Gluten-Free Myths Busted

Source: Newsletter of the CCA Ottawa Chapter

People with celiac are always thin

gluten-free weight lossThis is a serious myth that I know even medical practitioners believe. According to Melinda Dennis, a Registered Dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre at Harvard, 40% of people diagnosed with celiac are overweight at their time of diagnosis. 4-5% are underweight.

 

I will lose weight on the gluten-free diet

Again, wrong. Overall, according to Melinda Dennis, most patients tend to gain weight when their gut heals and they can absorb nutrients again. Better absorption of food + same caloric intake = weight gain.

 

All of my cosmetics, lotions, hair products must be gluten free because the skin absorbs gluten

No. Dr. John Zone, who is a dermatologist, says the skin has stratum corneum which is like a “Saran Wrap” or a protective barrier to keep gluten from permeating into the body. The same holds true for hair follicles which have a protective barrier. However, a break in the skin will allow absorption.

Gluten-Free Wellness Group Meets June 28th – Topic “Summer Eating”

selena-de-vries

Wednesday night, June 28, 2017 our Kelowna Celiac and Gluten Intolerant Wellness Group with Registered Dietitian, Selena De Vries meets.  This is the last meeting before a summer break.

The topic: “Summer BBQ and events” as well as the opportunity for open Q&A.

When: 7 – 8 pm

Where: Orthoquest Kelowna Kinesiology at 1021 Richter Street, Kelowna, BC

Cost: Free to CCA members, $2 donation for non-members.

Wellness Meetings are held in the months of January, February, March, April, May, October and November.

Contact Selena at 778-990-6047 for more information.

Gluten-Free Moroccan Travel

Tajine

By Gabrielle Loyer, gluten-free traveler and CCA member

Morocco mapMorocco is an Arab country situated in the north-west corner of Africa, south of Europe. It is 15 kilometres from Spain, on the Mediterranean. Morocco is a major destination for tourism and Mediterranean travel. An estimated 9 million tourists visited the Kingdom of Morocco in 2010. Morocco offers a complete destination for any traveller seeking the sun, the sea, mountains and/or the desert. In Morocco, you see stark contrasts; you can pass by the Sahara with its extreme heat, or head up to the snowy Atlas Mountains with its frigid temperatures. With many cultures within one country, both the population and cuisine are diversified. Moreover, Moroccan cuisine is considered by many as one of the best in the world, with its Mediterranean flavour characterised by a variety of dishes originating in Arab and Berber traditions, complemented by numerous spices. Their food has characteristics similar to other cuisines in the Maghreb region, but while conserving its unique cultural identity.

Moroccan cuisine offers a number of gluten-free choices. Their tajines (stew), based on a variety of meats, such as beef, chicken and lamb, are probably the best choice. Tajine is the traditional plate “par excellence” of Morocco. It is a simple dish, so the success really depends on the cooking method: it must be done slowly so the meats, fish, veggies and spices mingle their scents together. You may be surprised by the sweet and salty tajines, which feature the taste of spices, almonds, and prunes. Served with vegetables, olives and the famous Moroccan eggplant salad (Zaalouk), tajine makes for a fine meal. Don’t forget that a Moroccan dining experience cannot be considered complete without a coffee or a delicious sweet tea, scented with fresh mint.

TajineSome Moroccans speak English, but the majority speak French, and certain Arab words can be useful: wheat (khramèh), barley (zarra), bread (khrobz), milk (halib) and allergic (azèzia). While Moroccans tend not to be aware of celiac disease, they are very respectful and followed our wishes with care in order to avoid cross-contamination. That said, wheat is quite common in Moroccan dishes. For breakfast, the majority of options contain gluten. There’s gheffa, a sort of wheat cake. Harcha is also prepared with wheat. Baghrirs are Moroccan crêpes that locals have with honey, butter or fresh cheese. Bread does go with all meals, but you can just leave it on the table. Moroccan pastries are varied and refined, but unfortunately, they are made with a wheat flour base. In certain spots, though, you can find nut macaroons that are gluten free. To finish off your meal, you’ll always have the chance to sample a nice seasonal fruit, such as melon, grapes, figs, or oranges. And the Moroccan snacks cannot be beat – dried fruit, dates, almonds, pistachios, grapes, apricots and figs. Olive oil and olives play a major role in Moroccan cuisine, and it’s that which gives it the Mediterranean flavour.

It’s possible to find products labelled gluten-free in the special diet section of certain commercial supermarkets, such as Marjane and Acima. The products are there, but there is not much choice – a few chocolate or ginger cookies and rice cakes. At these stores, you can also find some refrigerated gluten-free products like compotes that are labelled GF. Further, the SANTIVERI boutiques (www.santiverimaroc.com) offer a large choice of fresh, gluten-free bread, cookies, pasta and sauces.

The Cuisine Kingdom of Morocco is, therefore, a dream spot for those who love Mediterranean cuisine, with some Arab and Berber. It’s a trip to a world of flavourful and diverse gastronomy, and it will leave you eager to try Moroccan cuisine yourself when you return home.

Besaha – Bon appétit!

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

gluten-free cookie

Courtesy Mark Johnson

gluten-free cookieIngredients:

  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup teff flour
  • 1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups pure, uncontaminated oats
  • ½ cup margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs (or equivalent 4 egg replacer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk flours, xanthan gum, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make sure there are no lumps.
  2. Add the oats, and combine well.
  3. Add the melted butter, and mix until combined.
  4. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix until it comes together. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
  5. Place cookies on prepared cooking sheets by the spoonful.
  6. Preheat oven to 325F.
  7. If winter, put the sheets outside. If summer, put into freezer. Wait 15 minutes.
  8. Place into oven and bake for 15 minutes. Cookies will still be soft.
  9. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer carefully to a wire rack to allow to cool completely. Serve. These also freeze well.

Vaccine to treat celiac disease clears first stages of clinical trials

immusant-logo

Contributed

immusant-logoFor a number of years, an American company called ImmusanT has been working on a potential vaccine to protect celiac sufferers from the effects of exposure to gluten and the gastrointestinal symptoms that can result such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating.

The Massachusetts biotech firm says it has completed its first phase 1b trial of Nexvax2.

As many of us are aware, celiac disease is remarkable among chronic diseases in that it is very common but has no proven, approved treatment beyond dietary restriction. It affects around 1% of people – though an estimated 90% remain undiagnosed. In most celiac cases, the disease is thought to be caused by a mutation in the HLA-DQ2 gene, which is involved in immune regulation.

Developing effective treatments is important as, despite being on the gluten-free diet, around a third of people with celiac disease still suffer from symptoms as well as damage to the cells lining the intestines – often without even realizing it.

This is rather complex, but ImmusanT’s big idea is to use three “peptides” (an amino acid-containing compound within our bodies) as an immunotherapy that it hopes will encourage the T cells involved in the inflammatory reaction in celiac disease to become tolerant to gluten. After a first course of the vaccine, to induce tolerance, the company hopes that this tolerance can be maintained by periodic re-injection with the vaccine.

It’s a case of “so far, so good”, with the phase 1b trial in 38 patients revealing no concerns about safety or tolerability and showing that the immunotherapy seemed to have the desired effects on the immune system.

The study also allowed ImmusanT to select a dosing regimen for planned phase 2 trials that will see if Nexvax2 can be used alongside a gluten-free diet to protect patients when they are accidentally exposed to gluten, which ImmusanT sees as the quickest route to approval in the United States.

Depending on the results, a follow-up program is planned that will focus on an immunotherapy that could do away with the need for the gluten-free diet entirely. The company is also developing a companion diagnostic for the vaccine which could guide its use and help improve diagnosis rates.

 

Make Your BBQ Gluten-Free

Many events with family and friends are planned around the BBQ, and this is a source of worry from many people with celiac disease. The concern is the transfer of traces of sauces that contain gluten, or crumbs from breaded products or buns being heated on the BBQ. Since grilling season is here or almost here across Canada, I went looking in my local Canadian Tire store for ways to provide a physical barrier for your GF food on the BBQ. You can use aluminium foil, but some people have asked about reusable options.

I was surprised at the number of options I found and at the range of prices.

If you only need to deal with the problem when visiting others, consider a silicon grill mat or a lightweight grill topper. Both are generally priced between $5 and $10. They are easy to transport and clean up well.

If you miss grill lines, and if you don’t need to travel with your solution, look at a separate grill pan that can sit on top of your basic grill. These pans are made from ceramic or cast iron and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce and marinades are places where you often find gluten. The problem ingredients are likely to be Worcestershire sauce, malt vinegar, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. A few commercial products may also contain hydrolyzed wheat or barley proteins which are also not gluten free.

Don’t try to shop for a new brand in a hurry — it can take a while to check the small print on all those jars on the shelf.

I went looking for some online recipes and found a lot of recipes that were also paleo or healthy or low carb and even vegan, but they all contained ingredients that most people don’t have on hand. Sambal olek, agave syrup or coconut aminos anyone?

This recipe is a basic sauce with the key flavours represented: salty and sweet flavors in the ketchup, more sweet from the honey and then a good tang from the mustard. You can add your favourite spices and gluten-free versions of soy sauce and Worcestershire, or you can use the basic sauce as is.

Understanding Gluten Labelling In Canada – Free Webinar May 17th

Gluten-Labelling Webinar

As part of our Celiac Awareness Month activities, the CCA is launching its first of several webinars to support the Canadian celiac community.

Pre-registration is required. The webinar is FREE. 

Contact information is required in order to participate. Space is limited.

DATE: Wednesday, May 17, 2017     TIME:   7 – 8pm OR  9 – 10pm EDT

Title: Is that safe for me? Understanding gluten labelling in Canada 

Presenter: Sue Newell

Here’s what you’ll learn:

1. Understand the requirements for a gluten-free claim in Canada

2. Understand the elements of risk analysis for gluten contamination in food

3. Identify the package elements used to determine the gluten risk for food

4. Understand the core elements of certification

To register: Click or paste on one of the following links:

7 – 8pm EDT – https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1919e53d6f0fd9717510d14dfea9e911

9 – 10pm EDT – https://zoom.us/webinar/register/ba967167c899f16966858a512be5123a

CCA 2017 National Conference In Edmonton

Edmonton Conference

Canadian Celiac Association – National Conference

When: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Time: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
What: A one-day conference and vendor fair (held in conjunction with the CCA National Conference and AGM)
Cost: CCA member price $75, Non-member price $100

Registration includes: gluten free breakfast and lunch, conference and vendor fair access

Bonus: To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Kinnikinnick is offering conference delegates a free tour of their production facility on Friday, June 9th. Spaces limited, so book now to make sure you get a spot!

After a long hiatus, the Edmonton chapter is once again hosting a national conference. The Edmonton Gluten Free Festival is a one-day conference and vendor fair. We have a terrific line-up of speakers including Dr. Sheila Crowe, co-author of celiac disease for dummies and celiac blogger Laurie Lynn Lyons.

Click to register and get more details.

Photos: Over 30 Attend Gluten-Free Pizza Potluck

Kelowna Celiac 2017 Pizza Potluck Group

Over 30 attended this afternoon’s pizza potluck at the Lake Country Senior’s Centre. That’s the best turnout we’ve had in awhile.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks to Selena De Vries and Irene Wiseman for the photos.

Jim’s Place in Vernon provided the pizza and Schar sent a great assortment of products for us to try.

Aside from the food, Selena De Vries, our Chapter dietitian answered many questions that our members had.

Our next meetings are September 10th and November 12th.

Gluten-free diets don’t help people without celiac disease, study finds

CBC Marketplace Gluten-Free

CBC Marketplace is running an interesting segment on how gluten-free diets don’t help non-celiacs.

CBC Marketplace Gluten-Free

Here’s an excerpt from the article.

Gluten-free diets shouldn’t be promoted to prevent heart disease among people without celiac disease, gastroenterologists say after a large U.S. study.

The food industry has stimulated popularity in gluten-free diets. Recognising this public interest, researchers at Harvard Medical School said they wanted to see whether avoiding gluten actually has health benefits for those without the disease.

To that end, Dr. Andrew Chan, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, and his team used diet and health outcome data collected from 110,000 health professionals over 26 years to link estimates of gluten in the diet to diagnoses of coronary heart disease.

Read the full article on CBC.ca