Let’s Talk Gluten and Celiac!

What is Gluten?
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected. – Celiac Disease Foundation

What is Celiac?
Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications. – Celiac Disease Foundation

Over the past 47 years, the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) has led the way in advocating for those living gluten-free, whether they have been diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or just choose to remove gluten from their lives. GIG has dedicated itself to ensuring the health and safety of the gluten-free community in a world of foods and beverages that can often be difficult to navigate.

One of GIG’s most recognizable efforts has been its Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) mark, which has been used by the gluten-free community to identify products as being truly gluten-free. Now, supported by years of careful research and planning, along with changes in international trademark regulations, the GFCO mark is changing. By the end of 2022, more than 60,000 products will update the GIG certification mark on their branding and packaging.

Who should be aware of this branding and packaging update?
Well, everyone of course! But especially,
• Those with celiac disease
• Those with gluten sensitivity
• Gluten-free by choice consumers
• Parents of kids with celiac or gluten sensitivity

New Hope Network was kind enough to send over a box filled with some gluten-free goodies and I of course have to share a few of my favorite products that were sent over! When I started incorporating gluten-free foods into my diet years ago they did not have many options or varieties available. Things have changed quite a bit since 2012 and everything that is made with gluten is now truly made without as well and it’s delicious! Sometimes even more delicious than the products made with gluten!

Chunky Chocolate Granola by Flax4Life
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Oma’s Own Foods FUNoodle Asian Memories
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WOW Baking Company Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
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I hope this post was able to educate you on gluten-free and celiac and most importantly share this branding update. Did you know only 59% of consumers are familiar with the updated GIG GFCO mark? It’s so important that everyone is aware of the changes that are happening and remember to look out for this new branding when shopping. But please keep in mind, major changes like this take time to be completely implemented so you may see both the newer and older branding when in your local grocery store. By the end of 2022, more than 60,000 products will update this certification mark on their branding and packaging!

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