If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you are probably already all over the news that there new truth-in-labeling standards went into effect on Tuesday. These standards, set by the Food and Drug Administration, state that foods labeled “gluten free” must contain no more than 20 parts per million of gluten.
While it’s uncertain how much gluten someone with celiac disease can consume without triggering the dangerous intestinal inflammation that interferes with nutrient absorption and creates other health problems—sometimes silently, sometimes not—20 parts per million is believed to be well below whatever that safe level might be.
While this new ruling is also great news for people who don’t have celiac disease, but who still experience unpleasant symptoms when they consume gluten (i.e., non-celiac gluten sensitivity), I feel inclined to offer a gentle reminder that for those of us who don’t have gluten-related symptoms, a gluten-free diet is not necessarily a healthier diet.
There are plenty of highly processed foods out there, and the ones that are manufactured to be gluten free are still highly processed. Fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, quinoa, etc., on the other hand, are naturally gluten-free and wonderfully healthy.
NPR had a good story on the new labeling standards yesterday. You can check it out here.
To peruse my archive of gluten-related posts, click here.
What does this new labeling standard mean to you? Feel free to let me know in the comments!