Is Celiac Even More Common Than We First Thought?

New research suggests that celiac disease could be even more common than previously thought. It is currently believed that celiac disease affects around 1 in 100 people but a new Australian study suggests that the number affected could be more like one in 60 Australian women and one in 80 men.

Researchers led by Walter and Eliza Hall and scientists from Barwon Health and Deakin University developed a new kind of diagnosis test to screen for celiac disease. This screening process includes the usual antibody test but also adds a genetic test which looks for two key genetic markets, which are carried by 99.6% of people with celiac disease.

Results of the first study to assess the prevalence of celiac disease in Australians showed that 56% of the population carry one of the two known genetic markers associated with the autoimmune disorder. We must remember however that whilst a huge percentage of the population may have a genetic predisposition to the disease, not everyone will go on to develop it.

More than 2700 people took part in this decade-long study. Initial testing showed that whilst 37% of the people were genetically predisposed to celiac disease, just one person has been diagnosed. On repeat testing a decade later, six more people had been diagnosed; still a very small number compared with the number of people who probably have the disease.

“About one in 40 who carry the genetic markers will go on to develop coeliac disease,” said  gastroenterologist Dr Tye-Din. “There is a lot of coeliac disease out there but a large amount isn’t being picked up by doctors in the community.”

Very interesting research and I look forward to further studies on the prevalence of celiac disease in other countries, including the US. Could the future see a world where one in 60 women and one in 80 men have celiac disease…

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/coeliac-disease-much-more-prevalent-than-thought-study-shows-20130828-2spel.html

Gluten-Free On Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Last week, my absolute favorite restaurant in San Francisco, and maybe even the world, was featured on the Guy Fieri show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

Pica Pica is a 100% gluten-free restaurant with three locations in the Bay Area. Adriana López Vermut and her father, Leopoldo López Gil, started Pica Pica as a way to express their love for Venezuelan cookery and the desire to share their native food with people here in the Bay Area. Their food is spectacular!

Adriana shared with Fieri and his viewers, how some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes are prepared and cooked. He thought the dishes were outstanding and he was right.

After my first arepa, I fell head over heels in love with this wonderful restaurant. The flavors which jump out at every bite are like nothing I’ve tasted before. One of their most popular dishes, the Arepa Pabellón, is a grilled corn pocket filled with shredded beef, sweet plantains, black beans and quasi fresco. My mouth is watering as I write this!

It’s always exciting to see gluten-free companies and restaurants featured on popular TV shows as it helps to raise awareness of celiac disease and gluten-free eating. Pica Pica is the perfect example of a restaurant which not only caters but cares about the gluten-free community. Everything on their menu and in their kitchen is 100% gluten-free and many of their goodies are also dairy free. It also shows that gluten-free definitely doesn’t have to mean taste-free. Gluten-free can be wonderful!

To find out more about Pica Pica, check out their website or visit one of their Bay Area locations.

http://www.picapica.com/

Post authored by Laura (Gluten Free Traveller) http://glutenfreetraveller.com/

Consumer Reaction to FDA’s Definition of Gluten-Free in Food Labeling

News of the FDA defining gluten-free in food labeling has received a lot of media play since it was announced earlier this month.

For those of you who may have missed it, the net net is that the US Food and Drug Administration published a new regulation which defines the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling. This provides a uniform standard to help the roughly 3 million Americans who have celiac disease. The full announcement can be found here.

The FDA requires that, in order to use the term “gluten-free” on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”

Consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. However, 20PPM is still a real health risk for those with acute gluten allergies. Consumers are also asking how the FDA will regulate those 20PPM. Will every product be consistently checked for gluten? Are products allowed to be made in a non-dedicated gluten-free facility and still earn the gluten-free label?

Here at Triumph Dining we’re excited about the move forward by the FDA. What are your thoughts?

Add Whoopie Pies to List of Delectable Gluten-Free Goodies!

533979_465523490184379_1655917906_nThere seems to be no better impetus towards delicious gluten-free baked goods than a mother’s effort towards normalcy for her child. That’s how Hannah Balliet developed her gluten-free whoopie pies that earned her a spot on Lifetime’s cooking competition, “Supermarket Stars.”

Balliet’s son was diagnosed with a disorder similar to Tourette syndrome, resulting in facial tics that were relieved by muscle relaxants prescribed by his doctors. Unfortunately, the medication left her young son very lethargic, hindering his ability to act like an average first-grader. Balliet then began experimenting with a gluten-free diet, both for her son’s disorder and her own symptoms of lupus. Fortunately, after just a few weeks, she, herself, was less achy, while her son’s facial tics completely disappeared, encouraging her and her son to stay on the gluten-free diet.

The only hiccup to their new diet was the lack of gluten-free goodie options that were close to their gluten-filled counterparts. All the products seemed too dense or crumbly, and her son was embarrassed to bring gluten-free products into his classmates for his birthday. Balliet then came up with the idea to experiment with a gluten-free treat that kids may not have tried before. Instead of trying to make a gluten-free cake, brownie, or cookie that kids would scrutinize as compared to the gluten-filled version, Balliet started experimenting with whoopie pie recipes because they are so unique, and many eight year-olds may not have tried them before. Click to continue reading »

Squat and Gobble Gluten-Free Crepe Contest

If you live in San Francisco, you’ve probably heard of Squat and Gobble. They are a chain with five locations across the city.

Squat and Gobble sell lots of gluten-containing dishes such as crepes, burgers and sandwiches so they aren’t known to be the most celiac friendly of restaurants, although they do offer some gluten-free items on both lunch and dinner menus.

Known best for it’s savory and dessert crepes, Squat and Gobble are sponsoring a recipe contest for customers to create a fantastic gluten-free crepe which they can use across all of their stores.

Applicants are encouraged to use whichever filling they like in their crepe but chefs would like a fantastic, great tasting gluten-free crepe that can be used with all of the restaurants crepe fillings.

If you’re interested, check out out the rules on the Squat and Gobble website. The winner will receive $300 and dinner for two once a month for an entire year.

Happy Crepe Making!

http://www.squatandgobble.com/about/glutenfreecrepe

Celiac Disease Center Opens on Long Island

stony-brook-childrens-300x130Long Island’s Stony Brook Children’s Hospital has opened a new Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Center. They specialize in diagnosing and treating children who suffer from celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.

The team is led by pediatric gastroenterologists and also includes highly trained nurse practitioners and a registered dietician. Having all of these people with years or expertise and experience of treating children with celiac disease in the one place makes it greatly accessible for patients. In this facility, patients and their families can receive help with diagnosis, treatment, management and support during the often challenging transition to a strict gluten-free diet. Click to continue reading »

Glutino Keeps the Gluten-Free Goodies Coming!

Instant-Pancake-MixGlutino products come to the rescue again for the gluten intolerant and celiacs alike with the release of a gluten-free pancake mix! Their new instant mix is packaged in a portable bottle, only requiring the addition of water to make a quick, easy, delicious and SAFE gluten-free breakfast!

Glutino’s motto is to “live fully” with a life free from “can’t” and “don’t.” Their products strive to provide safe meal options to people living a gluten-free lifestyle, whatever their reason is for cutting out the gluten. Their facilities are dedicated to staying gluten-free, so that no celiac has to worry about possible cross contaminants or dangerous additives. Moreover, most of their Gluten-Free Pantry mixes and all of their premium breads are dairy and casein free as well, which is a common problem among the gluten intolerant. Click to continue reading »

Tim Hortons Introduces Gluten-Free Options

timmiesWhen I lived in Toronto back in 2005, I fell in love with Tim Hortons. I couldn’t get enough of their Ice Capps and Timbits. I wasn’t gluten-free back then so I was able to enjoy all the gluten-filled goodies they had to offer!

I haven’t eaten at Tim Hortons since being diagnosed with celiac disease so I was very excited to read that they have recently introduced a gluten-free item to their menu, a coconut macaroon! The Macaroon is certified through the Canadian Celiac Association Certification Program. The CCA’s trademark assures Canadians with celiac disease and gluten intolerance that products are safe to consume. Click to continue reading »

Nine Year Old Celiac Dines at the White House

US-WhiteHouse-LogoWe love sharing happy news about fellow celiacs here at Triumph Dining. We were very excited to hear that Ingrid Gruber, a 9-year-old with celiac disease, was one of 54 children who were welcomed to the White House this week to have dinner with First Lady Michelle Obama.

These 54 children between the ages of eight and twelve won the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a national recipe contest. More than 1,300 children from across the United States entered this contest, each submitting original, healthy and delicious recipe. One winner was then chosen from each state, DC and three U.S. territories. Click to continue reading »

Jamie Oliver Chain Fined After Making Celiac Sick

jamie-s-italianHave you ever eaten at a restaurant claiming to have “gluten-free” options and been terribly ill only to later discover your meal wasn’t gluten-free at all?

This has to be a celiacs worst nightmare and unfortunately it was a reality for 38 year old Kristy Richardson, from Portsmouth in the UK. Kristy was eating at one of Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurants where she told three staff members she required a gluten-free pasta dish and was assured this could be provided. Instead, she was given ordinary, wheat pasta and became violently sick for hours after eating the meal.

A legal battle followed the incident with the restaurant chain pleading guilty to selling food not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by a purchaser, a breach of the Food Safety Act. The lawyer acting for Jamie’s chain said that staff thought she had ordered a vegetarian, rather than a gluten-free and vegetarian option?!?

The chain’s lawyer said “Jamie’s Italian sincerely apologizes that it has fallen short of its food safety obligations…It takes this extremely seriously. It is a matter of very sincere regret to the company that any customer should suffer illness as a result of any meal served by us.” Click to continue reading »