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Celiac.com 11/11/2016 - Do allergen advisory statements for wheat help US consumers with celiac disease make safe food choices? A team of researchers recently set out to review food that were not labeled gluten-free, but which appeared to be free of gluten ingredients based the ingredients list. The product labels indicated that the products contained no wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewers yeast. The research team included T. Thompson, TB Lyons, and A Jones. They are variously affiliated with Gluten Free Watchdog, Manchester, MA, USA; the Department of Clinical Nutrition, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA, and with Mary Rutan Hospital Nutrition, Bellefontaine, OH, USA. Looking for allergen advisory statements noting wheat, gluten or both, the team retrospectively reviewed labeling information for 101 products tested for gluten content. They tested products through the gluten test reporting service Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC in Manchester, MA, USA. The review included all commercially available products tested by Gluten Free Watchdog not labeled gluten-free or low gluten at the time of this analysis. Gluten testing was conducted via Bia Diagnostics in Burlington, VT, USA. Each product sample was tested in duplicate using the Ridascreen Gliadin sandwich R5 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Mendez method (Ridascreen Gliadin R7001) and extracted with the cocktail solution (Art. No. R7006—official Mendez method) following the kit manufacturer’s directions (R-biopharm, Darmstadt, Germany). Seven of the 14 foods with quantifiable gluten in this assessment are single-ingredient foods, such as oat fiber, spices, and green tea leaves. Many single-ingredient foods are considered by consumers to be naturally gluten-free. However, US grain standards allow certain percentages of foreign material in grains, seeds and legumes. On the basis of this analysis, the current use of allergen advisory statements for wheat or gluten are not useful predictors of whether or not a single or multi-ingredient food product contains 20 or more p.p.m. of gluten. The authors are urging the regulation and standardization of such precautionary statements so that they are helpful to gluten-free consumers. Source: Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep 14. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.155.
Celiac.com 09/07/2015 - Cereal maker General Mills is facing criticism from some people with celiac disease who say its gluten-free manufacturing practices are unsafe, unreliable, and leave them at risk for adverse gluten reactions. A number of celiac disease patients and others with gluten sensitivities are questioning the company's practice of removing wheat, rye and barley from standard oats, rather than sourcing actual gluten-free oats. General Mills' special method for sorting grains allegedly removes any wheat, barley and rye from the whole oats, before they are made into oat flour. A group called "Gluten Free Watchdog" has engaged General Mills regarding cross-contamination possibilities during the grain sorting and manufacturing process. The process used by General Mills to sort its oats for the gluten-free Original, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon, Honey Nut and Frosted Cheerios is described in an official blog post. Gluten Free Watchdog's concerns include the reliability of testing analysis. General Mills currently uses a sampling method to test the cereal and check that gluten is 20 parts per million (ppm) or less, but Gluten Free Watchdog claims this method can result in uneven results, and that some batches of cereal may actually contain more than the allowed 20 ppm of gluten, although they haven't offered any solid examples that support their theory. To its credit, General Mills seems to be honestly engaged in the discussion, and has signaled an openness to sourcing pure gluten-free oats, which would address the concerns of groups like Gluten Free Watchdog. What do you think? Should General Mills be using gluten-free oats for their gluten-free products? Is it okay if they use regular oats and special sorting equipment to ensure the final oats are under 20 ppm, as required by law? Share your thoughts below.
Celiac.com 10/29/2014 - At the age of eighteen I started to see a naturopath in order to find ways to combat my anxiety without switching to a bunch of shady medications. In my experience, people had rarely ever talked about food intolerances in relation to neurochemistry. Despite my skepticism or the skepticism of the people around me, what choice did I have but to try whatever it took? My anxiety levels were unmanageable, and I found myself ruining a lot of my relationships because I was too afraid of all the possible outcomes to make decisive choices in the majority of social situations, which led to me letting a lot of people down when they were counting on me. I had to find a way to gain some self-control, and I had reached a place in life where counseling wasn’t enough anymore. This naturopath, actually recommended by my counselor, suggested I take a blood test, which upon receiving the results showed that I had several chemical imbalances that were made worse by different kinds of food I was eating. This was a completely new concept to me. Of course as crazy as the concept was, it scientifically held up with the blood test. My parents and I were willing to do what it took to fix my chemical levels and make my anxiety more manageable without getting me too doped up. That said, two of the things I completely cut out of my diet from then on were gluten and dairy, as eating them negatively affected my chemical balances more so than most other foods did. Now, going gluten-free is hard. But taking dairy away with it felt extremely limiting at first as it required almost a complete 180 in my diet. After all, gluten and dairy were a part of just about every meal I had eaten up to that point, and I’m sure most of you readers can relate. Regardless, doing it made me feel better physically - I was no longer exhausted all of the time, I was having healthier bowel movements, and my anxiety levels decreased greatly. People commonly ask me, “what do you even eat?” and you may be wondering the same thing. So here are five awesome food brands that offer great gluten- and dairy-free options that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the years! Namaste - Namaste is a fairly small brand that has been growing over the past fourteen years that makes great-tasting food without wheat, gluten, corn, soy, potato, dairy, peanuts, or tree nuts. That’s right, they have your allergies basically covered. If I had to recommend anything from them, it would be their taco pasta dinner, made of brown rice pasta, which is probably my favorite gluten-free, dairy free food ever. Of course, they have a lot of other great products such as brownies, waffles & pancakes, and pizza crust. It’s a bit more expensive, as most foods with specialized purposes like this are, but if you can afford, you can’t go wrong with Namaste. So Delicious Dairy Free - “If you’re trying to keep dairy and gluten-free, are you ever in the right place” boasts So Delicious on their website. Most of the So Delicious products are made with alternate kinds of milk, such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy, cashew, etc. If you love ice cream and yogurt like I do, So Delicious is one of the best-tasting options you could try. They have a great list of common ingredients they use, with a description of each one that you can find here. Annie’s Gluten-free - This one you have to carefully navigate around, because some of their products do have milk and wheat ingredients. But if you do your research, Annie’s is one of the best sources for gluten/dairy free snacks available right now. For instance, go to their website and look for their vegan and gluten-free combination snacks! I’m a fan of their assortment of Bunny Grahams myself. Lucy’s Gluten-free Cookies - Not only are they gluten-free, but, like Namaste, Lucy’s have no peanuts or tree nuts. They are also all vegan, contain 0g of Trans Fat and 0mg of Cholesterol, are all natural and non-GMO. My mom would surprise me when I would visit her at home in my college years, and they would typically be gone within a couple of hours. I would recommend any of their products - they’re all very tasty! Food Should Taste Good - Oh man, this one’s a goodie. Primarily known for their popular Multigrain Chips, FSTG is a non-GMO committed chip company that specializes in no wheat and completely vegan products. Their multi-grain chips are delicious - I had a lot of friends eating mine who weren’t gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or caring about GMOs. They are just that good. The best part about this is the different types of chips they have, not just the Multi-Grain. They’ve expanded to all different kinds of types and flavors. Some of these are tortilla made blue corn and sweet potato chips (which I’ve been known to partake in upon multiple occasions), kettle cooked barbeque flavored chips, a variety of brown rice crackers, and pesto flavored pita puffs. Despite what people say, going gluten- and dairy- free has a lot of great benefits in my opinion, and it’s great that people work hard to give us products like these that fit the diet but still taste delicious! I think that at least cutting back on gluten will have some great health benefits for most people, and some have argued that it can even help with athletics. If you’re interested, it’s something I would highly recommend looking into as I attribute part of who I am today - a college graduate working a full-time job and managing stress comparatively well - to these dietary changes I made four years ago.
Celiac.com 07/06/2012 - More and more, diners are looking for healthy, local and gluten-free options when deciding where to dine out, analysts say. Diners also want less salt and fat, and more spice in their food, although they are open to bite-sized dessert options. Restaurant owners say business is good these days as more people are choosing to spend any extra dollars on food and beverages. According to the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast by the National Restaurant Association, total restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record $632 billion in 2012, a 3.5 percent increase from 2011. Nearly three out of four people who dine out are looking to maker healthier restaurant choices than they did just two years ago, said the industry forecast. Most restaurants surveyed said customers are in fact ordering the healthier items on the menu. That includes shunning that full slice of cheesecake for a bite-sized version that offers less total fat and sugar. In December, the National Restaurant Association released the results of their "What's Hot in 2012" survey, which revealed that consumers have become more aware of where their meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and even alcoholic beverages are being produced. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they're more likely to visit a restaurant that offers locally produced food items. Source: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2012/04/29/Consumer-Corner-Healthy-local-and-gluten-free-tops-menu/UPI-95361335691800/