Gluten-Free Labels Are In Effect

An FDA ruling on gluten-free labeling of foods is a win for people who suffer from celiac disease, says a New York registered dietitian.

“This is really a great boon for people who have diagnosed celiac disease or are looking for gluten-free products,” said Nancy Copperman, a registered dietitian and corporate director of Public Health Initiatives for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “In the past, a person who had to avoid gluten basically had to rely on a reputable manufacturer of certain products and a trust.”

That’s because the term "gluten-free" was unregulated, and food manufacturers made their own decisions about what it meant.

Now, any food labeled gluten-free must have less than 20 parts per million of wheat, rye and barley. Those with celiac disease have a problem with absorbing nutrients from food and can become ill from the gluten found in these grains.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea and can lead to weight loss, fatigue and other medical problems.
Interest in gluten-free diets has been on the rise fueled by self-diagnosis and the belief that it can aid in weight loss, she said.


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