I've written about Celiac before, I've even written some hubs on gluten free recipes...but sometimes things change and new products appear. Celiacs continue the never ending quest for good, gluten free food. For those new to celiac, Celiac Disease is also called celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Another fact you may or may not know, gluten is the protein that makes bread rise. It also keeps bread from falling apart and adds to it's flavor. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley. According to theultimateglutenfree.com, "the “gluten” protein in wheat is actually a complex mixture of over 100 closely-related proteins".
Of course, as most celiac's know bread is not the only food containing gluten. If you start looking at labels you'll find that just about everything contains gluten and that's not just food; from medicine to postage stamps, there's gluten!
Udi's Whole Grain Bread
|Serving size: 2 0z|
|Calories from Fat||36|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 4 g||6%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 22 g||7%|
|Sugar 2 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 3 g||6%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Gluten Free Products; Newer Ones on the Market
One of the greatest gluten free products to hit the market certainly has to be gluten free Bisquick. I don't know about you, but before I had celiac I used Bisquick frequently. The nice thing about this gluten free product is all the things you can make with it without having to add Xanthan gum or two or three different types of flour, they are already there. The ingredients for the Gluten-Free Bisquick are: Rice Flour, Sugar, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Modified Potato Starch, Salt, Xanthan Gum.
Now you can make pizza crust, and pancakes! Be careful though, not all of your old recipes with Bisquick will work with GF Bisquick as there is no shortening in GF Bisquick like there is in regular Bisquick.
Another great, fairly new product is King Arthur's gluten free flour. I used this flour to make the pop-over recipe on the box and thought I was in heaven. The pop-overs were extraordinarily good! I also used the biscuit recipe on the box to make dumplings and everyone loved them...even those who aren't on GF diets. This flour, according to kingarthurflour.com is a blend of white rice and whole-grain (brown) rice flours, tapioca starch, and potato starch.
I mentioned Udi's white bread in my former hub but since then Udi's has come out with a Whole Grain Bread...you read that right, a GF WHOLE GRAIN bread! Unbelievable, and good too. Udi's bread is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and nut free! Udisglutenfree.com often has special offers, like a $1.00 off coupon on any Udi's product. Of course, like all GF products a loaf of Udi's bread is not cheap (neither is GF Bisquick) but we are over the proverbial barrel. If we want to eat well and we want it to taste good, we have to pay the price! Just FYI, Udi's is manufactured in Denver, Colorado. (Turkey time...stuffing could be made with Udi's bread...just saying.)
If you live in Canada, I just read that Pizza 73 with 72 locations in Canada has just added a gluten free menu with four new pizzas!! Dominio's Pizza began offering GF pizza in the US several months ago and is now offering it in the UK.
Shopping for Gluten Free Foods
Gluten Free: What's happening in Politics and Research
If you have Celiac Disease or are on a strict gluten free diet for any other health reason you must know there are many medications on the market that contain gluten. Well, Representative Timothy Ryan has proposed a bill, H.R. 4972: Gluten in Medicine Identification Act of 2012 that amends the current Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to include a statement identifying any 'gluten' ingredient, or any ingredient derived from, a grain or starch-containing ingredient. Right now you know it may be in your medication but not all medications' labels list gluten. It seems Rep. Ryan's action was prompted by a Mayo Clinic study that found Celiac Disease has increased four times in the last decade.
This bill was introduced in April 2012 and sent to committee but nothing else has happened as it waits in committee. The Bill is endorsed by: Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, American Celiac Disease Alliance, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and Celiac Disease Foundation. Good luck to this bill, it would be a great help!
Another political move of interest is a petition that was filed on the "We the People" website requesting a standard definition of "gluten-free". Apparently the petition was filed by Jennifer Iscol, President of the Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California and now has the required 25,000 signatures. With that amount of signatures, the White House must answer the petition. This would finely provide a 'standard' of what gluten free is exactly and others would then know when referring to it on labels, and in general. Different people have different perceptions of gluten and what gluten free actually is. Making something in a kitchen with wheat containing products does not qualify something as gluten free.
On to Research; researchers are working on a drug that will detoxify gluten before it reaches the intestine....not a cure but something that would make gluten tolerable. Research continues on trying to get a better understanding of celiac itself.
There are cosmetic companies 'deleting' gluten from their products, and others that will provide you with a list of products containing gluten.
Research continues on the possible link between Celiac Disease and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It seems there is a higher incidence of celiac among those tested, who have ADHD. However it also seems some of the studies only contain small amounts of subjects so their validity is in question. However, this area of research continues and hopefully further studies will be more conclusive. Research has further shown a gluten free diet may help some children with a certain type of autism, ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Apparently children with this diagnosis also have gastrointestinal issues and it is now believed the cause could be gluten.
What about those people going to GF to lose weight? Well, according to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in a paper, "Gluten-Free Diet: Imprudent Dietary Advice for the General Population?" authored by Arizona State University professor and researcher, Glenn Gaesser, PhD, many gluten free products actually contain more sugar than their gluten containing alternatives....no weight loss there!
One last point before I leave you, celiac is hereditary so family members should be tested, especially since the symptoms of celiac often go unnoticed or misdiagnosed.
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If you want to keep up-to-date on what's happening with gluten free products and/or celiac disease there are many organizations now listed on the Internet;
American Celiac Disease Alliance
American Celiac Society
Celiac Disease Foundation
Celia Sprue Association
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids
Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
For those of us with Celiac Disease it is a never ending battle to stay gluten-free and try to eat well. Fruits and vegetables are acceptable but if you're like me, you miss your bread products...new foods are being introduced almost daily and more and more restaurants are offering gluten-free items on their menus.
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