Djokovic may have Gluten-free Diet to Thank for Tennis Wins

Photo from wsj.com / Reuters
If you follow tennis, you may have heard of a fellow by the name of Novak Djokovic.

If not, let me fill you in: Serbian, just turned 24, kind of a big deal breakout tennis superstar.

Djokovic’s been having a record season: 37-0. No one has enjoyed a winning streak like that since 1984. Djokovic’s beaten Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer multiple times, and the Wall Street Journal casually referred to him as the best athlete of 2011.

Clearly he wasn’t a bad tennis player before, but no one expected wins like this. So what could explain the turnaround?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s the tennis pro’s new gluten-free diet.
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UK Sets Gluten-free Rules for Caterers

The UK has us beat in a few respects when it comes to gluten-free awareness and options. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – the world is a small place, information travels, and we’re certainly not in a competition.

So, in the spirit of sharing information, I’m pleased to share this nifty flow chart that Britain’s Food Standards Agency has created. The chart is designed to help caterers, and is linked to a detailed set of standards designed to protect celiacs (or, better said, coeliacs).
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New Study Examines Financial Impact of Celiac Disease in Mediterranean

Celiac on the Mediterranean, still a nice view...
They say that 43% of all statistics are made up (ha). Still, I love me some good data, so I was excited to see the preliminary draft of, “The Burden of Celiac Disease in the Mediterranean Area.”

Celiac.com has a partial overview of the report, and points out that (surprise!) there are more celiacs in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. At this point, that can’t be terribly shocking to anyone who follows celiac news: we’re really everywhere, we celiacs are. But the report went deeper.
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Heinz Convinces US Gov to Overturn Gluten-free Italian Pasta Import Tax

An interesting piece of news flitted across my screen the other day. The US decided to revoke the countervailing duty (CVD) on a certain type of Italian pasta: gluten-free. The change in rules came at the request of Heinz.

Obviously, my first thought was, “pasta!” I’m not actually the biggest fan of pasta, but still. Sometimes a girl’s got an itch that only a big bowl of spirals with tomato sauce and cheese can scratch. And more choices is certainly never a bad thing.

My second thought was, “huh?” Why would Heinz care enough about my access to gluten-free pasta to petition the government on my behalf? I put on my sleuthing hat and found the answer.
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Celiac Around the World: Delhi’s First Gluten-free Restaurant!

Back in March, Caty wrote a post about gluten intolerance in India. Evidence suggests that the rate of celiac disease is increasing, particularly in the north of the country. These increased rates, some doctors speculate, could be thanks to more “modern” strains of wheat being introduced to the local diet.

Causation aside, it seems that India’s celiac population is a fact – and a growing fact at that. How do I know? Simple. Delhi’s got a new gluten-free restaurant.
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