This website is dedicated to my gluten-free food experiments, however, sometimes there’s news important enough to ‘migrate’ articles over from my gluten-free dietetics practice. Here’s my June 2010 GF newsletter.
Are Whole Grains Like Millet, Corn and Rice Safe in a GF diet?
By Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, LD
A new June 2010 study, “Gluten Contamination of Grains, Seeds, and Flours in the United States” just was published in the American Dietetics Association Journal. We’ve known for years that oats can be contaminated with gluten, but what about other grains, flours and seeds?
The research team looked at a variety of grains, seeds, flours, etc. NOT marked gluten free and sent them to a lab for testing. It is important to note that single ingredient foods like rice, millet, corn, etc. are not allowed to simply be labeled “gluten-free” under the proposed FDA ruling. At best, they can say “all (blank) is gluten-free”. As this study shows, this may be problematic.
Not surprisingly, the products highest in gluten were flours, such as millet flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour and soy flour (soy flours had the highest levels tested). Amaranth flour had undetectable levels, as did some of the rice flours tested. Whole grains were a mixed bag. Some batches of whole grain millet over the recommended FDA proposed ruling of 20 parts per million, but buckwheat, amaranth, rice, etc. were under.
*sigh* As a dietitian who has been recommending for years that people eat “naturally gluten free foods” when possible for the whole grain benefits, this is unfortunate news. It is important to note this is a small study, and it would helpful to know more about other inherently gluten-free products, like other grains, nuts, seeds, beans, etc. too. However, especially in light of this study makes a lot of sense to ONLY and ALWAYS purchase flours that are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and/or ones that are tested for the presence of gluten through the GIG or CSA certification programs, or a place with a dedicated gluten-free facilty. It also demonstrates large potential loopholes in the proposed FDA gluten-free guidance, because it shows that inherently gluten-free grains may well not be gluten-free in reality. As the study states, “The FDA may want to modify their proposed rule for labeling of food as gluten-free, removing the requirement that gluten-free manufacturers of inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours must state on product labels that all foods of that type are gluten-free.”
Many thanks to Tricia Thompson, Anne Roland Lee and Thomas Grace for doing this new and important research.
Since I’ve been getting this question a lot, here are a few companies that test
for gluten both in flours and grains:
Bob’s red mill http://www.bobsredmill.com/ flours and grains
NOTE: not all are GF, but the GF and tested products are well labeled
Eden foods http://www.edenfoods.com/ grains
Nu World amaranth: amaranth http://www.nuworldfoods.com/
Allergy grocer/Ms. Roben’s: http://www.allergygrocer.com contains very detailed
info on how flours are produced and cross contamination
Nearly Normal Flour (Jules Shepherd)
Better Batter Flour: www.betterbatter.org
Balancing “Green” with “Good-for-You”:
Getting the Nutrition You Need with an Eye on the Environment
* Which foods are most important to buy “organic” and why
* “Wild” versus “farmed” fish and the levels of contamination contained in each
* How to critically sift through information printed on food labels
* What you really need to know about “Genetically Modified Foods” or GMOs
* Resources for finding local Farmers’ Markets, Community Supported Agriculture, Community Gardens, and more
* How to begin planting a few fruits and vegetables of your own!
June 5th, 10:30-12 at the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in Mc Lean, VA
To register, call 703-532-4892
Next Meeting Date: Saturday, June 12, 2010, 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Meeting Topic: Autoimmune Diseases and Celiac’s Relationship to Other Disorders.
Speaker: Dr. Gary Kaplan, Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine
Vendor: Marion’s Smart Delights ( marionssmartdelights.com )
Location: Arlington Central Library
1015 N Quincy St Arlington, VA 22201
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Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, children on the Autistic spectrum, chronic illness, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742.