Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gluten Free Continued

"Celiac Disease" has NO CURE at this time but research continues to try and find one.  Celiac attacks and destroys your small intestine.  It does this through gluten contained in the foods you eat.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye.  Oats can also cause problems.  Once diagnosed with celiac, a person must not have oats until the intestine has healed.  Then you must be sure they are gluten free oats.  It sounds easy to just cut these foods out of your diet.  But it is not.

The usual foods produced by these ingredients are breads, pasta and baked goods.  But to your surprise, gluten is in many processed foods too.  I will get into this more in the weeks ahead.

Let's go back to the small intestine first.  Celiac damages the "Villi or tiny folds" in your small intestine.  This causes a problem for the body to absorb the nutrients from all the foods you consume.  So it can cause malnutrition, anemia, lack of calcium, neurological problems and even cancer of some types.

So it is a serious matter and needs to be dealt with a full commitment.  Even the tiniest amount of gluten can cause problems.

So who and  how do you get celiac disease?  The who is anyone but it seems Caucasians (especially of European descent) are the biggest group.  The how is still a big question.  You may be born with it but it may not activate until later in life.  It can start anytime after gluten has been introduced to one's diet.  What activates it isn't really known yet.  But researchers believe it is inherited.  There is a gene that can be passed along that makes one more likely to have celiac.

In future weeks we will cover more areas.  They will include "Label Reading" and "Cross-Contamination" to name two.  Of course, we will talk recipes and the dos and don'ts in using substitute ingredients.

I will be adding websites, support groups and other items as we go.  To give you a good start, please check out this website for information, and please spread my food blog link to anyone you know that may be touched by the celiac disease in some way.

This week there will be just one recipe and it is for "Gluten Free Corn Bread" and this will give you an idea of some of the different ingredients you will be using in these recipes.  "Happy Cooking" until next week.

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