How Gluten-Free Are You Really?
Gluten-Free Eaters Unknowingly Consume Up to 5x More Gluten Than What is Considered Safe!
A typical adult on a ‘regular’ American diet eats about 5-15 grams of gluten daily (a whopping 5,000-15,000mg of gluten!). Gluten intake as low as 50mg daily can cause symptoms in people with celiac disease. In a recent study analyzing gluten peptides and antibodies, as well as intestinal biopsy results found that GF eaters consume upwards of 244mg of gluten per day- up to 5x more than safe! This is enough gluten to produce symptoms in strict GF eaters.
Gluten-Free Diet Labeling Reading – Safe, Unsafe, and Suspect Ingredients…It’s Complicated!
Label reading for gluten ingredients in foods can be confusing, even for long-time GF eaters. One study asked GF eaters, who were gluten-free for an average of six years, to read food labels to identify ingredients that were safe (allowed), unsafe (to avoid), or ‘suspect’ (to question). Of the long-time GF eaters: ✓ not one person was able to correctly identify all 17 foods ✓ only 30% were correctly able to identify 14 foods! Gluten-free eaters should consult with a gluten-free expert to learn about label reading for safe, unsafe, and suspect ingredients, and be sure to check medications, dietary supplements, and body care products for gluten.
What’s the Harm of an Occasional ‘Cheat Day’ or ‘Cheat Meal’ on a Gluten-Free Diet?
Avoid Harmful Symptoms People with celiac who do not adhere to a strict gluten-free diet have higher mortality and poorer quality of life. Following a strict gluten-free diet helps avoid:
• bloating and gas
• heart attack and heart disease
• intestinal lymphoma and other cancers
• iron deficiency anemia
• kidney disease
• thyroid disorders
• unintentional weight loss
• urinary tract infections
Even “a Little” Can Hurt A Lot- Trace Gluten Contamination Can Slow Recovery!
It is estimated that up to 20% of people with celiac disease have persistent symptoms while on a gluten-free diet. The most common reason for persistent symptoms is continuing to ingest gluten, intentionally or unintentionally. Gluten-free eaters who have persistent symptoms despite strict adherence to the gluten-free diet may be reacting to gluten cross-contamination:
• in their kitchen
• in restaurants
• in foods that are naturally gluten-free
• even in foods labeled gluten-free!
People with celiac disease and NCGS (non-gluten sensitivity gluten sensitivity) may require a ‘gluten contamination elimination diet’ for 3 to 6 months to help promote full recovery.
Test, Don’t Guess To Assess Gluten-Free Diet Adherence and Monitor Health Outcomes!
Testing is NOT “one and done”! The Celiac Foundation recommends routine testing to monitor gluten-free diet adherence and health outcomes in celiac. Currently, the recommendation is to test at diagnosis, 3-6 months later, at 12 months, and annually thereafter. At NextGeneration Nutrition we offer gluten allergy and sensitivity testing! Please schedule a free consultation below for more details!
Jessica Mantell M.S., C.N.S., L.D.N.
CEO & Founder of NextGeneration Nutrition
NextGeneration Nutrition believes that better health should be accessible to everyone and that we all are able to improve our health through good nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle change. We do not support setting shame-based goals but encourages embracing our bodies, genetics, and personality. Our philosophy is abandoning the “One Size Fits All” mentality to create a personalized wellness plan based on your biological makeup and your lifestyle.
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