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ruca55

"gluten-Free" Foods

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Can anyone sender for me what constitutes arms gluten free? I thought I was starting the diet a few days ago. I'm also going vegan at the dame time, so there's not a whole lot of processed stuff that I'm eating. However after dinner I am always looking for something sweet. I bought a bag of cinnimon cookies that said gluten free. I had 2 after dinner and a few minutes later got one of my "classic headaches" (that I assume gluten has been causing the last 4 years). So I went back and checked the package again, no gluten ingriedts (I guess?) but it does say manufactured in a facility that produces wheat products. My question is 1) I asummse that would be cross contamination? 2) then how can that be labeled gluten free. 3) that small of an amout can cause a reaction?

I guess I need to learn to read labels better. Is there a list somewhere of other words or names of gluten I need to look for on labels?

sorry, Iphone must have "corrected" some of those words!

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Keep in mind that during the healing process, your damaged body may lash out at any time, without needing gluten to trigger a reaction based on past, unhealed damage.

In the United States, there is no regulated definition of the term "gluten-free." It means whatever the person making the claim wants it to, or rather, whatever the plaintiff's lawyer can convince a jury it should mean. :angry:

The generally accepted definition here at celiac.com is that the product is gluten-free if it contains no ingredients derived from a gluten-containing grain, although there are some exceptions to that rule. Distilled alcohol is considered gluten-free by most of us, regardless of what it was distilled from.

There is a rule proposed and under consideration by the FDA, but it does not rule out a shared facility or even a shared line.

In Canada, a product may be labeled gluten-free if it contains no ingredient derived from a gluten grain. Again, possible cross-contamination is not covered.

The "shared facility" thing is one of my bugbears. Just because the final processing plant does not process any gluten is no guarantee that there is no cross-contamination. Contamination can occur at any point along the supply line, starting at the farm where something was grown. The employees at the "gluten-free" facility may eat donuts from the drive-thru on their way to work.

Even so, a shared facility does not mean that there is necessarily contamination. It only means that the allergen is somewhere in the building. Do you have any foods in your home that contain gluten? If so, you live in a shared facility. Does your family use the same utensils and plates that you do to eat? If so, you have shared equipment.

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Wow, all good points. It's a little overwhelming. I spent so much time researching symptoms and worry about testing I thought I was a little bit better prepared for this phase, but apparently not. So here's another question. Yesterday, I was in the store looking at 2 different brands of quinoa, the ingredients seemed the same but one bag was labeled gluten free and one was not. That's just labeling, right? Technically they are both gluten free, correct?

One point/ question though, the shared equipment in my home is washed between uses, doesn't that make a difference? So if something was to be made in the same facility, shouldn't it be clear if it's the same equipment or not? Wouldn't that make a difference?

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Wow, all good points. It's a little overwhelming. I spent so much time researching symptoms and worry about testing I thought I was a little bit better prepared for this phase, but apparently not. So here's another question. Yesterday, I was in the store looking at 2 different brands of quinoa, the ingredients seemed the same but one bag was labeled gluten free and one was not. That's just labeling, right? Technically they are both gluten free, correct?

One point/ question though, the shared equipment in my home is washed between uses, doesn't that make a difference? So if something was to be made in the same facility, shouldn't it be clear if it's the same equipment or not? Wouldn't that make a difference?

As of right now it is voluntary for companies to even disclose whether something is made on shared equipment or a shared facility. It is not required for them to even put that information on the package. The difference between those two Quinoas may be nothign or it may mean that the gluten free company does testing to make it a "certified gluten-free" item. however even the most sensitive testing is only capable of detectign 5 PPM of gluten. Somethign could contain under 5 PPM and be deemed "gluten free". Small amounts can cause symptoms in some individuals. And some people notice when they eat a lot of gluten-free packaged items they have a culmulative gltuening effect from the very small amounts of cc in some products. IMO the more non-packaged foods the better. It's better to eat mostly naturally gluten-free foods like fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, rice, etc. And no mater which kind of quinoa you buy, be sure to rinse it well (just like you would dry beans).

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Well, you will find items labelled that they are produced on the same lines as gluten containing products. Now, of course, they wash those lines thoroughly before they run anything "gluten free" through them, but some people will still react and that is why they are labelled that way. If it's in a shared facility, that could mean that there is flour flying around in the air (but probably not); or just that there is a chance that some cross-contamiantion could occur because it can happen so easily. Every person has their own level of tolerance for trace amounts of gluten and since they can't measure for under 5 ppm you cannot ever really say something is gluten free - but it is accepted that if it is not measurable it is gluten free.

You (usually) are better off buying something that is labelled "gluten free" because that means that the company is aware of the issue and is at least making an effort to provide a totally gluten free product. In the case of quinoa, that would mean not hauling or storing the grain in something that had previously hauled or stored wheat for example.

It is really a minefield since there is, as Peter says, no actual standard in the US. A lot of our eating is trial and error - okay, I reacted to that, won't buy that again :(

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Quinoa is by its nature gluten-free.

Washing makes a big difference. You wash at home, restaurants wash their utensils and other equipment. Manufacturers wash their equipment.

Manufacturers in Canada and in the US are expected to conform to standards known as Good Manufacturing Practices. Failure to follow them will seriously annoy the government food inspector. These standards go far beyond just washing the equipment.

A minority of us are extremely sensitive, and react to trace amounts of gluten in a manner similar to how someone with a peanut allergy reacts to traces of peanut protein. For those people, shared equipment is a big concern. But most of us can eat products with no gluten in the ingredients without issues. I am one of the latter group.

Edit: GlutenFreeManna and Mushroom posted while I was composing this post.

Edited by psawyer

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