Going gluten-free has become a hot trend among people who say it helps fight fatigue and bloating. But people with celiac disease are especially at risk not only for discomfort, but for serious health problems.
In these people, foods that contain gluten trigger antibodies that attack the lining of the small intestine. This limits the absorption of nutrients and puts them at risk of osteoporosis, infertility, and other health threats.
Gluten is an ingredient in bread, cereal, pasta, and a surprisingly high number of other popular foods such as spaghetti sauce, syrup, and ice cream. Gluten’s prevalence in so many foods means it’s hard for people with celiac disease to safely and regularly avoid it.
Now, a new definition of “gluten-free” will help millions of Americans make safe food choices. The new FDA standards will mean that foods labeled “gluten-free” must contain less than 20 parts per million, a trace amount that is considered safe for people with celiac disease.
Manufacturers have until August 2, 2014, to comply.
Get gluten-free recipes and learn more about the new rules from the Celiac Disease Foundation.