More people are becoming aware that perhaps the beloved hamburger bun may actually be contributing to their health problems,
the gluten in it, that is.
Up until recently it was thought that only a small segment of the population could not digest gluten since they had celiac disease. However, due to a recent study, those with celiac disease may be just a small segment of those who must follow a gluten free diet for health reasons. Gluten Sensitivity is actually a separate condition which many more people suffer from unknowingly.
“The prevailing problem is that many Americans simply may not realize they are gluten intolerant/sensitive, or they may be ignoring signs and symptoms,” David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel, said in a press release. “While food companies may be overdoing it unnecessarily with gluten-free label claims that are appearing on everything from tomato sauce to scallops, the message is getting out and it’s likely that many more consumers will engage in the sector, both for foods eaten at home and at restaurants.”
As someone who has a family of gluten sensitive and celiac people, I don’t think food companies are over doing it at all.
I like to know if something is gluten free.
One of the stores I shop at make a point of having their store brands say gluten free or have an allergen free label for other areas like dairy. It makes shopping a lot easier, I always pick the one with the gluten free label on it even though it is right beside a similar product with the same ingredients. It just gives me more peace of mind. Reading the labels is one thing, but sometimes that can have little effect on cross contamination.
While sourcing ingredients for one of our blends containing all naturally gluten free seeds and grains for Astoria Mills gluten free mixes; I thought that would be easy. But due to our desire to keep mixes under 5ppm this particular mix was the hardest to source ingredients for due to many current milling operations which don’t take gluten sensitivity into consideration enough to avoid cross contamination issues.
According to recent reports by Amy C. Brown of the Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii and Dr. Alessio Fasano, Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Director, Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland Medical Center; Gluten Sensitivity (or Intolerance) has been recently found to be a separate condition from Celiac Disease, which is an Autoimmune disorder or Wheat Allergy.
Studies at the University of Hawaii are endeavoring to shed more light on what people with unexplained symptoms are experiencing. Since gluten sensitivity can mimic so many other health issues and people are sometimes not being able to obtain a clear diagnosis it is important that more health professionals and individuals themselves become aware of what might be causing their problems. This is not to say that everyone should be on a gluten free diet, it is not something we would wish on anyone. But when a gluten free diet is the only help, thank goodness there are more food choices becoming available, and food companies who are listening.
Since no clear diagnosis testing is currently available for Gluten Sensitivity, like what is available for Celiac Disease, many people have been confused about what was actually making them feel ill. Because so much information has been more recently available about the role of gluten in the diet, many people have taken themselves off gluten in what is called “A Gluten Challenge” in the hopes that unexplained symptoms would be alleviated. Many times, they feel better. They are on a road to recovery that can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years, depending on the severity of symptoms and the level of gluten freedom exercised.
Doctors up until recently, according to Dr. Fasano, thought celiac or those having adverse reactions to gluten fit the profile of someone who looks emaciated. Now it is realized that even seemingly obese, just plump, or normal weight people may be gluten sensitive so doctors are more often advising the elimination of gluten to see if this could be the cause of unexplained symptoms.
Patients with gluten sensitivity have unfortunately experience delayed diagnosis, since for them, consuming gluten often mimics other conditions. Maybe they are just bloated, or sleepy or feeling bad, any of which can be ignored or attributed to something else until symptoms worsen when continuing to consume gluten.
For anyone who has ‘been there’, cutting out gluten for a short time is not bad, a lifetime, can be more difficult and demands an entire lifestyle change. Fortunately there is good news since there are more and more food choices that are gluten free.
According to Amy C. Brown, “This emerging medical problem may involve human genetics,
plant genetic modifications, gluten as a food additive, environmental toxins, hormonal influences, intestinal infections and autoimmune diseases”.
Listening to a talk given by Dr. Fasano in September 2011 at the Buffalo Gluten Freedom Day, he mentioned that, “The medical community is searching for answers and as yet no clear cause has been found.”
Whatever the ’cause’ the treatment at present is a gluten-free diet.
As Dr. Fasano also stated during his talk, “People with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease are actually some of the lucky ones, they don’t need medications, just a change in diet.”
Here is what I like to focus on, all of the good foods we can eat! Feeling good and enjoying cooking and baking with family.
Would you like to know how to make my favorite Artisan Brown Bread, (some slices pictured above) full of fiber, nutritious sprouted flax seeds, sprouted chia seeds and sweet potato flour?
Yummy… Slices of bread and butter, now that is a little bit of heaven.
Life is good on a gluten free diet!