KIMT News 3 – New standards set for gluten-free foods are giving consumers more confidence behind the label.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, foods or other products can be labeled “gluten-free” if it has less than *twenty parts per million of the grain.
With one-third of Americans shying away from gluten, those with the FDA hope to keep companies from cashing in on the cachet.
Dietitians say creating stricter policies are also essential for those suffering from the allergy.
“It’s kind of a buzzword. You see gluten on a lot of foods that may or may not be actually gluten-free or they still might have a bit of gluten. For some people a Celiac disease; if they have a bit, they can be very sensitive to it and it can be harmful. So this will just make it easier for those who are trying to follow a gluten-free diet to keep up that diet,” said Alyssa Rider, Registered Dietitian with Mercy Medical Center North Iowa.
For those using the diet who don’t have the allergy, according to Rider, there are no proven medical benefits contrary to popular belief.
According to Rider, avoiding gluten if you’re not medically advised to can actually work against your diet.
“For anyone else, it’s better to stay away from the gluten-free diet. When you stay away from gluten basically your staying away from grains that can have B vitamins, fiber and other nutrients that we need in our diet. If you’re restricting yourself from those foods and those vitamins, you’re not really doing yourself any better,” said Rider.
According to recent health documents, 1 in 133 people suffer from the celiac disease which causes the gluten-allergy but unfortunately many of them are undiagnosed.