Monthly Archives: January 2013

Inadequate Follow-up After Celiac Diagnosis

 

Celiac followup doctor appointmentIf you’re ‘lucky’ to have had an official celiac diagnosis, do you feel as though you have received adequate follow-up from your doctor?

Follow-up care is important for testing for t-TG antibodies, ensuring vitamin and mineral levels are normal and anything that tested abnormally prior to diagnosis has gone back within the normal range. It’s also important to ensure that patients are sticking to and coping with their strict gluten free diet. Recent research suggests that the follow-up care celiac patients are receiving is often inadequate and inconsistent.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota collected data on 122 patients with biopsy diagnosed celiac disease between 1996 and 2006 to look at what kind of follow-up, if at all, they received between 6 months and 5 years after diagnosis. Patients were classified according to how the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) categorizes follow-up procedures.

From 1 to 5 years after diagnosis, the number of people receiving follow-up appointments decreased each year. Of the 113 patients who Click to continue reading »

Is Your Gluten-Free Lifestyle a Disability?

Though I wasn’t diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity until halfway through college, I remember actively NOT participating in a meal program at my university because of my allergy. I knew that one of the major draws of the dining hall lifestyle included smuggling bagels in paper towels for the following morning’s breakfast, or grabbing one (or three) extra cookies for the road. I was “getting my money’s worth.” But being relegated to an untrustworthy salad bar and questionable hot food changed my view of unlimited buffet dinners. I felt the suspect dining halls were not worth the health risk, and embraced a more “grown up” grocery shopping lifestyle instead.

 

Gluten Free Dining Options

 

Interestingly and recently, however, college students decided to speak out about their limited options at full price. Students at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts expressed their discontent with a required meal plan that could not sufficiently meet their gluten-free needs. In an inspiring gesture of support, the Department of Justice came to determine that these gluten-free students are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, arguing that the insufficient meal plan was “preventing people from eating,” which in turn prevented “them from accessing their educational program,” as advocated by a member of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, Eve Hill.

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No Evidence That Gluten-Free Benefits Everyone

 

We have seen celebrity after celebrity going gluten free for the purposes of losing weight recently and it’s driving a lot of us who need to keep to a strict gluten free diet for serious medical reasons pretty nuts!

For this reason it’s nice to get back up from researchers that there really is no evidence that a gluten free diet would benefit the general population who don’t suffer from health issues related to eating gluten or wheat.

Arizona State University professor Dr. Glenn Gaesser is an exercise physiologist and advisory board chairman of Grain Foods Foundation. He says that there is no evidence at all that a gluten free diet is effective for weight loss and it may even lead to weight gain as a result of eating gluten Click to continue reading »

Is Movie Theater Popcorn a Gluten-free Go or a Gluten-filled No?

Popcorn is one of the easiest and fastest gluten-free snacks. It’s a mainstream product that is delicious and almost synonymous with movie-going, which is popular now as Oscar season approaches. Unfortunately, however, as with most commercial products, gluten-free goods that are packaged and processed can often lay victim to gluten contamination. One of the biggest questions I have faced is whether or not movie theater popcorn, that buttery, irresistible snack, is gluten-free.

Gluten Free Movie Theater popcorn

After doing some research, I found this article that summarizes the major movie theaters and their response to whether or not their popcorn is gluten-free. In short, the verdict seems to indicate that the popcorn itself is gluten-free, but the butter on the popcorn (which is increasingly an optional addition) is gluten-filled (thus contaminating the whole product). As with all things, it is important to follow your own reaction to whether or not the popcorn is gluten-free. Additionally, theater chains can vary from city to city. So although an AMC in one part of the country may still use butter with gluten, your local AMC may be keener to the gluten-free demands of their audience. Reassuringly, most movie theaters use commercial products that are subject to product labeling, which you can look at to determine whether or not the popcorn is a go!

If you’re craving popcorn, and don’t trust the microwave kind either (some celiacs are sensitive to all packaged products that are not manufactured in gluten-free facilities), try popping your own from the whole kernels! Just heat ½ cup of kernels with 2-3 tablespoons of oil (like canola or olive) over medium heat. You can sprinkle on Click to continue reading »

Jovial Gluten Free Cookies | Triumph Dining Product Review

Today we bring news of some fantastic gluten-free cookies created and baked in Italy, and available right here in the United States.

Jovial Gluten Free Cookies

Jovial are the makers of these cookies, which are baked in the Veneto region of Italy by a family-owned bakery. The cookies are produced in small batches and the ingredients mixed by hand.

They are available in three flavors: Fig Fruit Filled, Chocolate Vanilla Cream and Chocolate Cream. The latter was preferred most by our tasters for its crunchy chocolaty exterior and Italian hazelnut chocolate cream filling. Yum!

Jovial’s gluten-free products are baked on dedicated gluten-free equipment and on separate production days to avoid cross contamination. Each batch is tested for less than 10ppm and is Click to continue reading »

Winter Fancy Foods Show

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in San Francisco. Blue skies. Temperatures in the 60s. No wind. There was no lack of fun things to do in the city this day and so I spent a few hours at the Winter Fancy Foods show scouting out new gluten-free products. To set the stage, there are 1,300 exhibitors and the c0-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods gives the keynote. This is a big show.

photo (21)

We ran into some old friends, as you can see from this picture. But we also came across some products that will soon be our new best friends. Some sauces. Some baking mixes. A whole lot of snacks. I can’t wait to share our findings with you in future blog posts.

Enjoy your holiday and come back tomorrow for a new product review!

Real Foods Corn Thins

One of my close friends is Australian and her food picks are always spot on. So while she didn’t bring Corn Thins to my attention, they got some decent mindshare since they are Australian-made. What exactly are Corn Thins? They’re a natural, low-fat crispbread made from popped corn. And even though they’re made in Australia, they’re widely available at retailers in the US and beyond.

cornthins

This taste test took place during a break at a dance competition where I happened to have access to hungry kids and gluten-free ones, too. The company’s Tasty Cheese Flavor disappeared before everyone got a taste — a very good sign. The Original Flavor was next to disappear. They also come in Organic Flax & Soy, BBQ, Cracked Pepper & Lemon, Sesame, Sun Dried Tomato & Feta, Multigrain, and Sour Cream & Chives. Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Ski Snacks

It’s that time of the year again where winter sports fans across the country are glued to the weather forecast hoping for snow. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding or sledding that has your heart racing at the first snowflake, you’ll need plenty of gluten-free energy for hitting the slopes.

skiing Click to continue reading »

Rice Bran Could Make Gluten Free Bread More Nutritional

 

Many gluten-free consumers are searching for gluten-free products high in nutritional value. Just because we can no longer eat gluten doesn’t mean we are no longer interested in eating nutritional food.

Gluten free breads are traditionally of lower nutritional quality that ‘normal’ gluten-containing breads. Researchers are working on ways of improving this and providing both highly nutritional and great-tasting alternatives to the gluten-free community.

NutraCea recently announced that its stabilized rice bran has been highlighted in new research published in The Journal of Cereal Science on the potential benefits of rice bran-enhanced, gluten-free bread.

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Wholesome Chow Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

Baking your own gluten-free creation from scratch can be fun when you have the time but sometimes what you need is a quick way to bake a delicious gluten-free cake.

Whether you want a gluten-free cake for a friend’s birthday, a holiday celebration or simply because you fancy treating yourself, Wholesome Chow baking mixes are a great choice for gluten-free folks.

The entire line is certified organic, gluten free and vegan. Flavors include All-Purpose Baking Mix, Vanilla Cake Mix, Chocolate Cake Mix, Lavender Cake Mix, Chai Spice Cake Mix, Chocolate Lavender Cake Mix and Vanilla Frosting Mix.

wholesome chow

Often, when you can’t eat gluten you are also forced to remove specific foods from your diet. These baking mixes are particularly great for people with multiple food allergies because the entire Wholesome Chow product line is produced in a dedicated facility devoid of gluten, wheat, casein, dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy and tree nuts. Click to continue reading »