The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided that food containing less that 20 parts-per-million gluten may be labelled gluten free. This is a legal definition not a medical determination, of course, but the experts seem to agree that 20 parts-per-million is appropriate. We might call it “gluten free enough”: 20 ppm is equal to 20 inches in 16 miles or ten minutes in one year.
It’s possible to reduce your gluten consumption by concentrating on foods that are “naturally gluten free” or “inherently gluten free”. All unprocessed food falls into this category. Here are some examples:
Another way to reduce gluten consumption is to look for labels indicating that a product certified to contain less than 20 ppm gluten. Obviously, these stricter requirements reduce the number of foods that can be certified and limit their availability. I suggest that you read my recently-updated article on these certification organizations, learn to recognize their certification symbols, and jump at the opportunity to purchase food items certified to contain less than 10 ppm or even 5 ppm.
Today we have talked about the front of the package. Next Friday, I will talk about the ingredients list which useful information about whether a product belongs in your kitchen. Unfortunately, I can’t link you to that article until it is actually published.
The average American, both wheat-eaters and people who live gluten free, doesn’t have enough fiber in their diet. This issue is especially important to people who live gluten free because the five grains with the most fiber are unacceptable for people on the gluten free diet. Continue Reading
People who live gluten free are able to enjoy gluten free bread, toast, pancakes, and waffles. Products are available on-line and in at least one bakery chain, and there are recipes for cooking at home. Continue Reading
Is the ‘gluten free diet’ a highly effective treatment for a serious disease or is it simply the newest fad diet and a way for food industry gurus to make a fortune? YES! This term means different things to different people. The computer search engines can’t tell the difference. The difference might not be obvious in a casual conversation. A food server might be honestly confused about how a customer was using those words. Continue Reading
In 2008, I wrote a series of articles suggesting that it was probably OK to start a gluten free diet without the “blood test and biopsy process” that led to a diagnosis of celiac disease. Was it worth the trouble, expense, and effort? Few people had heard the term celiac disease. Gluten free food was terribly expensive,and tasted like cardboard. People who adopted the gluten free lifestyle did so for very compelling reasons!
Things have changed. People use talk about “going gluten free” and do not regard it as a diet — certainly not as a strict diet that requires a lifelong commitment.
The thoughts I expressed in 2008 were not complete. People need professional help support when they make any major changes in their diet or lifestyle. It is impossible to diagnose celiac disease in people who are already living gluten free. The symptoms that might lead a person to the gluten free diet have many possible explanations.
Food manufacturers and restaurateurs have made fortunes from the so-called “Gluten Free Craze”. We are right to question their motives. However, they have improved the quality of gluten free food, decreased its cost, and made it available nation-wide. They are successful entrepreneurs.
I suggest that you read my article “Is Gluten Free the New Black?“ Yes it is! But it is also a valid and appropriate lifestyle. We can have the best of both!
I’ll write more about this. I first heard the term ‘gluten free’ in 1999 when I first was diagnosed with celiac disease, so I don’t feel concerned about being the victim of any sort of a ‘craze’. However, the craze obviously exists, and bloggers are have a responsibility to help people understand the situation. Please link here to go to the second part of the article.
Finding the ideal restaurant is never an easy task, especially for celiacs and others who live gluten free. Like everyone else, we are looking for a great meal and a wonderful experience, but we are searching for a great meal prepared very specific way. My last article dealt with the judging a restaurant chain — now we must make the most important decision — are the individuals who will be preparing and serving our gluten free meal willing and able to their task? This varies from one location and from one group of restaurant employees to another. Continue Reading
Glutino Foods has recalled their “Rosemary and Olive Oil Snack Crackers” with a use by date of October 26, 2014 because they tested positive for Salmonella.
I have added a “widget” to our sidebar provided by the Food and Drug Administration. It gives constantly-updated information about food recalls. I was surprised to notice how often foods are recalled because food manufacturers fail to list wheat in their ingredients list. I plan to read this list regularly!
“If you are following the fad [by going gluten free]… you are a marketers dream come true…”. The gluten free food industry grew by 44% between 2011 and 2013 and is certainly profitable, but that is not proof that the people who have gone gluten free during that time were duped. Continue Reading
If a celiac’s only problem was avoiding gluten, our lives would be relatively simple. Like everyone else, we must consider calories, fiber, GMO’s, sodium, sugar, as well as whole-grains. I’ve posted information about all these subjects as they apply to people who live gluten free. Continue Reading
Gluten free cooks face the same issues as their wheat-using brothers and sisters. Every cook who respects his “clients’ waist-lines faces the same three issues:
~~~> Definition. Foods with 40 calories per serving or less are defined as low in calories.
~~~> Portion Control. The statement above assumes that you are consuming only one portion (also referred to as one serving). To assure that you are not eating more than you realize, use these charts.
~~~> Gluten Free low calorie recipes. The google search engine indexes more that five million recipes and recipe books as both “gluten free” and “low calorie”. Where should we start????
I have included Amazon’s list of cookbooks and products designated low calorie and gluten free. It is a useful shopping list for shopping at Amazon and/or for finding appropriate product locally.
These 25 restaurants display gluten free menus on their website. Enter the restaurant name in the “google custom search box” that follows this paragraph to see what I have written about them. Keep in mind that the mere existence of a gluten menu does not guarantee that a restaurant is actually ‘safe’ but it is a good first step in the process. Continue Reading
Here’s your list of supermarkets that support America’s gluten free community by providing lists of ‘safe’ foods available in their stores. Some of the store names listed below are not links because some companies sell their food in more than one store chair. For example, if you see the entry ‘Fred Meyer (see Kroger)’ you must click on the Kroger link to get the list that you need. Continue Reading
Every food item manufactured in the United States is required to have a list of ingredients on its wrapper or package. People who live gluten free are cautioned to “read every ingredient label every time” in case the manufacturers have changed the ingredients, which they have every right to do. That’s excellent advice, IF the label reader know which ingredients are toxics and which are safe. Continue Reading
Include these gluten free events and expositions in your travel plansl. Experience excellent gluten free dining, learn more about your lifestyle, and enjoy the company of others who are doing the same. This list displays the event’s dates. The city name is also a link to the website that will provide all the information you need. Continue Reading
A gluten free spring has arrived. This is the season for preparing special food, registering our children for camps that provide gluten free menus, as well as eating safely on vacations and road trips.
2014 is a strange year weather-wise, but some facts about spring never change. Continue Reading
Summer camps are a wonderful experience for children who live gluten free. This is the time of year for families to think about it and make plans. Start with this article about children and their opportunities for a gluten free summer experience.
The typical American eats less than 60% of the necessary dietary fiber. This number is lower for Americans who live gluten free since we can not tolerate the grains that are richest in fiber (barley, rye, and the four types of wheat). Continue Reading
April Fools Day can be fun for people who live gluten free as well as for wheat eaters. (Check out my recent article.) But some food-related deceptions are dangerous and expensive — I’m speaking here about the trickery designed to get us to buy certain products. For example: Continue Reading
These videos increased my understanding of gluten free living but would also help people who are ‘thinking about’ going gluten free.. To view them, click here and then click the button (in the right sidebar) that says “view these videos”. Continue Reading
Can a wheat-eater prepare a gluten free meal? Sure! There are thousands of books that explain exactly what food items are needed and what to do with them. But what about cross contamination? What needs to be done? Is it realistic to expect a wheat-eater to learn new skills and totally rearrange his/her kitchen in order to cook the occasional gluten-free meal? Continue Reading
Celiacs, like all dieters, need to splurge occasionally. But people who live gluten free are unlikely to really enjoy a splurge that will (or even might) result in being ‘glutened’. Here are some suggestions involving the words color, class, and candy.
Lists are wonderful tools for learning which foods are gluten free, how to find them when your shopping, and how to make certain that they are safe for people who live gluten free. There are three kinds of lists:
The Kroger Corporation operates 2424 ‘supermarkets and multi-department stores’ in 31 states. Their stores have a wide variety of gluten free food and their website has all the information you to need to thrive gluten free. The only drawback that that their ‘chains of stores’ operate under at least sixteen names. You may have a Kroger store in your neighborhood without realizing it. There may be more opportunities than you imagined. Continue Reading
Safeway operates almost anywhere in the country. Some stores are referred to as Von’s Supermarkets.
Supermarkets are generally the most economical and convenient places to purchase gluten free food. Most of them publish lists of available gluten free foods , gluten free recipes, as well as information about healthy dining. Most supermarkets are part of large chains and are therefore relatively inexpensive. Continue Reading
“Mardi Gras” is a French term meaning “Fat Tuesday”. Apparently, eating rich food was a lot more ‘respectable’ than it is today. For Mardi Gras-related recipes, click here and/or here and/or here. (The article titles are not important. Just browse until you find a recipe that appeals to you.) Continue Reading
America has never had a President who lived gluten free, but it is interesting to speculate about Presidents Kennedy and Clinton. Click here to read my article on this subject. The article includes thoughts from Dr. Peter Green.
The safety of Omission Beer is a hotly-debated debated. The Celiac Sprue Association has announced that “… Omission Beer has met the stringent requirements for earning the organization’s Recognition Seal.” The problem is that barley malt is an ingredient but that the manufacturer has successfully rendered that ingredient non-toxic and totally harmless. The press release is titled “Celiac Sprue Association Recognizes Omission Recognizes Omission Beer as Risk-Free for Celiacs” Continue Reading
“Health/weight conscious consumers are driving the gluten free market, not celiacs.” 65% of the people who buy gluten free food do so because they consider it more healthy; 27% buy gluten free food because they believe it will help them lose weight. There is no scientific evidence validating either of those conclusions. Click here for more information on this subject.
Ancient grains are those that “have been around, unchanged, for millenniums. ” This does not automatically make them ‘safe’, of course. but people who live gluten free will frequently encounter these somewhat-unfamiliar names and need to know how to resond.
If your hosting a Super Bowl party, keep in mind that (1) some of your guests are more interested in the food and decorations than they are in the game, and (2) there may people who have so much alcohol in their systems that they may ignore your efforts to avoid cross-contamination.