“Ask Anne” Q &A with Schar’s Dietitian

Who else wishes they had a Celiac dietitian in their back pockets for this crazy gluten free journey?! :) Well, I can’t give you that, but something else pretty close. Schar now has a “Schar club” where you can join to ask their dietitian, Anne (who has Celiac Disease) anything you need! The Schar club is a community where you can find: gluten free recipes, FAQ about living gluten free, an “Ask Anne” section and more. If you’d like to join the Schar club, you are automatically entered in their “FREE bread for a YEAR” Sweepstakes- holla! *No purchase is necessary, the Schar sweepstakes end 1/20/2012 and you can find the official rules and entry information on THIS LINK.*

                                 Q & A from the “Ask Anne” Section of the Schar Club

“I find a lot of products that contain “modified food starch. What exactly is this and is it safe to eat?” – Melanie

Modified food starches can come from a variety of grain sources. In the United States, modified food starches are predominately corn based. According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of the FDA, wheat must be declared on the ingredient label if it is present in the starch. Starches are used to thicken products such as soups, gravies, and puddings. The starches are modified because many starches in their natural state do not perform well when exposed to high heat or very cool temperatures.

 “Is there a certain amount of gluten that can be tolerated by celiacs?” -Amanda

The exact amount of gluten that is tolerated on a gluten-free diet is still a topic of much discussion. The usual recommendation is to follow a gluten-free diet that is based on naturally gluten-free foods and manufactured gluten-free products. The regulations for manufactured gluten-free products is also not universally uniform. The Internal CODEX recommends that products labeled gluten-free be under 20 ppm gluten per serving. There is an allowance for low gluten products that may contain between 20 to 100 ppm gluten. Historically, many gluten-free products contained 200 ppm. In the US, the FDA is in the process of formulating a gluten-free labeling law. The issue is that while we may not have a exact answer to how much gluten can be tolerated – we do know that for individuals with celiac even a minute amount of gluten will cause damage to the small intestine. So for that gluten based piece of cake – even once a month is too much gluten. Instead enjoy a slice of gluten-free cake in complete peace of mind.

“I was diagnosed with Celiac 10 years ago. That being said I still have problems after I eat gluten-free products. Any ideas why?” -John

There could be several reasons for reactions. The first is the potential for cross contamination. It is very important that the gluten-free products indeed be gluten-free. Look for a statement describing if the factory is a dedicated gluten-free factory, whether they test the products, or a certification seal. A dedicated facility that tests all ingredients prior to use and batch testing of the finished product is the safest method to ensure no cross contamination.

Another possibility is the ingredients themselves. Some individuals do not tolerate some of the gums used to create a soft texture in gluten-free products. Gums such as guar or xantham gum give breads a nice chewy texture, but they may be difficult to digest and may cause some indigestion. Some gluten-free baked products also contain a high amount of fat per serving. The extra fat may also be difficult to digest.

Thanks so much to Anne Roland Lee and Schar for sharing this Q&A with us! To join the Schar club, be automatically entered in Schar’s “Free Bread for a Year” Sweepstakes and ask Anne your own questions, you can Click HERE. Hope you all have a great rest of the week. Thank you oodles for sharing your gluten free journey with me. :)


Lauren-Lucille Vasser

AKA- The Celiac Diva