Monday, May 9, 2011

New Gluten Free Section on my Blog!

Big news, I have added a new facet to my blog: eNourishment now has a section with recipes that are gluten-free! I took some time to go through all my recipe posts and tag the ones that are naturally free of gluten or can be, with some modifications. In case you are not familiar with this term, gluten free means NO wheat, rye or barley. Gluten is a protein found in these grains. Oats are often contaminated with gluten during processing as well.

So what’s all the concern about gluten? Well, for those with Celiac disease and non-Celiac gluten sensitivity it can cause lots of problems if and when is it is consumed. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which damage to the intestines occurs when gluten is eaten. It is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans (1 percent!) has Celiac Disease, so it is surprisingly more common than you may think. The only effective treatment for Celiac disease is to be on a strict gluten-free diet for life but luckily that results in a lot of improvement. Those with another condition called gluten sensitivity, also termed gluten intolerance, do not have to avoid gluten, but simply feel better (less digestive problems, headaches, among many other issues) when they do. In contrast to Celiac disease, which can be diagnosed by blood tests and/or intestinal biopsy, there is no official test/way to diagnose gluten sensitivity other than trying the gluten-free diet and seeing if symptoms improve. I personally have been tested for Celiac and was negative but suspected gluten-sensitivity so I have been on a gluten free diet for over a month now and I do feel better. I may try adding it back in small amounts in the future, but for now I am trying to minimize it in my diet.

I am happy to say that when I took a look at all the recipes I’ve developed in the past, many of them were already gluten-free or could easily be modified to be gluten free- hurray for a grand total of 100 recipes! You can see them all by clicking HERE or on the category marked “gluten free” in the left side bar of my blog. I have noted some suggested brands for certain gluten-free ingredients, such as broths, oats etc, but please do check product labels as formulations can change.

If you think you may have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity it’s worth seeking medical attention and also being referred to a dietitian to get some assistance. A great website to get some more info is the Celiac Foundation at May is National Celiac Awareness month, so what better time for me to post about it and unveil the gluten-free section of my blog!! ☺


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