Gluten-free foods – our new partnership with the Gluten Intolerance Group
Posted by Janice Cox, RDN, LD, Lunds and Byerly’s Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Awareness of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease has gained momentum in recent years, and no, it’s not a fad.
The rise in gluten awareness stems from the growing number of people diagnosed with celiac disease and from the increasing amount of those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, meaning they feel better when they don’t eat gluten. Gluten is a generic name for proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. With the rise in demand for gluten-free products and our desire to provide customers with quality information, we called in the experts.
Lunds and Byerly’s has officially partnered with the Gluten Intolerance Group. Founded in 1974, this group cares for those with gluten-related disorders, such as celiac disease, through product certification, education, and awareness programs. Their certification group, the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), is the leading third-party gluten-free certification program. GFCO verifies the quality, integrity, and purity of products that earn their approval. Product standards for GFCO’s gluten-free certification are among the strictest in the industry.
Research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2012 states that 1.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease, and another 1.4 million Americans do not know they have it. Estimates are that one in 141 people have this disease.
Celiac disease is a genetic digestive disorder triggered by ingesting even the smallest amounts of gluten. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, it sets off an immune response that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. According to the Mayo Clinic, many of the nutrients from food we eat are absorbed in the small intestine and when it’s damaged, we are not able to fully absorb those nutrients, which can lead to serious health concerns. Currently there is no cure for celiac disease, but sticking to a strict gluten-free diet can make a world of difference in helping to manage your symptoms.
Gluten-free diets are being followed by more than just those diagnosed with celiac disease. Many people follow this diet as a personal preference. Others avoid gluten because they may be experiencing non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which has many symptoms trigged by consuming gluten, including fatigue, bloating, and sometimes diarrhea. If you suspect eating gluten is a problem for you, it’s important to be tested for celiac disease by your physician before beginning a gluten-free diet to assure accurate test results.
It’s easy to find gluten-free products in our stores. When you’re in the grocery aisles, look for our gluten free symbol on the shelf tag. This guarantees those items have been certified by GIG. Fortunately, manufacturers are answering the demand for great tasting, nutritious, gluten-free products, and we continue to add more in our stores every week to meet growing demand.
Learn more about gluten free shopping >
If you have questions on living gluten-free or you would like to learn about gluten-free foods in our stores, please contact me at Janice.Cox@lfhi.com.