7 Myths About Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity and the Gluten-Free Diet
Celiac disease is probably one of the conditions that triggers more rumors and myths than any other. Here are 7 of those myths that need to be debunked ASAP.
There are many myths that surround celiac disease, especially with the way gluten-free products are marketed nowadays. These myths not only affect people with celiac disease, they also affect people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity that push them to stop consuming food with gluten in it.
Debunking these myths may depend on the experience someone has with gluten-free products, however, in order to clarify these myths, we will try to shed some light in some of the most popular sayings across the gluten-free community.
Myth 1: Eating food manufactured in facilities that process wheat as well are not safe
"Manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat" is a FDA advisory that is voluntarily and is only used by companies who also produce food that is also gluten-free. But, many people confuse this with another label handed down by the FDA, which is "contains wheat." If the product has this label, don't worry, it definitely contains wheat, if it doesn't and it's made in the same facility as wheat products, then there is no wheat in that particular product. However, there is a risk for cross-contamination that patients should always look out for, it also means that the company who has this label on their food wants you to know how exactly, or where exactly, it's made.
In any case, whenever someone sees this warning, it surely is a product that must comply with the gluten-free labeling law demanded by the FDA. However, it is recommended to visit the manufacturer’s website in order to verify all this information that helps back up what is already known about the quality of the gluten-free food. Images and descriptions of sourcing, cleaning production and the storage of said food along with the testing protocols they need to go through before being sold can help people solidify the image they have of the company.
Myth 2: Gluten-free food must contain 0% gluten
For some people this may be simple to understand, however, it is nearly impossible to promise 100% pureness when it comes to the gluten that food may contain. For food to pass as gluten-free, it must pass a series of reliable tests to detect 5 gluten particles per million. Experts agree that in case it is possible to achieve to detect 0 gluten particle per million, it will still be something unreachable for most manufacturers. Also, it is expected that price tags would skyrocket compared to other products that are not 100% gluten-free.
However, it is not something to worry about since most people who suffer from celiac disease are able to tolerate up to 20 gluten particles per million. Recent tests focus in on samples of food products that are labelled as gluten-free, and the vast majority of different foods were below 20 gluten particles per million, which means that they are safe for those with celiac disease.