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The FDA is close to approving a proposal that would define what gluten free actually means on a food label.
Not a fad
Some people see the book, Gluten Free Diet, and think it is the latest fad diet. Not so. If you are one of the 1% of Americans suffering from Celiac Disease, you are quite familiar with gluten. Gluten free products are popping up all over the place due to the rising incidence of gluten intolerance and more people being diagnosed with celiac disease.
Gluten is the name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. For most people, these proteins are digested and metabolized by the body without a problem. But for a rising number of people, the proteins cause damage to their small intestine and they have to avoid even very small amounts or they will suffer unpleasant side effects.
The FDA is working on defining what "gluten free" means for food products. Right now it is proposed that a food cannot contain more than 20 parts per million or more of gluten if they put the gluten free label on their product. For people with allergies to certain foods, it is vital that food companies comply with FDA rulings on ingredient listings. Currently there is no legal definition for gluten free, so any company could use the term without meeting a standard. Hopefully in August we will see this definition go into effect. Stay tuned!
Logo courtesy of www.celiac.org