Gluten Free? New Standards Are Now In Place
Last August, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented rules that define the terms “gluten free,” “no gluten,” “without gluten,” etc. Manufacturers will no longer be able to make these claims unless their products contain 20 parts per million, or less, of the protein complex that’s collectively called gluten. It’s found in wheat, barley and rye, and in products made from these grains, including pasta and bread.
Many people are avoiding gluten, out of a belief that they are gluten intolerant or have gluten sensitivity. Doctors are still scratching their heads over the gluten-free craze. The only medically recognized reason to avoid gluten entirely is a serious and fairly rare condition called celiac disease. But more and more Americans are likely to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon in 2014. Driven in part by the success of books like “Grain Brain,” by David Perlmutter, MD, and “Wheat Belly,” by William Davis, MD, the dietary fad has garnered lots of attention by the media, and it’s generated lots of cash. According to the American Celiac Disease Alliance, Americans spent more than $4 billion last year on gluten-free products, and sales are still climbing.
Davis claims that wheat is both addictive and basically toxic, while Perlmutter claims that all carbohydrates, including those in wheat, cause neurological problems such as ADHD, dementia, depression and headaches. Other experts remained unconvinced, but it seems apparent that carbohydrates—especially simple carbs like sugar—are not good for you, making it harder to control appetite and body weight.
USFDA website. Accessed 1-2-14 from: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm367654.htm