Saturday, November 12, 2016

Gluten Free Experts

Who gives you advice about living strictly gluten-free? Some random gluten free expert on Instagram with tons of followers, a blogger with gluten sensitivity, a yogi mom with a few auto-immune children living a strict paleo diet, a fellow Celiac with a ton of Twitter followers, but why? 

I ask myself the same question over and over and do not understand why any of them have authority over another. If their pretty food posts, creative recipes and stories of restaurant socializing are inspiring you then it's important to find out who is not living symptom free, and if you're finding yourself often ill when you're supposed to be committed to healthier and smarter gluten free choices. 

The world of auto-immune diseases including gluten free lifestyles can be extremely frustrating. That's because opinions on the internet and from your doctor, are just that, opinions. Go to an expert, and commit yourself to real diagnosis by sharing symptoms and commitment to saying no to food that poses any level of risk, say No!

Gluten Free Experts

With many brands committed to the gluten free 3rd party testing procedures you'll find a product labeled with a gluten-free certification. Or a store like Trader Joe's says they have their private label foods tested under <20ppm gluten instead of lower such as <10 ppm or preferable <5ppm. This is a constant mess of risk and and mistrust. If you're a Celiac trusting the FDA <20ppm experts say that you're ingesting too much gluten risk. FDA has been challenged by their guideline and no change has occurred yet.  

Restaurants Have No Gluten Free Experts

If there is any flour, bread or gluten in a restaurant's kitchen, you're at risk. The smarter, charismatic chefs come out and talk to you about gluten free food safety, but RARELY guarantee anything, stating we'll do our VERY best. This usually makes us all feel good. However if not all staff are trained and you see a mistake happen, often there were many! So if you eat out often, then you're in deep doo-doo taking lots of risks!  This happens at restaurants for you, on a daily basis. Eating in a chef's kitchen whether it be high end or a dive, you're risk level starts to sky rocket from human error and nature of the cross contamination affect.

Further, any gluten-free labeled food snack (cheese, chips, burrito, bread, ice cream, etc) may seem like a quick win, but if your standards can't stop there, you would be forgetting or naive to ask more important questions.  

Too many social media influencers are promoting low quality ingredients and GMO (Genetically modified organisms) as gluten-free safe food. If you are following some random college girl who gets free food at a food show in her city then you're in more deep doo-doo. 

Example: Cheerios are not gluten-free safe for Celiacs or anyone that respects the real defintion of gluten-free. Why? They do not incur any 3rd party testing for gluten ppm and their own internal batch testing procedures are not consistent. Hence, their two million box recall in 2016!  That's why Canadian Celiac groups denied Cheerios the GF label but lobbying corruption and miscommunication in the American FDA / food supply / so called professionals and amateur influencers opinions cause innocent people to suffer and go to the doctor's office over and over again. I repeat, General Mills brands like Cheerios are not to be trusted until they commit to a rigorous gluten-free 3rd party AND remove GMOs. 

Gluten Free Expert Checklist:

If any of these questions fail then you're at risk of a gluten attack and/or eating low quality gluten-free crap!

  • Why is this gluten-free and how has it been tested for the lowest levels of ppm to the highest standards (Example: Gluten testing <5ppm and not <20ppm)
  • What 3rd party organization is vouching for this gluten-free claim?
  • Can you identify and pronounce all the ingredients?
  • Was there GMO ingredients included? Ask the manufacturer.
  • Was there any risk of cross contamination during the cooking/baking of this item?
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