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August 30, 2011 at 12:10 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Gluten Intolerance at Breakfast

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Registered dietitian Jessica Butcher goes over the dilemma of gluten intolerance at breakfast.
Host, Gerry Barnaby - Hey, how’s it goin, Barnaby here.  Are you gluten intolerant? You might think you are because here’s an interesting fact.  And that is, that 25% of want gluten free and yet, only a fraction of them may be gluten intolerant.  What a weird scenario!  Let’s talk more about it in This HelloLife Moment with Registered Dietician, Jessica Butcher.  So.  Best guess.  How many people in America are truly gluten intolerant?
Health Coach, Jessica Butcher, RD – Well, the experts out there think that maybe only one percent of Americans actually are gluten intolerant or maybe have celiac disease. So that’s certainly a shocking difference from that 25% of Americans who are out there buying all these gluten free products.
Barnaby – Ok, celiac disease – gimme a brief definition of that.  What is celiac disease?
Jessica – Alright, well, we did talk about this in a little more detail on a previous segment, but, the difference between gluten intolerance and celiac disease is, gluten intolerance you can compare that a little bit more with lactose intolerance.  Whereas, celiac disease the highest, most extreme form of that gluten intolerance so that’s where it’s more of an autoimmune system – so it’s not a gastrointestinal you know, stomach issues.  It’s not just that, it’s your entire body reacting. 
Barnaby – Wow.  And so how do you get it diagnosed.  I mean you have to start with the queasiness that comes with the ingestion of gluten products.  But where does it go from there?
Jessica – There’s lots of symptoms that you may notice.  But then once you do actually take this to your doctor, and, you know, got to see your physician for a true diagnosis, they’ll do a couple of blood tests and if those come back positive, then you have to go in for a biopsy of your small intestine.  And that’s how they truly would know if you do have gluten intolerance or celiac disease. But, the thing is, if you’re already following a gluten free diet, then you won’t be diagnosed.  You need to make sure you are eating those products even thought that doesn’t really make much sense when you’re truly thinking about it.  But your body needs to be eating those foods that are damaging it to actually have the symptoms so your doctor can diagnose you.
Barnaby – Oh yeah.  Well that’s how allergy tests go, predominately.  They give you a little bit of a prick here and there, put the offending substance in your body and see what happens.  Speaking of offending substances, look at the bread aisle.  There are so many bread choices and come breakfast time, Jess, I am always going for a couple slices of toast.  That, if you are gluten intolerant, is not acceptable.
Jessica – You certainly don’t want a bread that’s made from wheat, rye or barley.  Those are certainly not good choices for you.  But, they do make a lot of gluten free varieties and they’re getting so much better with the textures.  Because it’s certainly is a little bit different and they’re often a little bit more dense because they don’t have that gluten in there.  But when they’re using the nice blends of maybe potato and rice flours in there, then the texture becomes a little more familiar with what we’re used to for breakfast.
Barnaby – Have you ever tasted gluten free?
Jessica – I have tasted a lot of gluten free products!
Barnaby – How does it taste?
Jessica – Oh you know.  Like I said, the texture is the biggest thing I think that throws you off.  Bread products in particular are a little bit dense.  And, especially when they do get when they pull out the gluten and they end up getting a lot more of the fat in there to try to balance out the – that texture in there.  But there’s certainly so many other options.  You don’t need to worry about wheat breads alone.  That’s only one thing being pulled out of your meal.  There’s lots of other options and there’s plenty of other grains out there that are gluten free.  The only three you need to watch out for are wheat, rye and barley. 
Barnaby – Can I have oatmeal?
Jessica – Oatmeal is a great option.  But you want to be careful, because oats are typically processed in a place with wheats – where wheats are processed too.  So you really need to make sure that the oatmeal that you’re picking out is really marketed as gluten free. 
Barnaby – I’ll tell you what.  It is a growing segment of the offerings in the food aisles – the gluten stuff – because so many people are demanding it.  Whether it’s necessary or not is a whole nother issue.  Do you have any parting thoughts on gluten free come breakfast time?
Jessica – Well, at breakfast, you know we’re only taking away a couple of these grains in here.  There’s so many other grains that are gluten free.  We have quinoa, we have amaranth, we have spelt.  We have lots of other choices out there.  And we still have all the fruits that are acceptable for us.  All our yogurt products.  There’s lots of other acceptable items in gluten free versions of all your cereals and breads.
Barnaby – Alrightie – thanks so much for the information.
Jessica – You’re welcome.
Barnaby – Just another HelloLife moment because we’re all about matching your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Check back often.

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