.  Enriched baked goods are not a replacement for a proper balanced diet, and if someone is getting most of their sustenance from gluten-free baked goods, that is another problem in itself.

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With the easy access to multi-vitamins these days-that were not around in the 1940's, there really is no need to enrich foods..but since that would mean "change" and no one likes change, it's not something that will be eliminated anytime soon.  If you are concerned about getting a balanced diet, maybe add in a good multi-vitamin to get what you think you might need or talk to a nutritionist or doctor about how to replace those vitamins.  

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I agree with most of the posters I see no reason to enact laws and regulations when vitamins are readily available.  What about the people who prefer their food without additives?  They would have fewer options with regulations.  What about the expense of creating and overseeing the regulations?  Don't we pay enough taxes already?

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If I were a gluten free flour company out there, I would try putting out an enriched flour blend.  I would see how it sells compared to the products on the market.  I feel strongly that there is a need for fortified food for gluten free people.  (especially kids!)

 

As much as I don't want any of the products I use changed, I am a parent.  Living in the mid-west, most people here are vitamin D deficient.  If you have seen vitamin D deficiency in your child, it is really bad.  The are so beyond tired all the time, you know they feel miserable.  Then when you look at the growth spurts of teenage boys!  My son is even waking up in the middle of the night to eat~ probably seeking extra vitamins and nutrients.

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From what I'm learning from classes and research, it seems that the preferred order to receive one's vitamins and minerals are:

1. whole grains and other natural foods
2. fortified food
3. supplements

Yes, we should know our strengths and deficiencies, but not all doctors will do blood tests to pick up deficiencies of thiamin, folate, or niacin, or B6. B12 - yes, they'll do that. And getting injections of B12 is a very effective way to supplement. (However B12 is not really part of this discussion.)

 

Yes, obviously, if you have Celiac, you will need to look beyond bread for your B vitamins. And I too am someone who generally likes my food as unadulterated as possible.

But I could not get away from the question:  what is the purpose of this bread we are eating?

It is good to know that that Arizona company exists. Bless them, you know? However, a quick check in the frozen bread section of my local stores, turns up breads that are, at best, enriched with iron. So again my question - what exactly is the purpose, nutritionally, beyond not receiving gluten, of our gluten-free breads? To my eyes, they look - often - like empty calories. Make no mistake, empty calories are often some of the best, esp when accompanied by butter and jelly. And - our breads are already expensive! Shouldn't we be getting a trifle more out of them nutritionally than we are?

But, to proceed - for reasons that are too boring and personal to get into, it's not always easy for me to order on the Internet. Additionally, as someone who tries to cut down on the old carbon footprint, I do my best not to fly my purchases in from somewhere else, when my two legs are perfectly fine. Nevertheless, I'm glad that company in Az exists.

 

And no - probably we do not want more regulation. (Although I should probably remain agnostic on that one for now.) I hear the fears and whatnot of a community that wants seemingly to be left alone. And as someone with Celiac, I too am hyperconscious about how my/our needs might impinge on the good functioning of various establishments. I GET IT.

 

The best suggestion I have seen so far is from the mom poster in the midwest. That is clearly the answer - more companies need to add these vitamins to their bread, but we also need someone to verify that they've been added.

 

Plumbago

 

I've also read from Harvard Medical blogs that if there is one enriched vitamin to maybe be careful of (receiving too much, I believe), it is folate.

Edited by plumbago

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I agree with most of the posters I see no reason to enact laws and regulations when vitamins are readily available.  What about the people who prefer their food without additives?  They would have fewer options with regulations.  What about the expense of creating and overseeing the regulations?  Don't we pay enough taxes already?

From what I have learned, the vitamins and minerals added to foods are not considered additives. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

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I bet they would sell more bread if they WERE vitamin fortified.

 

As it is now, I try to avoid gluten-free breads becasue they ARE empty calories. I save them for an occasional treat. If I knew I were at least getting some nutrition along with all of the calories and extra expense I would probably eat a lot more sandwiches.

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mmmmmmmmmmmm.....  sammich..........   :)  

 

i eat alot of sammiches - i like to consider, nutritionally, what i'm putting *on* the bread rather than the bread itself.   the bread is simply a vehicle to deliver a plethora of vitamin rich goodness to my mouth hole :D :D :D

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From what I'm learning from classes and research, it seems that the preferred order to receive one's vitamins and minerals are:

1. whole grains and other natural foods

2. fortified food

3. supplements

I'd like to see some evidence for that statement.  I think that taking a vitamin pill with a meal would be equivalent to eating a food fortified with those same vitamins.

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From what I have learned, the vitamins and minerals added to foods are not considered additives. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

Additive: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/additive

"A substance added in small amounts to something else to improve, strengthen, or otherwise alter it."

Food additive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_additive

"Antioxidants such as vitamin C "

http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm094211.htm

"a food additive is any substance added to food."

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I'd like to see some evidence for that statement.  I think that taking a vitamin pill with a meal would be equivalent to eating a food fortified with those same vitamins.

As for "evidence," I'm not sure I can provide exactly what you are looking for. But based on what I have been reading I am gleaning that as a general rule, nutritionists, drs, nurses, and dieticians say that because of the other nutrients you are picking up in food it is better to get your vit and minerals first from food. A vitamin usually delivers just that vitamin or mineral (with a multi being the obvious exception). Perhaps you are wishing I had prefaced the comment with something like "though it is not a scientific fact," - and maybe I should have. In some obvious cases, taking a pill delivers more of a particular vitamin or mineral, yes, it's true. And a vitamin B12 injection can probably not be beat no matter how much liver you eat (if you are deficient). Nevertheless, as a rule, these medical people say that optimal nutrition is best obtained from a balanced diet. (Though that may or may not be a scientific fact.)

 

Please let me know if you'd like evidence for that statement.

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As for "evidence," I'm not sure I can provide exactly what you are looking for. But based on what I have been reading I am gleaning that as a general rule, nutritionists, drs, nurses, and dieticians say that because of the other nutrients you are picking up in food it is better to get your vit and minerals first from food. A vitamin usually delivers just that vitamin or mineral (with a multi being the obvious exception). Perhaps you are wishing I had prefaced the comment with something like "though it is not a scientific fact," - and maybe I should have. In some obvious cases, taking a pill delivers more of a particular vitamin or mineral, yes, it's true. And a vitamin B12 injection can probably not be beat no matter how much liver you eat (if you are deficient). Nevertheless, as a rule, these medical people say that optimal nutrition is best obtained from a balanced diet. (Though that may or may not be a scientific fact.)

 

Please let me know if you'd like evidence for that statement.

 

I think you are misunderstanding what they are saying though--they are talking about naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in foods, not the additives.  Whole grain breads provide fiber and a few other naturally occurring vitamins and that is what is "good" about eating whole grain breads..not so much the added ones.  Dairy products with added D are good because the calcium is absorbed more readily with Vit D but the Vit D can come from a pill too and get the same effect.  What they are talking about is eating a well balanced diet, so you don't need the multi-vitamin, not so much that eating fortified foods are better for you.  Given that Celiacs interrupts absorption of many nutrients, taking in extra via a multi-vitamin is prudent.

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As for "evidence," I'm not sure I can provide exactly what you are looking for. But based on what I have been reading I am gleaning that as a general rule, nutritionists, drs, nurses, and dieticians say that because of the other nutrients you are picking up in food it is better to get your vit and minerals first from food. A vitamin usually delivers just that vitamin or mineral (with a multi being the obvious exception). Perhaps you are wishing I had prefaced the comment with something like "though it is not a scientific fact," - and maybe I should have. In some obvious cases, taking a pill delivers more of a particular vitamin or mineral, yes, it's true. And a vitamin B12 injection can probably not be beat no matter how much liver you eat (if you are deficient). Nevertheless, as a rule, these medical people say that optimal nutrition is best obtained from a balanced diet. (Though that may or may not be a scientific fact.)

 

Please let me know if you'd like evidence for that statement.

if you wish to present statements as fact, you need to provide scientific evidence of such.  gleaning doesn't count.  like it, don't like it.  people come here looking for credible information.  i am not 'perhaps wishing' - it is a board rule and you need to consider others.

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When my daughter was diagnosed with the vitamin D deficiency, it was lectured by the pediatrician proper diet first ~and vitamin supplements as a last resort.  (this case includes including natural sunlight for vitamin D) 

 

An 11 year old child with Celiac and Eosinophilic Esophagitus has to learn proper nutrition even though they have to avoid "trigger" foods their auto-immune disorder.  (at one point in time(6 years old) she was on a gluten free diet, avoiding all top 8 allergens, and peas).  Every "safe" bite of food needed to be as healthy as possible.  Vitamin supplementation (with pills/ tablets/ chews was also a risk because of damage to the esophagus ~ and emergency dilation may have been necessary for any items stuck in the damaged esophagus)

 

I would opt for vitamin and nutrient  fortified gluten free, allergen safe food/flour.

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At the risk of wandering further afield from a main point that someone else pointed out ("I bet if they fortified gluten-free bread more people would buy it"), I will wade back in.

Pointing to amaranth was a good tip. Thanks, it's always good to be reminded.

I didn't misunderstand. I realize that the crux of the matter is whether or not fortified food is 'better' than taking vitamins.

However, this question, as far as I can tell, cannot be discussed on this board as there is no way I can scientifically prove that the preferred way most medical personnel say to get our vit and minerals is through whole foods and then fortified foods. All I can say is that they (most) do. I can quote extensively from nursing and medical textbooks that question even the benefit and safety of using supplemental vitamins. Should I? Is that what people are looking for? Very long quotations? I will provide them if so.

No, what I think some here are looking for is some kind of ironclad scientifically provable backward and forward guarantee that enriching is better than supplementing. And they want to see those words. As far as I can tell, those specific words in that order do not exist. For purposes of free speech and being able to have a debate, I am very sorry they don't. Are people hedging when they say that? Maybe. I do not know. I can speculate as to why it is that fortified foods are not looked on as questionably as supplements (it has to do with balance and knowledge) but my speculation is not scientific. I could speculate further that maybe drs and nurses don't think fortified products are the real way to go, either, but that they are less prone to be abused, and they are stop gaps. Again, the truth or falseness of what they say is not scientifically provable at the present time.

So in closing, given this directive,

"people come here looking for credible information.  i am not 'perhaps wishing' - it is a board rule and you need to consider others."

I look forward to some very scientific future comments!

Plumbago

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I'm not sure if there are enriched flours, but I know there are enriched breads available. If that is what someone is after, they are certainly welcome to enjoy them. It is obvious that this isn't something that is easily agreed upon. Honestly, many of us have had very poor experiences with the medical community. Research I'm happy to look at, a pile of opinions of medical "professionals" not so much. Their opinion about my health is not more important than my own. For me getting as much as I can from my diet included from healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and meats is a matter of common sense and I don't need someone with a degree to explain it to me. It sounds like beyond that, the matter of fortified vs. supplements is merely opinion, no matter whether that opinion comes from the person who is eating or the person telling us how to eat. Making up new laws that will be expensive for our government, companies, and will only drive up the already high prices of our foods seems pointless when these foods are already available too those who want them. For those of us who don't, we can continue to enjoy our foods the way we like them.

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Before I got sick and started eating better, I was living on junk food. I used to get funny looks from people when I would say I wished they would vitamin fortify potato chips the way they do cereal, because potato chips were what I ate for breakfast every day. :lol:  (Of course it wouldn't have mattered back then because I wasn't digesting anything and wouldn't have gotten the nutrients anyway.)

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Before I got sick and started eating better, I was living on junk food. I used to get funny looks from people when I would say I wished they would vitamin fortify potato chips the way they do cereal, because potato chips were what I ate for breakfast every day. :lol:  (Of course it wouldn't have mattered back then because I wasn't digesting anything and wouldn't have gotten the nutrients anyway.)

 

I could probably make a similar joke about ice cream right now. I have 5 boxes of ice cream in my freezer. I regular, over my refrigerator freezer. It's taking up half the space. :ph34r:

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