Nutrition advocates say that while many Seattle restaurants offer gluten-free menu options, low-income people with celiac disease still struggle to afford gluten-free products. Lisa Garza, who writes the Gluten Free Foodies blog, has urged food banks to create gluten-free pantries, but none have done so because of space and cost issues.
A study published in BMC Medicine said researchers have found a molecular-level difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. The University of Maryland team said both are part of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders but the two vary in terms of intestinal complications and genes that regulate immune responses in the digestive system.
Several restaurants in Columbia, Mo., offer gluten-free entrees, part of a national trend of increased gluten-free options in both eateries and at retail stores. Sales of gluten-free food rose 16% from 2008 to 2009, according to Nielsen, driven in part by people who do not have celiac disease but believe there are health benefits to cutting gluten.
A study of more than 100 children with celiac disease at a gluten-free camp found the experience helped many of them improve their self-image in light of their dietary restrictions. The researchers said surveys also showed improvements in well-being and emotional outlook after camp, especially for children who were new to a gluten-free lifestyle.
Cooking a gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner isn't as difficult as it may seem. Buy an organic turkey to avoid the gluten in the broth of most commercially grown birds and use gluten-free bread or wild rice for stuffing. A gluten-free mix helps make an easy pumpkin pie crust. Check out recipes for festive gluten-free holiday dishes.