Gluten Free Watchdog

Many customers ask me how I learn about unsafe gluten free items so I decided to share this incredible site with you.  Gluten Free Watchdog randomly purchases and tests products for the presence of gluten.  Every week I get emails from them with test results of the products they have tested.  They test items based on what their subscribers want them to test and they test items randomly as well.

This is how I found out that GF Cheerios were not really GF. (see 2 previous blog posts)  I had heard this from many customers as well..telling me how sick they got when they tried them.  It all made sense when I read GF Watchdog’s report on them and how they are not using certified GF oats and they are not using solid testing methods to test the product.  I also learned about a Teff Flour today that is testing higher than 50ppm and it is Certified GF!

How does this happen?  How do you find out about it?

It is easy, just sign up on their website.  The cost is $5 per month and you get more than what you pay for from this invaluable service.

Click Here to Learn More

FODMAPS; What You Need to Know!

There has been a lot of attention given lately about FODMAPS. In this post I will tell you what they are and why people with Celiac  Disease (CD)and Gluten Sensitivity (GS) often have issues with these. Basically, FODMAPS  is a term used to describe a chain of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are found naturally in food or added to food.

The acronym FODMAPS stands for fermentable oligo, di and mono saccharides and polyols. Researchers believe that foods with these carbohydrates make IBS & IBD (inflammatory bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease) worse.  Basically, the oligosaccharides are made of fructans and galactans; the disaccharides are comprised of lactose; the monsaccharides are comprised of fructose and the polyols are sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol.

Fermentable means they are broken down in the large bowel.  All of these substances are poorly absorbed by the small intestine. The theory is that they may contribute to digestive difficulties in some people due to the processes of fermentation and/or osmosis.  So, basically, they are carbs, lactose and sugars that are hard to digest. Symptoms would include gas, pain, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, distention and nausea.

Foods that are high in FODMAPS are:

Wheat: in all forms, breads, pastas, pastries, cakes, cookies etc, including Rye and Spelt.

Fruits: apples, apricot, cherry, lychee, mango, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, prune, starfruit, watermelon, juices (fruits or juices with apple and pear)

Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, avacado, beans (and lentils), broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chickory root, fennel, garlic (and* soups and sauces with garlic), leek, mage tout, mushroom, onion (and soups and sauces with onion), peas, spring onion (white bit), sugar snap peas.

Sugar Free Mints, Gum, Sweets and Drinks: avoid sorbitol, mannitol, lactitol, maltitol, xylitol, erythritol and isomalt.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Honey

Avoid: FOS, Inulin, or oligofructose as ingredients.

Nuts: Almonds, Cahsews, Pistachio

Dandelion Tea

Milk: Milk and products with lactose like cheese, yogurt, milk chocolate, chocolate,  and ice cream.

Rum

*I know that for me onions, beans, apples, pears, juices, xylitol, etc; cause me big time problems! Many customers with CD, GS, IBS and IBD  say they have problems with FODMAPS as well and do much better avoiding them. The best way to figure out which ones are a problem would be to remove them all for a few weeks. Then when you try eating one of them, you will know quickly if it is a problem for you. Keep a food diary when you start adding them back in and you will see your own pattern developing based on what you ate.