This is not an issue for me. Not anymore. And as far as I'm concerned, it wont be every again. BUT(T) in the interest of people who can cope better on SAD and have no interest in changing their diets to work on their health and by Jove everyone has to have the freedom to eat as healthy or unhealthy as they please, this is most definitely an issue and the most insidious kind of deceitfulness!
What am I on about? Cookies! And not just cookies but biscuits and cakes and savoury pastries of the gluten-free kind!
You see, it just so happened today that I was at the store and hadn't eaten properly all day and was sort of hungry so I flopped around to the gluten-free section and thought idly about maybe possibly mayhaps getting something pre-made because it was convenient and I was really kind of hungry. I've been reading labels for years. I've been gluten free because of my coeliac for 10 years or so, so I learned to read ingredient lists and then I REALLY learned to read the ingredient lists because as people who are on this board might know, it's not just the products that list grains or "Caution, may contain traces of gluten" on their packaging. It's also the items that list unspecified starches (if you're in Europe that's usually starches from wheat where as the same would mean starches from corn in the US), maltodextrin, glucose-fructose syrup, glucose, and unspecified syrups that contain enough grain residue or gluten to mess with your digestive track. To make a stupidly messy situation easy: don't ever buy or eat pre-made stuff. You will save yourself a lot of time and headache. Anyhow. My headache is not the point. The point is that I was looking at the pre-made cookies with the vague hope of buying some to get something in my mouth quickly and then remembered that I should check the label for my new food intolerances. You see, even though I've been gluten free for 10 years and I don't really eat those pre-made foods, for some reason I started getting some quite worrying intestinal trouble from pseudo grains a little while back. This had me mightily worried and pissed off. After 10 years?! How?! Why?! What the hell was going on?! Why are eggs giving me grief now?! No!!! Don't take away my eggs!!!
I read up on cross reactivity a little and got more worried. Apparently if you have coeliac AND some nasty ole degenerative disease, you can get cross reactions from pseudo cereals AND eggs, AND dairy AND chocolate because the lining of your intestines is so worn out by the coeliac that your body can't differentiate between the protein in grains (gluten) and the protein in pseudo cereals (like quinoa and teff) and eggs and dairy.
There's a lot of stuff there one would not like to hear: degenerative disease, worn out intestines, body can't differentiate between nutrients. So how.. how would my intestines get more worn out and not better when I was eating a pretty healthy diet and not having any grains with gluten in them?
The answer was in the cookies.
Because I was having gluten. I was having items that were made of grains even though the package says I wasn't. And in the past I had been pretty good with checking even these "gluten free" pre-made goodies, but there were a few brands that I had read the ingredients list before and either the consistency had changed or the ingredients list was more complete now because there it was: glucose. In all of my favourite "safe" obviously-not-so-gluten-free goodies.
This ain't right. Naturally it makes my life that much easier; I'd rarely buy that stuff anyway since it was loaded with sugar and preservatives and was ridiculously expensive, and now I have a damn good reason to avoid all of it completely, but what about the other people? The ones who are diagnosed with some sort of a gluten or grain intolerance and who continue to eat this stuff because it's labelled gluten-free (when it isn't) and the official coeliac association guidelines that allow food items to be labeled gluten-free when there's less than 0,3% of the original gluten left (meaning there's still gluten in it). How does this make sense?!
Yup, I'm pretty angry about food manufacturers toying with people's health just because it would be just too damn inconvenient to stop adding non-foods into your actual food.
So now I'm back to almost square one. Cutting anything but fresh produce out of my diet and keeping my fingers crossed that my intestinal track will now actually start healing itself so I wont have to give up eggs and maybe in the future, I might even enjoy some dairy.