Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Just coming back from the largest Natural Products show in the country is always both exhilarating and  exhausting. What’s new, Where to eat, What brand is hot?,  Who works where?, and the trade show mantra rolls on.  Been attending to this show since the spring of 1984 …wow  … how times have changed.

Gluten free products took center stage at Expo West this year . Our industry is turning out more and more products made with unfamiliar grains and starches to eliminate the wheat , barley , rye , oats and sometimes millet & buckwheat. Even the conventional supermarkets  are adding more sku’s as public demand rises .Why the trend ? What’s wrong with whole wheat anyway?2010 misc 194

Wheat in our present food supply ; organic or not -white or white -hard or soft, contains about 7x’s more gluten than our biblical ancestors . Gluten is  the glue like protein that helps bread to rise , pizza dough pliable and chewy bagels .

Gliaden, the real culprit of the disease,  is part of the gluten molecular structure. The intestinal villi become damaged and they lay flat in the “colon fingers” so the food particles are not absorbed but pass through the colon undigested causing chaos  in other organs. Science show that this sensitivity  to both Gliaden and gluten is commonly  inherited. This interference with digestion inhibits the absorption of many important nutrients  including fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D and K  and even water  needed for daily health.

The disease, named Celiac Sprue has gained public attention with both the medical field and with consumers over the last 75 years.  The disease is vast and is not age discriminant.  In children signs of stunted growth,  loose bowels, vomiting and bloating are common. Adults symptoms span from intense food cravings to rapid weight accompanied by diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating and distention,intestinal gas, muscular atrophy and weakness, extreme fatigue, anemia, red blisters on the elbows, knees and legs, cracks in the tongue,  edema and leg and toe cramping.

The only way the research has shown to reduce these symptoms is to eliminate the culprit foods from one’s diet.  It is tough to make dietary adjustments, especially with a family or other people to cook for in your  household.  However, it certainly is better to remove a food, than to live in pain and possible addiction to prescription medications.

I missed seeing Jim Carrey at the show – he actually made a guest appearance at the  Mary’s Gone Crackers booth . I believe his child has autism and wheat and gluten must be eliminated from their diet along with dairy products. These quinoa and flax seed based rice crackers are amazing, crunchy, unique and low in carbs, about 140 calories for 13 crackers and 3 grams of fiber per serving !  Other cracker favorites of mine are the Blue Diamond Nut thins (only 130 calories for 17 crackers!)   Edward & Sons Brown Rice crackers and Sami’s Millet & Flax garlic crackers (wheat not gluten free).  You  won’t miss the saltines or Ritz crackers when you have these flavorful, lower carb and healthier alternatives.

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There are so many great companies out there now. Instead of wheat (semolina or Durham flour) I use Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta. You wont miss it. I even make my holiday lasagna using their noodles and nobody noticed the difference. Of course we all love  brown rice and Lundberg Brown Basmati is fabulous along with Ancient Harvest Quinoa - that offer the highest protein of any grain and cooks in only 15 minutes.

I have been following a  wheat free diet (with a few exceptions here and there) for the last 15 years when I started Dr. D’Adamo’s blood type program. I believe that changing my eating habits have kept my immune system strong, and have delayed common aging complaints and have kept me free of medications.

The list for healthier foods made with unique grains ,lower carbs and better fiber counts are what we need to live a healthier lifestyle. The offerings at the trade show are amazing and coming soon to a natural product store near you . From bread to pretzels to desserts and snack foods , you can make some better choices for your health without sacrificing the taste.

For more information about Celiac Sprue including a basic diet and recipes, contact the Celiac Sprue Association at www.csaceliacs.org

Be good to your body and it will be good for you.

In Continued Health,

Sally

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