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How Much Gluten is Too Much Gluten?

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How Much Gluten is Too Much Gluten?

Last week I listened to a radio show (on my IPod-so a replay of said show-episode 504 of Superhuman Radio) where they were discussing organophosphates. The United States Environmental Protection Agency lists organophosphates are the basis of many insecticides, herbicides, and nerve agents which are very highly acutely toxic to bees, wildlife, and humans (Clothianidin – Registration Status and Related Information. U.S. EPA. 27 July 2012.)

The use of organophosphates is way beyond the scope of this article, but basically some insecticides fall under this category.  Use of insecticides must fall under what is considered a “safe” level of exposure with residuals on food.

The guest on the radio show contended that while this may be “safe” for an isolated incident, what about when we repeatedly ingest the “safe” level?  What happens then?  Does it build up to “unsafe” levels in our bodies?

My brain started spinning like a hamster on a wheel, as I thought…

Does this happen with gluten?

Is gluten exposure additive?

Don’t touch that! (Photo credit Dimitri_C)

The proposed labeling for “gluten-free” by the FDA is if a food meets the following conditions, and DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • An ingredient that is a prohibited grain,
  • An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has not been processed to remove gluten,
  • An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food, or
  • 20 ppm or more gluten

Food can be labeled gluten free and still contain some gluten

I knew that, probably we all knew that.  I never thought about it potentially building up in my system though.  It makes sense that it could cause additional damage to the intestine.  What happens  if a large amount of food, which has been processed to be gluten free (but contains 20 ppm of gluten), is consumed?  Perhaps one item containing 20 ppm is “safe”, but if a person were to have 5-6 items through the course of a day, now that’s potentially 120 ppm in a day.  How does that affect us?  How do you think it affects you?

We live in an imperfect world

Risks are taken every day.  I could get hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow.  Food manufacturers are doing their best to minimize gluten exposure to celiacs (we hope).  Personally, I minimize my risk by choosing primarily naturally gluten free foods.  Barring cross contamination, there is 0 (zero) ppm of gluten in a steak, sweet potato and broccoli.

Wіth ѕuсh аn extensive list оf items оr products tо avoid, іt іѕ understandable tо wоndеr what іѕ safe tо eat, оr prepare foods with. Luckily, the list оf safe items іѕ јuѕt аѕ long, some examples include the fоllоwіng Gluten free food products;

Vegetables, ѕuсh as;

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips

Fruits, such as;

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Passion Fruits
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelons

Meat аnd Poultry products аrе оftеn okay, such as;

  • Beef
  • Buffalo
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Veal
  • Venison

Dairy Products (be careful of dairy sensitivities), such as;

  • Butter (check tо verify nо gluten-containing products wеrе used)
  • Cheese (except blue cheese)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt (unflavored, plain)

This is not to scare you

Just be aware, think it over, Understand the Label, and make an informed decision on what you put in your body.  Food is your fuel. Don’t kill your engine with less than optimal fuel and certainly, the healthiest possible for your body.

What do you think on the labeling guidelines?

Gluten Free Nutrition Balance

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How to Balance Gluten Free Nutrition

Calories are a measure of the amount of strength in meals. Knowing what number of energy are in our meals can assist us to balance the power we put into our bodies with the strength we use. That’s the important thing to a healthful weight. It can assist us to maintain the quantity of energy we are consuming and ingesting. We degree the burden of that object of food in kilograms

The calorie content material of many ingredients is stated on the packaging in the nutrients label, which you will frequently discover on the lower back of the packaging. This information will appear under the “energy” heading. The calorie content is frequently given in “cal” or “kcal”, which is brief for “kilo-calorie”, or in kj, which is brief for “kilo-joules”. Kilo-joules are the metric measurement of calories. To find the energy content material in kilo-joules, multiply the calorie parent by means of 4.2.

The label will commonly let you know what number of calories are contained in one hundred grams or one hundred milliliters of the meals or drink, so you can evaluate the calorie content material of various products. Many labels can even state the variety of calories in “one portion” of the food.  You may use the calorie records to evaluate how a particular meal suits into your everyday calorie intake. The average man’s needs 2,500kcal (10,500kj) to keep his weight, and the average female needs 2,000kcal (8,400kj).

For amazing information on reading the label, check out our previous article: http://glutenfreefitness.com/understanding-the-label/

When on a fitness routine, between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from protein sources, but meeting that goal can be tricky if you’re on a gluten-free diet, which doesn’t include as many fortified foods as an unregulated diet.

One of the best sources of protein is: lean meats and poultry, as long as, you choose fresh rather than processed or prepared versions of your favorite meat or poultry, you can consume your favorite meats without worrying about their gluten content. Meats and poultry are all gluten-free in their fresh form. Cooked turkey and chicken breast have 25 and 26 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving.  Another great source is gluten-free protein powders or protein bars:  Gluten Free Fitness Store

Low-Fat Milk

Low-fat milk contains no gluten and is an excellent source of lean protein, with 8 grams in one cup. Just be sure you don’t add any flavorings to it that contain gluten, and you can meet part of your protein needs with low-fat milk. Drink milk with meals instead of soda or tea or add it to gluten-free cereal.

Eggs

Fresh eggs are full of healthy protein and are gluten-free. Boil them, or prepare them in any way that doesn’t introduce gluten, and you can boost your daily protein intake. One whole egg contains 6 grams of protein.

Beans

Beans don’t have any gluten by themselves, so as long as you prepare them without adding any gluten, they’re a gluten-free meal component. Beans are also a good source of protein, so including them in your diet is a good way to ensure you meet your body’s protein needs. Serve them over rice and veggies for a complete meal, make them into a soup using water or add them to your meal as an easy side dish. A 1/2-cup serving of boiled soybeans contains 14 grams of protein while a 1/2-cup serving of canned kidney beans contains 7 grams of protein.

Nuts

Nuts are a good source of protein, and as long as, you opt for plain versions rather than those with added flavors or preparations, they’re also gluten-free. Try tossing them in a salad or eating a handful instead of chips with your lunch. A 1/2-cup serving of dry, roasted peanuts contains 14 grams of protein, and a 1/2-cup serving of walnuts contains 9 grams.

With these diets, you can easily balance a gluten free nutrition.

 

Special Note: Don’t forget to get tested by a medical professional for an allergy you may have that could adversely affect the message in this article, such as when consuming dairy or nuts.

Contamination in Naturally Gluten Free Grains

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Contamination in Naturally Gluten Free Grains – but Don’t Panic

Previously, Aaron posted about the proposed FDA guidelines for labeling an item gluten free.  These guidelines would allow products with less than 20 ppm (parts per million) to be labeled gluten free.  My thoughts were that if you eat one item that contains 20 ppm of gluten, there may be no issue.  However, if you have multiple items, does that gluten have an additive effect?  It is like eating something with a considerably larger amount of gluten?

We don’t know.

My thoughts are to focus on naturally gluten free foods and eliminate the worry.  In the proposed rule, single ingredient foods that are considered inherently gluten free (think rice, millet, amaranth) can be considered misbranded if they are labeled gluten free.  They would have to be labeled gluten free and also state that all foods of that type are gluten free.  (Like labeling an apple low fat.  It would have to say-“all apples are low fat.”)

Or not.

Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, and well known in the celiac community, was recently involved in a research study that examined naturally gluten free grains, and tested them for gluten.    Their findings indicate that naturally gluten free grains can be, and are, contaminated with gluten.

So much for sticking to naturally gluten free foods to avoid the 20 ppm of gluten, eh?

Cross contamination with gluten?!? WAH!

Photo credit waggg

They tested 22 types of naturally gluten free grains that were not labeled gluten free.  7 of the 22 included a voluntary allergen statement for wheat.  (I’m assuming that this is the “processed in a facility which also processes wheat” statement.)  From Tricia’s write up on the study “products included white rice and flour, brown rice, corn meal, polenta, buckwheat and buckwheat flour, amaranth seed and flour, flax seed, millet grain and flour, sorghum flour, and soy flour.”

The results:

Let’s look first at the ones that had the allergy advisory for wheat.  Out of those 7, 4 tested had above 5 ppm (5 ppm was considered the threshold for gluten with the testing they used-this is less than the proposed FDA guideline) and 3 had less than 5 ppm.  Seems a bit of a crap shoot, doesn’t it?

For the remaining 15 that did not have the wheat allergen advisory, 5 items were over the 5 ppm of gluten.  10 were below.

The conclusion from Tricia’s write up:

Results of this study confirm that a certain percentage of inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours are NOT gluten-free when they are purchased by consumers. Co-mingling of grain and seed can occur anywhere along the line from the field to the packaging plant.

Results also suggest that consumers can not rely on voluntary allergen advisory statements for wheat to make decisions about which products are more or less likely to be contaminated. Four of seven products containing greater than or equal to 20 ppm gluten did not contain an allergen statement for wheat while three of the products that contained below the limit of quantification for gluten did contain an allergen advisory statement.

While we can infer from this study that some degree of contamination exists in naturally gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours sampling was not large enough to make any assessment on the overall percentage of contaminated product.

Sampling also was not large enough to make any inferences on the specific grains, flours, and seeds more or less likely to be contaminated.”

  • To note: This study was funded in part by Schar USA, a manufacturer of prepared gluten-free foods.  It’s always good to look and see who funds any research you may be interested in.  In this particular case, I certainly don’t think that Schar framed the study by intentionally contaminating anything, and the testing procedures seem very cut and dry.  It does not appear that the funding would have had any impact on this study.

So what’s the take home from all this?

Well, don’t panic.  As noted above, the sample size (number of products and grains tested) was not large enough to make any sweeping conclusions.  It does certainly warrant additional testing, as well as continued tweaking to the proposed gluten free labeling guidelines.

For me, it reinforces what I  tend to do anyway-utilize white and sweet potato, rice, and gluten free oats for the majority of my carbohydrate sources.  There could still be contamination in the rice, but for now, that’s what I’m going to do.

After all, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.  You just never know.

What are your thoughts?

FYI-I’ve added a new free downloadable “tips” PDF to Gluten Free and Fit 101-go check it out!

Addendum: Tricia has now added a Part 2

Leave comments below-are you going to change anything you currently eat based on this information?