Diet and Nutrition
Gluten-Free Diet and labeling
Celiac disease is a gluten-related disorder whereby genetically predisposed individuals experience symptoms following dietary gluten exposure.
Other individuals may not have celiac disease but may experience similar symptoms following dietary gluten or wheat exposure. This condition is called “non-celiac gluten/wheat sensitivity”, NCGS/NCWS.
Additionally, some individuals may develop wheat allergy.
In both cases, preventing and correcting nutrient deficiencies as well as managing gluten consumption in the diet is important for long-term health.
Gluten Free Diet
Following a strict, life-long gluten-free diet is crucial to prevent inflammatory responses and symptomatic episodes in patients with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. Having a strong understanding of how to identify potential gluten contaminants, and how to follow a gluten-free diet properly is an essential skill to help you improve your health and wellbeing.
Celiac disease is associated with several nutritional deficiencies, which could be explained by malabsorption when the disease is active. Malabsorption does not occur in people with allergy or wheat sensitivities if there is no celiac disease. However, following a gluten-free diet without proper monitoring can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Routine bloodwork for vitamins and mineral levels can help identify nutritional deficiencies.
Gluten Free Beverages
When following a gluten-free diet, it is very important to understand what beverages contain gluten and what beverages are safe to consume.
Beverages fermented from gluten-containing grains such as beer, should be excluded from the diet. However, beverages fermented from fruit such as wine and distilled beverages such as vodka and tequila are safe as they are considered to be gluten-free.
GF Labelling and Regulation
Gluten-Free labelling is regulated in Canada by Health Canada and audited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Health Canada considers that gluten-free foods containing levels of gluten not exceeding 20 ppm (or 20mg of gluten per 1Kg), meet the safety standards when a gluten-free claim is made.