From the week January 16 – 20, 2012: Which of the following grains do not contain gluten?
A. Oats - 20%
B. Millet - 56%
C. Rye - 2%
D. Barley – 20%
Well done, WatchingDrOz readers! Yes, millet is a gluten-free grain. The other grains listed do contain gluten: oats, rye, and barley. Oat is a controversial grain when it comes to gluten. Oats contain a protein that is genetically identical to a protein in gluten.
For people with the most severe gluten issues, those with celiac disease and severe intolerance, consuming oats can trigger a major gluten reaction. Those with less severe gluten issues, such as an allergy, may be able to eat oats with little to slight discomfort.
The marketplace has adapted to the reality of life with celiac disease and the demand for oats suitable for a gluten-free diet. Health food and specialty food stores carry gluten-free oats. But they will cost you. A two pound bag of gluten-free oats may cost as much as $11 or more and across the aisle the same size gluten-containing oats can cost as little as $2, or less.
Gluten. It could quite logically be placed in the category of silent killer. On the January 19, 2012 episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz's #1 Secret for You to Lose Weight Instantly, discussed how gluten can potentially be at the root of many health problems.
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What wasn't discussed is that for many people, eating products with gluten is slowing killing them. Celiac disease is the most extreme level of gluten intolerance. Sadly, the disease often goes undiagnosed for long periods of time, as in the case of Dr. Oz's guest Elisabeth Hasselbeck who suffered for 10 years before a diagnosis. Left undetected, a person with celiac disease can slowly starve as well as suffer debilitating, sometime irreversible, nerve damage.
Removing gluten from the diet isn't as simple as it may sound. Gluten is prevalent, pervasive, and often hiding. Click here for Dr. Oz's Gluten Glossary that lists 35 different sources of gluten that could be hiding in your pantry. But wait, there's more. The list from DoctorOz.com is only a smattering of gluten-containing grains.
According to the FDA, you also need to be aware of the derivatives of these grains, “which include bulgar, durum, einkorn, emmer, graham, kamut, malt, matzo, seitan, semolina or triticale.”
Food products are not the only source of gluten. Supplements and body care products often contain gluten as well. Using these products will allow the gluten within to enter the body and continue to wreck havoc.
Check your multivitamin, does it contain Vitamin E? Vitamin E is often sourced from gluten.
Look at your shampoo label. Does it contain wheat protein? Wheat protein is commonly used in shampoos as a protein source for hair health. Wheat products in general are used in body care products as a thickener.
Products labeled gluten-free are your best route but it's not a guarantee. The FDA does not have any regulation surrounding the use of “gluten-free” on a food label. The agency is working toward regulation that would require foods labeled as gluten-free to contain not more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Under the regulation products could still contain gluten, in small amounts. Is that enough for people with celiac?
To further confuse, not all gluten-free products are labeled gluten-free. Companies are not required to label products as gluten-free. It's up to the consumer to read labels and to know which ingredients may have gluten. When in doubt, contacting the company directly can clear up confusion.
In the body care section of a store, products have shown up with GF wording only to contain gluten or to have been processed in a facility that contains gluten. As with food, there is not regulation of gluten-free labeling in body care products. If a body care product says gluten-free then it would be in the best interest of your health to contact the company.
Are you unsure if gluten is causing an issue? Dr. Oz recommended an elimination diet where all gluten is removed for two weeks. After two weeks, try one gluten food at a time with at least three days between each introduction. If the gluten-based food causes a reaction then there is a level of sensitivity. A doctor can also perform an allergy test to check for gluten which requires the patient to include gluten in the diet for testing.
Being gluten-free in 2012 is much easier than it used to be. Today there are websites, blogs, groups, cookbooks, and companies that create only gluten-free products. Nutritionists, dieticians, healthcare providers in general are becoming more aware of the issues and concerns around gluten and are becoming better educated. Going gluten-free is a big change but there are plentiful resources and welcoming groups to help people be successful.
Each week a new quiz is posted on Watching Dr Oz to test your knowledge of the information shared
on The Dr. Oz Show the previous week. Answers are provided each Saturday. Cast your vote every week and check back every Saturday to see how you did!