Free Webinar For Newly Diagnosed – January 23rd

Gluten-Free 101: Getting Started Gluten Free – January and February

Sue Newell

Sue Newell

If you are a newly diagnosed member or just someone who wants a refresher on the gluten-free diet, join us for one of our sessions led by CCA’s expert, Sue Newell.

These free interactive one-hour online sessions are included with your CCA membership and are offered once per month.

Session sizes are limited. Click the corresponding link to request to register:

Hamilton Columnist Mocks The Gluten-Free

A Hamilton newspaper columnist is being criticized for insensitive comments he made in a December 30th, 2017 Hamilton Spectator column.

In an article entitled “2017: Silliness about bitcoin, gluten and identity” Paul Benedett writes:

Gluten-free: What I can say scientifically about gluten-free is, “Oh for God’s sake, have a slice of bread!” Once a word only nutritionists knew, gluten has become the toxic waste of food. If gluten killed people, Italy would be populated by two celiacs and a dog. Calm down. Eat some pizza.

CCA President Anne Wraggett submitted the following response:

To the editor,

I would like to respond to Paul Benedetti’s insensitive comments about gluten and celiac disease. While I’m all for having a little fun and not sweating the small stuff, I am one of over 35,000 Canadians diagnosed with celiac disease. It is actually an autoimmune disorder whereby the intestinal lining is destroyed by gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye and barley. The body turns on itself and the resulting damage hinders the absorption of the nutrients required to remain healthy.

Peer-reviewed scientific research has shown that roughly 1% of the population has celiac disease – so over 350,000 Canadians – but over 90% remain undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. This is because the symptoms are so varying, and can include gastrointestinal issues, anemia, migraines, neurological issues, chronic fatigue, extremely itchy rashes, and more.

Untreated celiac disease can lead to malnutrition, osteoporosis, and some particularly lethal cancers of the gut. Sad to say, gluten does kill people. Many of us can look back in our family histories and recognize those who died from complications of celiac disease before it was discovered after World War II that treatment with a gluten-free diet could restore health.

Would Mr. Benedetti also mock people with lupus? With type 1 diabetes? With thyroid disease? If not, he should extend the same courtesy to those with celiac disease.

Anne Wraggett
President, CCA Board of Directors

New Celiac Blood Test – While on a GF Diet

A new blood test in experimental phase can identify Celiacs while they are still following a gluten-free diet.

The current blood test relies on detecting an immune response to gluten, but that response gradually fades for people on a gluten-free diet.

The “gold standard” test for diagnosing Celiac Disease requires the daily consumption of gluten for up to 8 weeks, followed by a  biopsy from the small intestine.

On a small test sample of 63 patients,  the new blood test was 96% percent accurate identifying patients with Celiac Disease on a gluten-free diet compared to non-Celiacs.

Read more from our Facebook post.

You can take the test while on a gluten free diet.

Posted by Kelowna Celiac on Monday, December 25, 2017

3 Tips To Stay Safe At Holiday Gatherings

by Selena De Vries

The holidays can be a challenging time to stay gluten-free. But, with a few strategies in your back pocket, the holidays can be confidently enjoyed gluten-free! Here are three tips to try for your next holiday social.


1. Bring your own delicious GF dish to share.

This is a tried and true strategy that will ensure you have something safe to eat. Afraid the host may not approve? Communicate your concern by saying “I have celiac disease and even a tiny bit of gluten can cause me to feel extremely unwell. I have (an event, a presentation, a family outing etc) and it would be very unfortunate if I have to miss it because I’m ill. So, I brought my own dish just in case!” Something along those lines is always well received.

2. Be involved with the food preparation as much as possible.

Whether the event is close to home or far away, technology can be your friend! If someone else is taking the lead in preparing the food, make sure your voice is heard.

In a Kitchen: Physically help prepare the meal by showing up in advance of the event so you can have eyes on potential sources of cross-contamination and ensure all ingredients being used are gluten-free.

Away from the Kitchen: Talk to them on the phone ahead of time to help plan the meal, get family/friends to text you pictures of ingredient lists, Facetime with them in the grocery store, and let them know brand names of your favourite GF foods.

3. Be armed with confident communication skills.

Being able to politely decline food that has had so much love and effort put into it, is one of the hardest things to do as a celiac. Here are some example responses that you may want to try:

Comment: “What do you mean you can’t have these cookies, I made them special just for you!”

Response: Thank you so much for thinking of me. I really appreciate it. But, I have to be so careful as even something as little crumb can make me very ill for days. And, with the holidays, I just can’t risk it. Maybe next time we get together, we can bake cookies at my house!

Comment: Come on, a little gluten won’t hurt!”

Response: I wish that was the case, but unfortunately, even a little would cause my digestive system to be damaged. Just imagine one smartie split into 4 pieces. Just one of those quarters still contains 25x too much gluten for me to safely ingest! It really is such a small amount. So, I do have to be very careful about the choices I make and really appreciate your understanding

CCA 2017 Holiday Survival Guide

holiday survival guide

​Happy Holidays from the Canadian Celiac Association!

This holiday season we are pleased to give you our CCA Holiday Survival Guide.

holiday survival guideClick the link or the image to the right to take you to an online version of the guide. The guide contains tips and recipes from a team of passionate volunteers, who perhaps like you or a family member, face the challenges of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity during a time of the year when food-centred activities take place.

​If you have enjoyed the support, education and information from CCA over this past year, we hope that you will consider a donation towards our annual Festive Campaign. Donations allow our charity to continue to advocate on your behalf, increase access to safe foods and improve the quality of life of people with CD and NCGS through investing in research and education, and more. To make a secure online donation, please click this link to Canada Helps.

Wishing you all a fun and gluten-free holiday season!

Best wishes,
Anne Wraggett

Gluten-free Baby: When Parents Ignore Science


Key points from Maclean’s January 11, 2017 article

By Toronto Celiac

different-foodsChildren raised eating only a raw, vegan, non-GMO, unprocessed diet get a rude awakening when they enter school and find a whole new world of food: jello, fruit loops and many other foods have never been seen before. Dietitians agree that diets can be dangerous for children.

“Once you start restricting food groups or large chunks of food groups, you start running into problems like vitamin and mineral deficiency.” Karen Kuperberg, RD states that “In general, any diets for kids aren’t recommended. You want kids to eat a variety of foods from all food groups.”

Dr. Peter Green, an expert in Celiac Disease, is all in favour of going gluten-free if it’s medically required. Parents should not self-diagnose themselves or their children however. Parents who are committed to diets do have the advantage of paying close attention to what their children eat. However, the article warns that imposing adult lifestyle choices on infants and children is ill-advised.

Alternative medicine choices for children may mean undiagnosed serious diseases are being missed. “You cannot afford to make any mistakes when it comes to your children.”

If you know someone putting their child on a gluten-free diet as they seem to be bothered by gluten, suggest that before they do that, that they have their child tested for Celiac Disease first. If diagnosed, they can then get the proper information from a Registered Dietitian to ensure that vitamin and mineral deficiency does not become an issue. Their child’s health is at risk.

Read the full article at:

CCA Webinar – Meet the Celiac Researcher – November 30

By CCA National

Topic:  Food for Thought: The challenges of eating a nutritious and healthy gluten-free diet

Webinar Speaker: Diana Mager PhD RD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Alberta.

When:  Thursday November 30 at 8:30pm EST. Limit of 100 people for the webinar.

Diana-MagerJoin us to learn more about some of the research you have helped support through the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA). This webinar will address the unique nutritional considerations of the gluten-free diet for children with celiac disease and their families in Canada and the latest developments about our ongoing research related to a gluten-free food guide for Canadians.

Register in advance for this free webinar:


Vinh Thuan Rice Flour for Cake recalled for Gluten

Vinh Thuan brand Rice Flour for Cake

CFIA Alert

Vinh Thuan brand Rice Flour for CakeFood Recall Warning (Allergen): Vinh Thuan brand Rice Flour for Cake recalled due to undeclared gluten
Reason for recall: Allergen – Gluten
Hazard classification: Class 3
Company / Firm: Thai United Food Trading Ltd.
Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan
Extent of the distribution: Retail
Reference number: 11858
Size: 400 g
EXP: 30/08/2018 8
Product UPC: 934734 212038

Renew or Join the CCA Online

cca renew membership

By Melissa Secord, Executive Director

cca renew membershipCCA National is pleased to announce that both new and returning members can join or renew online.

What is different you may ask? In the past, when people clicked the online payment their information was downloaded and manually entered by CCA staff. Now when members or new folks complete the online application, it will be directly linked to their own accounts.

Members will now be able to see their data with CCA. They can update email and address changes. This investment will allow the small team at CCA National to focus more on providing value-added assistance and to manage our members more proactively. Eventually, we will host an online member portal where members will be able to access Member Only content and discussion forums.

Members who are due for renewal were sent an email today to prompt them to renew. They were given step by step instructions on how to renew online. Members without an email will be sent a hard copy notice in the mail. In the coming month, we will proactively follow up with those members who have lapsed since the start of the year.

Link to our page on the website: