Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sensitive to Gluten?

What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, contaminated oats, and a multitude of other products. It is also a food additive found in everything from ketchup to pharmaceuticals.

What is Celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects 1 in every 133 people in the U.S. 97% of those with Celiac disease go undiagnosed. It is more prevalent in certain populations, particularly in people of Northern European descent, and to have celiac disease, you must carry the gene for it.

Who should care about gluten?
Millions suffer from allergies and gluten intolerance, which can result in medical reactions ranging from temporary discomfort to high cholestrol, depression, arthritis, and Celiac disease.

Is gluten mentioned on food labels?
Not always. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified gluten as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe). Requirements for proper labeling are currently being formulated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Some hidden sources of gluten are:  imitation bacon bits, beer, blue cheese, brown rice syrup, cereals, coffees, communion wafers, croutons, dairy substitutes, deli meats, fried foods, gravies, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) and (HPP), imitation seafood, licorice, marinades, salad dressings, seasonings and spices, soy sauce, soup bases, beauty products, stamp and envelope adhesive, Play-Doh, prescription drugs and over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements.

Some Gluten-free foods:  Amaranth, Arrowroot, Artichoke (dried and ground as flour), chickpea flour, garfava flour (chickpea and fava bean blend), Kettle chips, lentil flour, soy flour, buckwheat, corn, flax meal, millet, nut flours, potato flour, Quinoa, Rice, Tapioca, Sorghum, Teff.

Rule of Thumb:  The closer a food is to its natural state, the more likely it is to be gluten-free. Processed foods often include hidden glutens.

Whether you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or a basic desire to live a healthier life, you may want to view the following:
  • "The G Free Diet" by Elisabeth Hasselbeck
  • "Recipes for IBS" by Ashley Koff
  • G-Free forum

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