By Wendy Gregory Kaho
Choosing a college can be tough when you have celiac disease and/or gluten sensitivity. If your child is required to live in the dorms, you need to know what to look for in the dining hall to determine if a school really can meet your gluten-free needs. Here are some tips from our experience sending two gluten-free teens off to small liberal arts colleges.
Despite the good reputations in the food service world of both dining services, we found a wide variation in knowledge and follow through in serving gluten-free meals in both colleges. Look for dining services with training programs within the corporation and look out for programs that are researched and implemented by the chef or manager on duty.
Beware if you have new a new chef or dining manager. They will be getting an entire program up and running at the start of the school year and special diet meals will fall thorough the cracks and off their radar.
Smaller colleges are not always safer. With a much smaller gluten-free population to feed, some schools may have little to no experience even serving gluten-free meals. Ask very pointed, specific questions of everyone when asking about gluten-free meals. Watch the servers, the students and the kitchen preparation to see if you can spot weak links and poor kitchen practices.
Get everything in writing and consider registering with the Students with Disabilities Office at your school. This will protect you and your investment once you do choose a school.
“Gluten-free diet linked to increased depression and eating disorders” – the headline immediately caught my attention. As I read the first article, I was theorizing in my head about the chemical impact of gluten and carbohydrates in our brains and bodies, as well as the mental strain of adhering to a strict diet and the extra effort it requires. I thought a correlation between depression and a gluten-free lifestyle was possible, I thought about all my friends and family members living gluten-free, and I started digging for the actual research to investigate the experimental method used. What I found was that the alarming headline was taken from partial statements made by an experimenter, but the entire findings were not taken into account.
Unfortunately, this can be common in the news media and blogosphere where the focus is more on attention-grabbing sound bites rather than in-depth analysis and education. It is my sincere hope that everything I write (here and elsewhere) and everything you read at DietsInReview is researched and thought out, and we are not jumping to conclusions or publishing alarmist headlines simply because it is provocative.
In this case, the research found that those women with celiac disease (177 surveyed) who were most compliant with a gluten-free diet reported “increased vitality, lower stress, decreased depressive symptoms, and greater overall emotional health,” according to Josh Smyth of Penn State. This sounds like the opposite of the alarmist headline that grabbed my attention. The caveat is that those surveyed, even those managing celiac disease well through a gluten-free lifestyle, reported “higher rates of stress, depression, and a range of issues clustered around body dissatisfaction, weight and shape” compared to the general population.” (more…)
Wendy Gregory Kaho blogs about the care and feeding of a gluten-free family at Celiacs in the House.
My family has a list of holiday dishes that are not to be tinkered with or changed. They must look and taste the same way each and every year. We even have serving dishes and casseroles for each recipe, like the 28-year-old wedding gift baking dish to hold the stuffing.
When we found out about celiac disease and that three of us would be gluten free for the rest of our lives, one of the challenges was to get those textures and flavors from our traditional holiday foods without gluten. It’s gotten easier over the last six years to make our traditional stuffing recipe now that there are good gluten-free store-bought breads, cornbread mixes, and recipes available.
I created this gluten-free stuffing recipe especially for DietsInReview.com. This recipe combines two kinds of gluten-free bread that is cubed and toasted in a low oven, then it’s combined with gluten-free cornbread that is also cubed and toasted. This is all added to the rest of the ingredients and baked. We never stuff anything in our turkey but onions, celery, garlic and a carrot because we like a drier stuffing to soak up lots of gravy.
- 1 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil or a combination
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 1½ teaspoons of dried sage and ½ teaspoon of thyme
- 1½ teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon of pepper
- 2 tablespoons of dried parsley or add ¼ cup of fresh chopped
- 4 cups of gluten-free bread cubes. (I used about 6 slices of whole grain and 6 slices of white sandwich bread.)
- 2 cups of cornbread cubes (I used ½ pan of Pamela’s Cornbread Mix made without sugar. The other half will be frozen and go into the Christmas stuffing.)
- 2 cups of gluten-free broth
- 1 beaten egg
Click through for the Gluten-Free Stuffing Instructions, and to share the recipe with a friend. (more…)
In some ways it feels like summer has just begun. However, a walk through a supermarket will tell us that back-to-school season is just around the corner. The aisles are full of school supplies, backpacks, and new lunch boxes.
It’s just a few weeks before our kids will need their nutritious lunches packed every morning. This can be a real challenge as a parent. The challenge is much greater for those who have children with food allergies. Thankfully, many new products are available to make lunchtime easier for these children. For kids with gluten allergies or Celiac disease, their choices for fun lunchtime snacks were typically very limited. Today, there are several great products available. Not only are they gluten free and nutritious, but they are fun. No longer do our little ones with allergies have to be left out, eating their plain snacks.
These are just a few of the great tasting, gluten free, lunch box snacks to put on your school supply list.
Gluten is in the news again. Recent reports are showing that women who are undiagnosed or untreated for celiac disease may hit menopause early.
Celiac disease affects the immune system. For those who suffer from the disease, when the protein gluten is digested, it causes damage to the small intestine and prevents nutrient absorption. Gluten is found in a whole host of foods, like those containing wheat, barley, and rye. When someone with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, the body can react with dangerous side effects, such as chronic diarrhea, which can further rob the body of essential nutrients. These nutrient deficiencies are thought to be the cause for earlier menopause in women with celiac disease.
Early menopause is not the only new finding in regards to undiagnosed celiac disease in women. The same studies have found that the rate of miscarriage and premature birth was higher among those with untreated celiac disease.
Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
Calorie Count members want to know more about the mysteries of gluten. Here are some of our readers’ favorite “Ask Mary Q+A’s,” all gluten-free.
How would I know if I’m unable to tolerate gluten?
The classic signs of gluten intolerance are digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. And although not as common, not being able to tolerate gluten can also cause skin rash, joint pain, headaches, and anemia. Sometimes, gluten intolerance can actually show no obvious symptoms at all. Since there is a lot of overlap between gluten intolerance and dozens of other diseases, you should visit a doctor for evaluation if you have any concerns. You also should also consult a doctor before starting a gluten-free diet as this change can impact the test results and confound the diagnosis.
People who suffer from celiac disease may have something to celebrate if scientific trials from Australia come to fruition. The scientists have just successfully completed the first stage tests for a vaccine.
It’s safe to say that in comparison to diabetes and heart disease, celiac disease is a relatively unknown diet-related health issue. Part of the reason may be that many people who suffer from it don’t even know that they have it. Since it is estimated that as many as two million Americans suffer from celiac disease, it’s important that people have an understanding of what it is.
Simply put, celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder of the small intestine. Sufferers can’t eat gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley, because it damages the small intestine.
Celiac disease affects people in different ways. While some people may have digestive problems such as diarrhea or abdominal pain, others may suffer from mood shifts such as irritability or depression. (more…)
Going gluten-free is a huge trend right now with tons of gluten-free products on the market and numerous celebrities trying it. While gluten insensitivity does seem to be on the rise with an estimated 20 million sufferers, the National Institutes of Health report that 3 million Americans have celiac disease. But is going gluten-free really necessary? And is it good for overall health or is it just a way to lose weight because it’s such a restrictive diet?
We recently spoke to Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT, Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant Specializing in Gluten Free Living and Women’s Health, and Co-Manager for Gluten Intolerance Group of Greater Chicago about the pros and cons of this new way of eating. She says that while going gluten-free is costly and can have quite the learning curve (gluten is in so many things!), the benefits are enormous including finding relief from the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, rhuematoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome and even infertility. Not to mention that eating a diet without gluten in it can be incredibly nutritious in that most gluten-free foods are nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and proteins.
What would you do if almost every time you eat a meal, you suffered extreme abdominal pain? Dave Teator had to face this problem every day. Doctors could not explain why he would feel perfectly fine one day, and be very ill the next.
Finally, Teator took matters into his own hands and decided to try a gluten-free diet last year. And guess what, it worked!
“Going to a gluten-free diet made me feel so much better,” Teator said. “The healthier markets out there, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, dedicate gluten-free aisles, but the one thing that was missing was fresh baked [bread products].”