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Daily Tips

When it comes to food allergies, there is a big learning curve.  To help with the details, we are posting a daily tip about the top food allergens, cross contamination and how to avoid it, crazy hidden places that food allergies hide, cooking and baking tips, and more.  There will be a new one every day!  Read them with your morning beverage, forward to family & friends who need them, and discuss.




"All Natural" Could be Anything But...  

You might think that the label, "All Natural" means that the ingredients in that package are good for you, but the FDA does not consistently define this claim, nor regulate it.  It’s policy (not law) is that natural foods contain no added color, synthetic substances or flavors, and that nothing artificial or synthetic has been included in, or added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in food.  But what is considered “synthetic”?  High fructose corn syrup is one example of an inconsistency and is under scrutiny by a number of courts.  GMO products are also allowed with this label.‬

‪Steve Kluting, an attorney with Varnum, who focuses his practice on food industry issues, including product labeling, explains:  ‬

‪While the use of "organic" and its related terms is strictly regulated, the use of "natural" and "all natural" on food labeling is much more loosely dictated under the law.  To label a product as "natural", a food business does not have clear and straight-forward rules to comply with so, as a result, the grocery aisle is filled with "natural" products that a consumer might purchase despite that consumer having a definition of "natural" that's vastly different from the FDA, the USDA, or the food processor that labeled it.

Read more about Organic Labeling in this quick guide



Watch Out for Gluten Cross Contamination!

Make sure your gluten-free product is processed in a gluten-free facility or tested to below 20 ppm (preferrably below 10ppm or 5 ppm).  Because there are no real labeling laws in effect, a "gluten-free" label doesn't necessarily mean that it is gluten-free.  Labeling is on the way (we hope), but right now, labeling doesn't mean too much.  Get to know your brands, and look for brands that say, "processed in a gluten-free facility" or "certified gluten-free".  There is a significant amount of cross-contamination can occur simply by running wheat, for instance, on the same machine as a naturally gluten-free item like nut flour or teff flour.  It's enough to make someone with gluten sensitivity, allergy, or celiac disease sick.


Gluten in Beauty Products?

Yes!  If you have eliminated gluten in every area of your diet, but are still not feeling well, or still having reactions, check your beauty products.  Many shampoos, cosmetics, facial and body lotions have wheat or barley protein in their ingredients, or are processed with other products that contain them.  Look for hidden gluten in ingredients like Tocopherol or Vitamin E, since both are often derived from gluten.

Researchers have said that the molecules are too big to be absorbed through the skin and into our bodies so that our immune systems react, HOWEVER, they can be ingested when on our lips, when we lick our fingers or rub our eyes... etc.  Also, people who have skin reactions to gluten should most definately find gluten-free products.

Read the review of Mineral Fusion Gluten-free Make Up



CNN:  Gluten in cosmetics may pose hidden threat to celiac patients


Brain Fog, Memory Loss, Food Allergies & Exercise

A NEW STUDY: shows that exercise improves your memory and cognitive function as you age. See this New York Times Article:  Exercise & Keeping the Brain Fit.  It's a very interesting read.
In addition to exercise, correcting your food allergies and healing your gut can also help your brain. One of the major symptoms of food allergies, especially gluten reactions, is brain fog and some type of memory loss.

Keep Gluten-free foods HIGH, and other foods LOW

Gluten-free tip: If living in a mixed household, great care needs to be taken to avoid cross contamination. Keep any gluten containing item in the pantry, for instance, low, and the gluten-free items high (or better each in completely separate cupboards). Crumbs can fall into food - when you close the pita chip bag for instance, when "real" bread is in the freezer above the ice cube trays, or the toaster is above any utensil drawer.