Eating gluten-free in restaurants

So far, people know that Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder associated with gluten. For those who suffer from this disorder eating in restaurants is difficult. Most restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon but are not realizing that for some people, it is not just a diet but a lifestyle. When someone with this disease comes in contact with this product, it can take weeks and sometimes months to recover from its effects. Restaurants need to take full precautions when preparing food.

Eating away from home, where people do not take the precautions needed to protect people with Celiac Disease is hard. Only now, have restaurants begun to advertise separate menus. This has been gratefully accepted by people allergic to gluten because they can now eat out with their friends. However, employees and chefs are not being careful enough. They cannot just say they prepare the food without gluten. They must also  be sure to avoid cross contamination when using cooking utensils, dishes, and even ovens (Alexis). Numerous accounts have been reported about false advertising of safe and gluten free food in restaurants. When customers ask waiters about preparing the food properly and carefully, they server doesn’t know how to reply and often has to fetch the manager (Alexis). Though more and more diners and cafes have adapted to the  increase in customers with this problem, they still need to remain fully aware of the dangers they can cause their customers.

Some restaurants cannot be trusted at all no matter what they say. New laws state that restaurants must have certification that says they can prepare and cook food safely and properly to avoid contamination. It is important to ask about their practices before ordering (Eating). An easy way to find out about certain restaurants certification and menus before going there can be to look them up on certain websites such as:

These websites show listings of certain places to eat that properly prepare gluten-free food and have certification. Similarly, there are programs and classes people can take to learn how to properly manage food in order to keep their consumers safe, “The Gluten-Free Food Services (GFFS) Training and Accreditation Program, a program of GIG, is designed to work with all food service establishments who wish to provide for and serve gluten-free consumers” (Gluten-Free).These advancements and new practices have created a safe environment for celiac intolerant people.

In conclusion, many restaurants refuse to sell gluten-free products because it is hard to maintain the practices and is more expensive. However, those who do, most often do not prepare it correctly. Vendors and restaurants who do not have certification and have taken the right classes can seriously endanger your health. Be safe and make sure to ask the right questions before ordering your food no matter what the waiter says.

 

Works Cited

Alexis. “Gluten-Free Food in Restaurants.” Celiaccentral. National Foundation for Celiac Awareness,

2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

“Eating at Restaurants.” glutenfreeeating. Madavor Media, LLC., 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

“Gluten Free Certification Organization” glutenfreerestaurants. Gluten Intolerance Group, 2015. Web.

27 Apr. 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.celiaccentral.org/celiacgirl/gluten-free-food-in-restaurants/

Does gluten affect the brain for those who suffer from this disease?

Almost everyone knows or has at least encountered something about  the gluten controversy. It has been proven now that gluten’s largest threat is to those who suffer from Celiac Disease, or gluten intolerance. Rumors regarding gluten’s affect on the body and mind have spread and it is hard to distinguish truth from exaggeration. Everyone knows that is dangerous to the inner intestines and the stomach lining but how does it affect the brain? Is it the cause of mental disorders in children?  Gluten actually plays a big part in the brain and mental health for victims.

Gluten, commonly found in barley and wheat, has been proven to induce memory loss and attention problems in those who suffer from Celiac Disease. Kids already have trouble listening to their parents when they are asked to complete chores or tasks around the house. They often ignore the pleas to finish the dishes or take out the trash. Would if it wasn’t there fault they forgot to clean the kitchen? Researchers have conducted tests and shown that kids as well as adults who suffer from gluten intolerance, also suffer from “absentmindedness and the inability to complete even the most simple of tasks” (Fitterman). Once this product has entered the system, the bodies stomach not only goes into attack mode by bloating and projecting pain, but it also causes the brain to become foggy and forgetful. Similarly, for those with the autoimmune deficiency, gluten causes gray matter damage. In the brain, gray matter affects sensory functions and physical coordination such as balance (Fitterman). However when the gray matter is damaged too much, a person will begin to “have the severe inability to think clearly” (Fitterman). This damage to the brain and neurological system is the reason for forgetfulness occurring early on in youth other problems such as loss of balance and hand-eye coordination because their brain cannot think or see clearly.

Similarly, Celiac Disease not only affects the brain with issues involving thinking or sight but it can provide deadly health issues as well. Patients with this disease have also been known to experience troubles such as “neuropathy, ataxia, dementia, and seizure disorder” (Freeman). Many patients have arrived in hospitals suffering from these symptoms and doctors have been able to closely relate them to gluten intolerance as the root of the problem. However, for most people simply steering clear of gluten is enough to help their bodies recover, but for those with neurological disorders that result from the disease just keeping it out of your diet might not be enough, “Further studies are needed, however, to determine if a gluten-free diet will lead to improvement in the associated neurological disorder” (Freeman). Studies have shown that once gluten has entered the brain system and in severe enough cases where patients have been hospitalized, Vitamin E administration has helped them quickly recover (Freeman).

Others believe that this disease does not really involve such sever symptoms and side effects. They think everything is mentally conjured up and can easily be controlled. However, serious neurological disorders and mental illnesses are not something that can be faked or easily contained. It is proven that doctors have been able to establish a clear link between the sensitivity and the enteric track. Not only does gluten affect emotions and mental illnesses but it can partake in small things too, “[Research] has indicated that those suffering from celiac disease and IBS suffer more frequent headaches and migraines than those who do not” ( Edward). Headaches can be small but a great annoyance even with medication. Also, MRI’s and cat scans of those with severe headache problems have shown that “those suffering from headaches showed the greatest degree of brain abnormality” (Edward). Inefficiency in the brain can be traced all the way to gluten.

In conclusion, gluten has many affects in the body but what people are just starting to learn is that it takes its toll on the mind as well. ranging from vision cloudiness and brain fog to seizures, headaches, and dementia, celiac disease can be dangerous. If not controlled it can have even longer damage on the brain. Doctors have proven many damaged brains can lead back to gluten intolerance.

Works Cited

Edward. “How Does Gluten  Affect the Brain?” Global Healing Center. Global healing Center, 1998-

2015. Web. 30. Mar. 2015.

Fitterman, Lisa. “Your Brain on Gluten.” Allergic Living. AGW Publishing Inc., 2015. Web. 30. Mar.

2015.

Freeman, Hugh. “Neurological disorders in adult celiac disease.” Pulsus. National Library of Medicine

(NLM), 2009. Web. 30. Mar. 2015.

Is Celiac disease a real problem or is it all mental?

Gluten-free is all the rage today- whether people believe in it or not. Do we trust it; do we ignore it? Which is better for us? Is it all the things they say it is? Who is they? You see people in restaurants asking for gluten-free pasta while others roll their eyes or shake their heads in annoyance. The controversial question regarding this particular topic has always been: Do people really have something called Celiac disease or do they just believe they have a problem? Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance is a real disease and it can affect lots of aspects during everyday life for victims.

Gluten-free does more for your body than just help internal organs function better; it can help release mental blocks, reduce anxiety and improve overall mental aspects in your life.  People with a stable mental aspect in life are capable of realizing their disabilities and abilities. They can also control their thought, moods, and emotions (Gentile). What happens when this is all in jeopardy? According to Christina Gentile, MS, “The most common “affective” disorders reported by patients with celiac disease include depressive and anxiety disorders “(Gentile). Depression can be dangerous to the person suffering from it as well as anxiety. It can cause them to be harmful, especially to themselves. If it can be caused by something like a disease and going gluten-free can heal you, then yes it is necessary. Celiac disease is also said to control “feelings of anger, impatience, and moodiness” and these too can cause everyday life to be harder than necessary (Gentile). Your mental health is important and it should be taken care of and valued at any cost. Eliminating gluten for those with this disorder can be necessary in order for it to be maintained.

This disease is the reason, for most people who suffer from it, why they have damaged villi and inflamed intestines. In order for your body to run smoothly and function properly, everything needs to be taken care of (Web). It is like a machine, when it gets rusty, it doesn’t work. When a car runs out of gas, it cannot drive. Your inner intestines and villi are vital for your body to supply itself and when they “are damaged, the person cannot absorb nutrients properly and ends up malnourished, no matter how much he or she eats” (Web). Celiac disease does not affect a whole lot of people but for those it does, it can be serious. Usually only about 1 in 100 people are diagnosed, but this is real (Web).

healthy and damaged villi

Some people would argue that Celiac disease is a “fictitious disease” caused by people’s minds. If they believe something is wrong with them, then by all means yes, there will be. But this is not true- studies have proven it, as well as doctors. Celiac disease is “an autoimmune” disorder that causes “damage to the small intestine” (Celiac). It does not occur frequently but for those who go undiagnosed, they are automatically at risk for later health problems in life such as “early onset osteoprosis or osteopena”, and “lactose intolerance” (Celiac). It can also affect the surface of the body by causing an itchy skin rash known as dermatitis herpetiformic (Celiac). It has also been proven that if you have a first degree relative with this disorder, then you have a ten percent risk rate or also inheriting this disease, although it is not said to be a genetic disorder. Similarly people who suffer from it are at a higher rate for developing anemia and “neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines” (Celiac). Celiac disease effects more than just the inner organs and on some occasions can be lethal.

In conclusion, people will always have their beliefs; you will not be able to change them, but you can alert others the dangers of Celiac disease. Helping people stay aware of their health and take care of their bodies. For victims living with this disorder, it does not have to be hard. Just stay clear of gluten and check up with your doctor when something does not feel right. Not properly handling your diet, can lead to disabilities and higher risk for other diseases later in life. Celiac disease is tough but it can be controlled.

 

Work Cited

Gentile, Christina. “Celiac Disease and Mental Health: Depression.” Celiac Central. National                                Foundation for Celiac Awareness, 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.

“What is Celiac Disease?” Celiac Disease Foundation. Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF), 1998-2015.               Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

WebMd. “Celiac Disease Health Center.” WebMD. WebMD, LLC, 2005-2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.

 

What is the difference between gluten-free and grain-free?

Before starting a new lifestyle, be sure to research and learn as much about it as possible. You want to know if it is the right choice for you and your family. For example, some  people easily confuse grain-free with gluten-free; this is a very common error you do not want to make. Becoming gluten-free and becoming grain-free are two very different things. Not all grains contain gluten and some you actually do not want to completely remove from your diet.

There are a few major  differences between gluten and grain free. It’s  possible for someone to be on a gluten-free diet without being on a wheat-free diet and vice versa. However, “if someone is on a gluten free diet for health issues, it is also necessary for them to be on a wheat free diet. ALL wheat has gluten in it” (Food). As you know, people who have Celiac Disease are usually the ones who have made this diet change, but if you suffer from bloating, gas, or other indigestion problems, then you should switch too. These symptoms also occur when you are allergic to wheat or  grains and not just gluten. Allergies to gluten and grains are often the same. Most of the time however you can distinguish wheat or gluten allergy by it’s symptoms, “wheat [allergies] might include skin irritations, rashes, hives, nasal congestion, and digestive tract issues among other symptoms” (Food). If you experience any of these symptoms, its best to avoid both gluten and wheat until you complete an allergy test with your doctor.

grain pic for blog    VSgluten symbol for blog

As you have read on my previous posts, there are many advantages not just for you but for your kids and family members as well when you cut gluten out of your diet. Well, there are advantages to removing wheat as well. Scientists have found that removing these products from your daily lifestyle can help with “better digestion, weight loss, more energy, and a potential reduction in inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia” (Food).  This diet has also been proven to help young children who suffer from autism (Food).

A grain-less diet has it’s own unique name; the Paleo Diet. When starting out on this diet, you must remove corn, wheat, oats, and rice from you eating habits. These grains are classified as “cereal grasses.” As humans, “when we eat these grains, we are eating grass seed, a biologically oddity since humans are not grass grazers” (Meyer). We cannot digest nor chew grass, which is why so many people are allergic. Based on these facts, it’s actually quite normal to have allergic reactions to these foods. This happens to be the number one reason Celiac Disease has tripled over the past fifty years (Meyer).

Now, unlike the wheat and grain free diets, you can eat rice and corn even if you are gluten-free. These products contain no trace of gluten. Gluten is mostly found in barely, spelt, rye seeds, and most oats (Meyer). You can instead substitute with grains such as Quinoa. However, if your on a grain-free diet be careful to avoid substitutes like Quinoa.

Works Cited

Food for Life Baking Company. Food for Life. “What Are the Differences Between Gluten-Free and

Wheat-Free?” Food for Life, n.d. Web.

Meyer, Beverly. Beverly Meyer On Diet and Health. “Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free – What’s the

Difference?”  Beverly Meyer On Diet and Health, 20 Mar. 2014

Why do people make the switch?

The latest food fad has rapidly been growing across the U.S. People are switching to Gluten-free diets and lifestyles quicker than any other food program.Though many people seem to be hopping on the bandwagon of wheat-free pasta and all natural  pizza dough, they don’t seem to understand the reason why. Why should you switch? Why should you look for the FDA Gluten-free approved labels each time you go to the store?

A gluten-free lifestyle is most commonly adopted by people “in order to treat” a genetic disorder known as “celiac disease” (Mayo Clinic). Celiac disease is a disorder many people are born with that causes “inflammation of the small intestines” (Mayo Clinic). This happens when gluten is consumed. The only way to treat it, is to live a life completely free of gluten. People who are born with this  “can’t tolerate gluten, not even small amounts” (Strawbridge). Even though gluten is a trigger for damage to the linings of intestines, it can also cause problems such as osteoporosis, nerve damage, and seizures (Strawbridge).

Anyone can go gluten-free; but sometimes it’s not always the better option. If you are pregnant or going to become pregnant, it may better benefit you to consume gluten during your pregnancy. Though gluten is a processed protein and appears to give no benefit to your body, it actually contains essential vitamins. As a pregnant woman, you need to consume “vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate or folic acid, to prevent birth defects” (Strawbridge). Believe it or not, gluten isn’t all bad. It’s highly recommended that if you do make the switch, you still take a dose of gluten-free multi-vitamins and supplements in order to provide your body some necessary minerals and vitamins.  I still recommend making the jump and am glad that I did.

Do you often experience abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal issues after having eaten bread, pasta, or even crackers? Gluten is one of the main causes of stomach and digestive problems (Strawbridge). After consuming a restaurant pizza or a dish of spaghetti and you feel nauseous or bloated, it’s probably because your noodles and dough contained gluten. It’s not necessarily food poisoning when you have these symptoms; so don’t automatically blame bad meat or expired sauce. It’s because of your carbs. They most likely contain gluten. Products processed with gluten are cheap and affordable, so restaurants choose to feed their costumers these ingredients.

Similarly, people may simply choose to become gluten-free because they learn about all of the additives and processed ingredients that are usually found in gluten filled products. Consumers become so repulsed by the things they learn about their food that they become gluten-free just to step away from the horrible things they put in food. Gluten-free products are usually all natural, organic, and contain no preservatives or additives (Telegraph). Sometimes when people watch a documentary or take a class on food science, their new found knowledge scares them. We aren’t told as a community, about what artificial products are processed and put into our food, and the truth, well its scary. Consumers become so disgusted that they choose to become healthy eaters. They stop buying products with preservatives or artificial colors and flavors. They choose to become Gluten-free. What they don’t tell us about what we put into our bodies isnt right (Telegraph).

Works Cited

 

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Nutrition and healthy eating.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education  and Research, 1998-2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2011.

Smith, Julia. “The great gluten-free scam.” The Telegraph.  Telegraph Media Group Limited, 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.

Strawbridge, Holly. “Going gluten-free just because? Here’s what you need to know.” Harvard Health Publications. n.p., n.d. Web. 20 February. 2013.

 

 

 

Introduction to Live Gluten-free

Live Free of Gluten is an open blog intended to educate people on the subject of Gluten. Gluten is a protein found in starchy foods such as breads and pastas. It’s purpose is to act like a grainy glue that holds food together. However what most people don’t realize, is that gluten damages your overall health and can potentially lead to certain diseases. There’s much to learn starting from the threats gluten poses, to how it can affect your child’s mental health and stability.