Is a gluten-free diet good for everyone?
Not always – for most people gluten isn’t harmful, so foregoing gluten when you don’t have to and you don’t have a problem digesting or processing it, isn’t always going to help you – unfortunately, some gluten-free products lack some of the the enriched nutrients found in regular breads and cereals and you will need to make sure you supplement what you are missing out on. If you think you are automatically going to lose weight on a gluten free diet – think again, switching out a carb for a carb is still a carb, and some gluten-free products tend to be a little bit higher in fats and sugars. Healthier options are still whole all natural foods – fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy grains.
According to U.S. News and World Report estimates, nearly 15 to 25 percent of consumers report looking for gluten-free products. Continuing growth in the gluten-free food industry is expected to continue, reaching $6 billion by 2015
How rare is gluten is celiac disease?
Celiac disease affects 1 in 133 people, approximately 1% of the population are suffering from celiac disease.
Burden of disease over four-year period per patient:
(Source: Long et al, 2010) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2906636/
It takes an average of 6-10 years for a person to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
What are the differences in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity?
Gluten sensitive people cannot tolerate gluten and experience symptoms similar to those with celiac disease, but they do not have the same antibodies and damage to the villi of the small intestine as seen in celiac disease; so they experience minimal intestinal damage and this goes away with a gluten-free diet.
What does Gluten Free on the label mean in Canada?
In Canada, labels for food products sold here will have to carry clear identification of priority allergens, gluten and added sulfites at a level greater than 10 ppm to be safe is to contact the company and ask if their product is gluten-free according to the Canadian Celiac Association. More information can be found here.
If it doesn’t list gluten on the label does it mean that it is Gluten Free?
Not necessarily, there could be contamination during processing, use of raw materials etc. The best way to know for sure is to contact the company and ask if the product is gluten-free.
Where can i find a list of foods that I can eat?
This is a list developed by the Celiac Disease foundation
*Disclosure – although I have been compensated to write this post, all opinions stated are my own.