Gluten Free Labeling-How to Sift Through the MessTuesday, February 07, 2012
Here's another great, informative article from Better Nutrition's magazine. The more I read the magazine, the better I am loving it. It's full of useful information that can help you lead your life towards, you guessed it, better nutrition!
This article deals with guidelines on gluten free labeling and how to sift through the insanity that is food product labels! I promise, this article will help you and it does get better (just like anything, going gluten free is a learning process, but your health is SO worth it!).
Also, there's an added bonus of a recipe at the end of this article! Banana walnut pancakes! I haven't tried them, but ohh they sound yummy!!
Sure, the package says gluten free, but what does that really mean?
- Look for products certified by celiac organizations. The Celiac Sprue Association, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness/Quality Assurance International, and the Gluten Intolerance Group certify foods that test below 5 or 10 ppm—much stricter standards than the FDA's. For details, see www.csaceliacs.info; www.qai-inc.com; www.gfco.org; and www.celiaccentral.org.
- Understand that “gluten-free” doesn’t mean eat with abandon. Though most manufacturers are adhering to the FDA’s proposed guidelines, that still means that foods labeled “gluten-free” could contain up to 20 ppm gluten. If sensitive people eat several such foods throughout the day, the cumulative effect could be too much for them and make them sick.
To err on the side of caution, limit gluten-free packaged foods, and pick and choose the ones you buy carefully.
- Watch out for gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that nine out of 22 inherently gluten-free products, such as corn and millet, contained mean levels of gluten from 8.5—2,925 ppm. And 32 percent of naturally gluten-free grains and flours contained gluten in amounts greater than 20 ppm. Given these findings, the article concluded that “gluten contamination of inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours is a legitimate concern.” To protect yourself, look for products that are processed in dedicated gluten-free facilities and batch tested for gluten.
- Focus your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables and unprocessed meat and fish. These naturally gluten-free foods are the best ways to completely avoid unwanted gluten.Melissa Diane Smith, a nutritionist who specializes in personalizing the gluten-free diet, offers long-distance telephone counseling and coaching services to clients internationally. She is the author of Going Against the Grain and Gluten Free Throughout the Year: A Two-Year, Month-to-Month Guide for Healthy Eating. To learn about her online Going Against the Grain Group or her free newsletter, visit againstthegrainnutrition.com. For info about her books and her long-distance consultations and nutrition coaching programs, visit melissadianesmith.com.
Banana Walnut PancakesMakes 10 Pancakes
On a cold weekend morning, warm yourself up with these hearty, grain-free, sugar-free pancakes. Serve plain; with extra walnuts and mashed bananas; or with organic butter, a dab of pure maple syrup, and cinnamon. Add gluten-free pork or turkey sausage to the meal to make a brunch.
- Mix eggs, banana, almond milk, and vanilla together in medium bowl. In separate bowl, mix almond flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Combine dry ingredients with wet. Finely mince walnuts, and mix them into batter.
- Heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Drop slightly less than ¼ cup batter into pan, and spread batter slightly for each pancake. Flip pancakes when bottoms have browned, about 3—4 minutes, and cook 1—2 minutes more, until desired doneness. Add more oil to pan, and repeat with remaining batter.