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Friday, September 7, 2012

12 Ways to Eat Gluten-Free on the Road

With millions of Americans dealing with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, Karen Broussard saw a need and started the website Eating gluten-free on the road can be challenging, Broussard says, but strategies she recommends including calling ahead to restaurants, reaching out to local support groups, carrying an informational card explaining your dietary needs and booking a room with a kitchen to allow for eating in.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chefs find economical ways to go gluten-free

Chefs around the country are realizing that catering to gluten-free patrons can significantly boost their bottom line. Chef R.L. Boyd of Washington, D.C.,'s Mie N Yu restaurant experiments with gluten-free ingredients and has specific protocol in place to keep consumers safe and food prices in check.

Celiac disease diagnosis sends baker in a new direction

Not long after baker and food magazine editor Nancy Brown began a gluten-free diet to treat her celiac disease, she took on the challenge of finding ways to make gluten-free cookies and pastries light and fluffy without using wheat-based flour. She worked with flours made from ground rice and sorghum, researched how to improve texture and developed four types of gluten-free flours she uses in her bakery goods, which she sells at her new company

Friday, August 31, 2012

Gene testing can bring clarity to gluten disorders, expert says

There is growing confusion over terminology that defines celiac disease, which could lead to mismanagement of patients, says Dr. Rivkah Roth, a celiac disease specialist. She says genetic testing allows her to use the more precise terms "non-celiac" and "celiac gluten sensitivity" for patients, and she stresses that a genetic predisposition to illness does not mean disease will develop. "A 100% gluten-free diet and lifestyle allows for avoidance, control, and perhaps even reversal of a complex web of interrelated autoimmune-based conditions and disorders, both for non-celiac and for celiac gluten sensitivity related disorders," Roth writes.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Neb. woman turns celiac diagnosis into career path

This year Beckee Moreland of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated with friends the 20th anniversary of her celiac disease diagnosis, a day when she says her life started to get better. She now works as a market expert with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, consults with the food industry and restaurants about gluten-free eating, and helps raise awareness for people who cannot eat gluten for medical reasons.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Canadian Government Grant Will Help Companies Develop GF Products

In an effort to promote the production of safe, reliable GF food products, the Canadian Government has announced a $245,000 grant that will help the Canadian Celiac Association partner with ExcelGrains Canada, the Packaging Association of Canada and the Canadian Health Food Association to develop specific controls and the supporting tools for each of their existing food safety systems.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Study finds most people with celiac disease are white

Researchers who studied about 7,800 people found that 35 had celiac disease, and just six were not white, according to a report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. About 1% of non-Hispanic whites -- or 2 million people -- in the U.S. have celiac disease, and many are not aware of it. Study author Dr. James Everhart of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said the data "confirmed the clinical suspicion that this is largely a condition found among non-Hispanic whites in this country."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Awareness, testing lead to more celiac diagnoses, doctors say

Both the prevalence and the diagnosis rate of celiac disease are up, though millions of Americans have undiagnosed celiac disease, experts say. Gastroenterologist Dr. James Wood of Altru Health System in Grand Forks, N.D., said there likely is a genetic component to celiac disease that combines with environmental factors to trigger a gluten reaction. Celiac symptoms can be attributed to many conditions, and people should avoid self-diagnosis, says Dr. Alberto Rubio-Tapia, an assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Should you be eating a gluten-free diet? Dietitian recommends resources for gluten-free living

According to research published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, many people who have celiac disease don't know it. For those who have been diagnosed, there are various products and resources, including books and mobile applications, available to ease the transition to gluten-free living, writes Boston University registered dietitian Joan Salge Blake.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New England celiac group offers support, raises awareness

Healthy Villi is a support and advocacy group for New England’s celiac patient community, meeting monthly to offer members tips on foods, restaurants and shopping, and to share their experience of living gluten-free. The group is raising awareness of celiac disease and is planning a gluten-free expo in October featuring 85 vendors plus educational workshops.

Grains explained: Not all flours are created equal

Consumers have more types of flour to choose from for baking and each has a different nutrition profile, with varied fiber and gluten content, says registered dietitian Roberta Larson Duyff. There is enriched hard wheat for bread and soft wheat for cakes and pastries; nonwheat options such as almond meal, peanut, rice and soy flours; and ethnic flours such as fufu, teff and cassava.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Study says 1% of U.S. adults have celiac disease

Celiac disease is four times more common now than it was 50 years ago, and it affects about 1% of the U.S. adult population, Mayo Clinic researchers reported in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. While the increase in celiac patients could come from people eating more processed wheat products, study author Dr. Joseph Murray said cross-breeding of wheat to create hardier plants also may have made gluten more of a problem for people.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Retailers expand gluten-free offerings

More mainstream grocery stores and retailers are carrying a variety of gluten-free products. In Minnesota, Target stores with grocery departments can offer hundreds of items. Sales are up from 30% to 50% at Cub Foods stores, and the chain's website helps consumers create shopping lists of gluten-free items.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Researchers study sorghum as gluten-free wheat alternative

Researchers at Kansas State University are studying six varieties of sorghum to determine whether any could be used as a wheat alternative in gluten-free foods. They said using sorghum would require different processing approaches to ensure foods are comparable in flavor and texture to those containing wheat, but the research has already yielded sorghum-based ice cream cones, waffles and more.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Study gives thumbs-up to gluten-free pasta made from banana flour

A study found the taste of gluten-free pasta made using green banana flour was preferred over that of regular whole-wheat pasta, University of Brazil researchers said. The banana pasta had a significantly lower fat content, and taste testers who compared the two said there was a difference in appearance, flavor, aroma and quality.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Study: Gluten is culprit in many nonresponsive celiac cases

A U.K. study of 100 patients with nonresponsive celiac disease found 45% had not entirely eliminated gluten from their diets. More than half of those were consuming gluten accidentally, and 47% were not consistently following a gluten-free diet. Twelve percent had microscopic colitis, 9% had bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel and 9% had refractory celiac disease

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Gluten-free" doesn't necessarily mean healthy

The incidence of gluten-related disorders has risen significantly in the last half-century, and so has the amount of gluten in foods, according to a study in the journal BMC Medicine. But eating a gluten-free diet in the absence of a gluten-related disorder can deprive the body of needed nutrients, says Joanne Slavin, a professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Food Science and Nutrition. "A lot of those [gluten-free] products are absolutely full of fat, full of calories, full of sugar," she says.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Study: BMI rises among celiac patients eating gluten free

A study of 1,018 confirmed celiac disease patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found the patients, who were eating a gluten-free diet, were less likely to be overweight than the general population, but average body mass increased among those eating gluten-free. Researchers suggested discussing weight maintenance as part of education for celiac patients.

How one chef goes gluten-free

Elizabeth Barbone had been cooking gluten-free for more than a decade before it became the latest health food trend. Now with two gluten-free cookbooks on the market, the CIA graduate shares her story of health battles and how dropping gluten from her diet and the meals she cooks for others has changed her life.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Celiac groups react to Domino's gluten-free pizza crust

Domino's sparked an outcry when it began offering a gluten-free pizza crust it said was not suitable for people with celiac disease, leading one celiac group to call it an exploitation of the term. Another group, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, reacted by suspending its "Amber Designation" for gluten-free products and said it also is reconsidering its tiered credentialing system. (5/22), The Wall Street Journal/Health Blog;

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brewer removes "gluten" from beer label to market nationwide

The Craft Brew Alliance is ready to launch its Omission Gluten Free Lager and Pale Ale nationwide, but to market it across state lines it was forced to remove any mention of gluten on the label. The beer is not like other gluten-free brews, which contain alternatives to barley, but instead uses Brewer’s Clarex, an enzyme that removes gluten during processing. Officials said the brewer is working with the Tax and Trade Bureau in an effort to revise the label.

Tips for cooks on preparing gluten-free meals

Preparing gluten-free meals is not difficult as long as cooks follow some basic rules, such as ensuring all ingredients used in recipes are gluten-free, Shauna Ahern writes. She recommends avoiding wooden surfaces that can trap gluten, cleaning the kitchen to remove any traces of flour beginning dinner and asking guests or family members who must avoid gluten to help in preparing the meal.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Organizations help restaurants serve patrons with celiac disease

It's possible for people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease to eat out safely, and organizations such as the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, which has a program that promotes restaurants that serve gluten-free foods, can help. So can the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness program, which helps restaurants create gluten-free meals and has been used by a number of national chain restaurants.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Domino's gluten-free pizza crust is not for celiac patients

Domino's Pizza collaborated with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to develop a gluten-free crust that was added to its menu this week. The company said the crust is for people with mild gluten intolerance, and not for people with celiac disease, because it will be baked in standard kitchens that could allow for cross-contamination.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Celiac blogger says NFCA webinars help her make good food choices

Blogger Wendy Gregory Kaho says when she switched to a gluten-free diet to treat celiac disease and walked regularly she lost weight, but gained it back once she was comfortable with the diet and tried more products. She says she turned to webinars by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to help her refine her diet and make better food choices.

Study documents benefits of gluten-free diet in older celiac patients

Celiac patients over age 50 saw improvements in bone mineral density and vitamin and nutrient levels after following a gluten-free diet, according to a study from a research team from Finland. While overall quality of life was not affected, the study found gastrointestinal symptoms disappeared among patients on the gluten-free diet. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Study finds link between celiac disease and migraine

A study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology found that the prevalence of migraine was higher among patients with celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease or self-classified gluten-sensitivity. The findings suggest that patients suffering from migraine, especially those with treatment-resistant headaches, should be screened for celiac disease, researchers wrote.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Celiac disease is more common in older adults, study says

Celiac disease is 2.5 times more common in older adults than in the general population, according to a study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Celiac Research. NIH data show 34% of people who receive a celiac disease diagnosis are over age 60, and UM's Dr. Alessio Fasano said people can develop the condition at any time in their life, even if they have eaten gluten without trouble for years.

Celiac student says Penn State food service changed her life

Pennsylvania State University senior Lindsey Schnitt says she'll miss the school's food-service staff because of the extra effort they have made to accommodate her gluten-free diet. Schnitt, diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, says the staff took her menu suggestions, encouraged her to order different types of gluten-free foods and also let her watch as kitchen staff prepared meals. "They have forever changed my life, and I credit my success in college to them," she says.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gluten-free popularity may not last, trends expert says

The popularity of gluten-free food is a trend that "does not have long term legs," Dr. Elizabeth Sloan, president of Sloan Trends, said at a recent conference. She says Hartman Group data show only 22% of people who purchase gluten-free products do so because it is gluten free, and the market is much larger than the estimated number of people, such as those with celiac disease, who require a gluten-free diet.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Physicians say tests for food intolerance aren't supported by science

Physicians and allergy experts say tests for food sensitivities or intolerance that are sold to consumers are not based in science, can lead to false positives and lead people to stop eating harmless foods. Removing and then slowly reintroducing foods to a diet is the best way to identify intolerance, which is an unpleasant reaction to food, unlike allergies, which involve the immune system.,0,3665500.story

Friday, April 6, 2012

Website shows allergy-friendly restaurants, gluten-free menus

The website includes more than 600,000 U.S. restaurants and shows menus, allergens, certifications and information on nutritional content. Gluten-free menus are among the information provided. Created by a father who has three children with allergies, the site has a rating system that indicates whether it is allergy-friendly.,0,583467.story

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gluten-free's image improves

The term "gluten-free" used to mean food did not taste good, but now it has shed its negative image, says Alice Bast, who is president of the National Celiac Awareness Foundation. However, the increased attention to and popularity of gluten-free food, even among people who do not have celiac disease, also has led to more processed food, unproven dietary claims and restaurant foods that do not live up to "gluten-free" claims.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Utah is a hub for growing gluten-free industry

Tim Lawson of Provo, Utah, got so sick he could not work, and he declared bankruptcy and saw his home go into foreclosure before he learned he had celiac disease. As his health improved, he remodeled his basement and started New Grains Gluten-Free Bakery, which has been such a success that products are sold in grocery stores throughout Utah, and Lawson is considering a home delivery service.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Gluten-free label moves beyond food

Medication and skin-care products are among nonfood items being certified as gluten-free, industry experts said during a webinar hosted by the National Association of Specialty Food Trade. "We've seen a 43% increase in body-care products being labeled as gluten-free and certified as gluten-free," said Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cookbook offers gluten-free vegan recipes, tips

Susan O'Brien's "Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food" offers 125 recipes for dishes such as macaroni and cheese and roasted Brussels sprouts, all made without wheat or animal products. It lists foods to keep on hand and to avoid and explains celiac disease, but it does not provide nutritional analyses.

Natural foods expo features new gluten-free products

Gluten-free foods were showcased at the Natural Product Expo West in California, with many products containing additional protein and fiber to increase nutritional value. Baked products focused on soft textures and whole grains.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gluten-free sandwiches raise challenges for restaurants

Subway is testing a gluten-free bread option, and more restaurants are experimenting with the idea, writes Gluten-free Glutton blogger Mark Basch. Still, there are concerns about the taste, whether restaurants will sell enough gluten-free sandwiches to make it economically feasible and how to prevent cross-contamination in busy kitchens.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Researchers say gluten sensitivity may be overdiagnosed

University of Pavia researchers questioned the widely cited figure that as many as 17 million Americans are sensitive to gluten, noting there is no official definition of nonceliac gluten sensitivity. They said people with symptoms should undergo challenge tests to determine gluten sensitivity before restricting their diets.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dietitian: Use pea, bean flours for gluten-free food

Baking gluten-free foods with pea or bean flour, rather than rice flour, could make them more nutritious, says registered dietitian Shelley Case. She says products made with rice flour or corn, potato and tapioca starches are low in fiber, protein, vitamins and iron.

Physician: Celiac disease one of most underdiagnosed conditions in U.S.

Celiac disease is "the most common -- and one of the most underdiagnosed –- hereditary autoimmune conditions in the United States today," according to Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. People who do not have celiac disease but feel better after removing gluten from their diets may have a gluten sensitivity, says Green. He says the sensitivity is more common than celiac disease, which should be diagnosed by both a blood test and biopsy in adults.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Study links sourdough to reduced inflammation in celiac patients

Using sourdough products made from rice, corn and amaranth in a gluten-free diet could help reduce inflammatory markers by more than 30% in people with celiac disease, according to a study from the University of Bari in Italy. Researchers said sourdough fermentation may facilitate mucosal recovery in celiac patients who are beginning a gluten-free diet.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Researchers discuss nonceliac gluten sensitivity

Researchers say they believe a portion of the population with symptoms from eating gluten do not have celiac disease, but instead may have nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Experts wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine that little research has focused on the topic. The authors noted testing of nonceliac gluten sensitivity is difficult, and claims of sensitivity "seem to increase daily, with no adequate scientific support to back them up.",0,4517592.story

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gluten-free part of broader food, wellness trend, report says

The increase in gluten-free foods is part of a broader trend driven by a growing consumer preference for "free from" foods that are perceived to be healthier, according to a Leatherhead report. Taste and texture are important considerations for consumers, and the gluten-free market, estimated at $3.5 billion, has the most potential for growth.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Food manufacturers embrace gluten-free as a lifestyle, not a fad

As companies realize that gluten-free living isn't going away, they are launching new products and relabeling existing ones to connect with consumers with celiac disease and other health issues that make them sensitive to gluten. "There is a core of consumers who need these products," says Dr. Elizabeth Arndt, director of research and development for ConAgra. "The growing selection of gluten-free foods is not like the low-carb craze was. The trend is helping to raise the bar on product quality and nutrition." A certification program aims to ensure products live up to the standards that consumers need.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Experts attempt to sort out gluten-related health issues

A group of experts is working on a classification and diagnosing system to help distinguish wheat allergy, celiac disease and the more general category of gluten sensitivity. Another team is working to clarify confusion caused by the many names for gluten-related issues. Meanwhile, Mayo Clinic expert Joseph Murray says a more fundamental question may be why gluten is becoming such a health problem.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hotels changing menus to mirror changing tastes of customers

A number of major hotel chains have tweaked their menus to mirror the ever-changing appetites of their customers. It's not unusual to find meals that fit into a gluten-free, dairy-free or macrobiotic diet. "Those special diets and their tastes have evolved. It continues to be more prevalent today," said Stephen Rosenstock, senior vice president of food and beverage for Omni hotels.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chefs create options for those with restricted diets

Chefs who have suffered from food allergies are finding ways to create flavorful options for consumers who are in the same boat. Oregon chef Aaron Woo opened vegetarian fine-dining eatery Natural Selection after coping with his food allergies, and baker Lisa Clark launched Petunia's Pies & Pastries, a vegan, gluten-free bakery.

12 food trends for 2012 include gluten-free choices

The 1,300 booths at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco offered insights into food trends. Gluten-free foods, including new flour blends, pastas and cereals, were among the show's big stories. As people seek a greater connection to their food, they are returning to butchers, buying cheese-making kits and bringing pickles back into fashion.

Churches tackle gluten-free issues with communion hosts

Many churches are promoting and offering gluten-free communion hosts for parishioners who have celiac disease or are gluten-sensitive, although Catholic churches follow Vatican doctrine requiring hosts be made of wheat. There are low-gluten hosts that meet Catholic criteria, but because some celiac patients or other gluten-sensitive members still cannot eat them, parishes are being pushed to address the issue.,0,4919671.story

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Patient learns to live with gluten sensitivity

Dana Scarton learned two years ago that she has gluten sensitivity. Although not an autoimmune condition like celiac disease, the sensitivity makes people who eat foods containing gluten seriously ill. She says the sacrifices she makes in her diet "aren't that great" and the most difficult part was figuring out what was causing her symptoms. "Life without gluten is a small price to pay for good health and serenity," she writes.