ABILENE, Texas - The Food and Drug Administration has put new, stricter guidelines on packaged foods with the 'Gluten-free' label.
The reason: over 3-million Americans have Celiac disease, which is when a person's stomach is extremely sensitive to gluten.
"Someone who has an intolerance, sensitivity, or immune disorder to gluten can do damage to their intestines," said Beth Ann Oldiges, a registered dietician for Hendrick Medical Center. "You're causing gastric-intestinal upsets, and over time that can lead to continued inflammation which can lead to mal-absoption of vital nutrients." she added.
This could potentially lead to things such as anemia, osteoporosis, diabetes, and even intestinal cancer.
Food with the gluten free labels must now contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten, which is the lowest that can be detected.
Gluten is a protein that can be found in many things such as wheat, bread, cakes, cereals, and pasta.
"If a person, especially in the case of an extreme reactivity like celiac disease," said Thomas Resz, owner of Mann Natural Market," I think it's very important that they are able to know for certain that there's no gluten what-so ever in a product and feel safe and comfortable in buying that and eating it."
The FDA will soon regulate the guidelines on restaurant menus.
For now, the administration suggests to ask restaurants the following:
"What do you mean by 'Gluten-free'?"
"What ingredients are used?
"How was the meal prepared?"
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