Eating a gluten free diet is important for thyroid health, at least in the first 6 months, to get your body and thyroid “reset”. Labeling in the food industry is taking shape to serve us all better. Consumers are going to know exactly what they are getting when they buy foods labeled “gluten free.”
The latest news report is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is at last defining what a “gluten free” label on a food package really means after more than six years of consideration. Until now, manufacturers have been able to use their own discretion as to how much gluten they include.
This is especially important for people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease. People who suffer from celiac disease don’t absorb nutrients well and can get sick from the gluten found in wheat and other cereal grains. Celiac disease affects up to three million Americans. It causes abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, and people who have it can suffer weight loss, fatigue, rashes and other long-term medical problems. Celiac is a diagnosed illness that is more severe than gluten sensitivity, which some people self-diagnose.
IMPORTANT TO US ALL
Correct labeling is also important for 80% of the population with gluten intolerance, and for us with thyroid conditions that need healing. Having Hashimoto’s Disease and other thyroid conditions means that our immune and other systems are compromised, adding foods that we may be allergic to just exacerbates the problem.
HOW MUCH GLUTEN IS STILL OKAY
Under a new FDA rule, products labeled “gluten free” still won’t have to be technically free of wheat, rye and barley and their derivatives. But they almost will: “Gluten-free” products will have to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
That amount is generally recognized by the medical community to be low enough that most people who have celiac disease won’t get sick if they eat it, helping all of us at the same time.
It’s also important to know that other countries already have similar standards and we need to continue to nudge, tell and demand our food industry and government regulators change our old food standards in the US.