Sometime between my corn and soy diagnosis, the gluten-intolerance trend struck America. I rolled my eyes at all these people with their made-up “food allergies” and complained that if they only knew the reality of life-or-death food allergies, they wouldn’t be so worried about their gluten. I spent so much time trying to avoid my deadly corn and itchy soy ingredients, that I couldn’t begin to think about any other food sensitivities. About 2-3 years after my soy diagnosis, my food allergy juggling had finally become much more manageable and simply a way of life for me. I was on auto-pilot, eating my small selection of safe foods and limiting my restaurant trips to the same 2-3 locations I was familiar with. However, I did still notice some bloating or general digestive upset that I was not able to explain. I begrudgingly took notice of my gluten intake, and realized that while it is certainly not a life-or-death food allergy, my gut most definitely feels better when I’m not eating much gluten. I have better digestion, less intestinal turmoil, and generally feel less sluggish and “blah.” (And then I had to eat my words instead of my gluten).
Now, I have friends who have Celiac disease as well as much more severe gluten intolerances, so I want to make it clear that I do not take these diagnoses lightly. However, thankfully for me, this is one food ingredient that I recognize as a mild offender in comparison to my corn and soy allergies. I believe that everyone is on their own journey to better understand their bodies (and gut biome) and every body is vastly different in the way it handles what we put put in it. We all need to work on finding our own balance of “how much is too much” when we look at every aspect of our lives – You now, like… Gluten…Corn…Alcohol…Facebook…Netflix… 🙂
research googling, I discovered I wasn’t the only one who noticed a connection between my corn and soy allergies along with a gluten sensitivity. As it turns out, Dr. Diana Benedek, founder of the 2GOOD2B Restaurant, has a lot to say about this already…
“If you’re reading this, chances are you’re suffering from a myriad of physical symptoms – like chronic pains, digestive issues, auto-immune diseases, fatigue and depression. You’ve probably done a lot of research to understand WHY. And in your efforts to feel better, you may be wondering if you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten.
More importantly, you may have already started to eliminate gluten from your diet, but have found that you are still experiencing symptoms.
It’s likely that your symptoms are interfering with your ability to enjoy the most important things in life: your family, friends, and favorite hobbies. You probably want, more than anything, just to feel good again – to have the energy and vitality you once did, without having to rely on medication (that often treats the symptoms, rather than the cause). I’ve been exactly where you are, and I want you to know you CAN feel better. It starts here – I created this page to help you understand the Why … which will help you get on the road to better health.
Why No Gluten?
Gluten is a sticky protein found in all grains (Dr. P. Osborne, 2012). It is composed of a mixture of 2 types of proteins: Prolamins and glutelins (N. Lapid 2009). Because of its stickiness, gluten gives dough elasticity, helping it rise and hold its shape. It is essential for foods like croissants, and it makes bread and cakes light. Because of its sticky properties, gluten is also used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, hair products and other creams and lotions.
Gluten has been associated with Celiac Disease for decades, but new evidence is showing that Celiac is just one of the many diseases brought on by eating gluten. Ji Saver (2012) of the Founder listed 200 diseases associated with gluten, whereas Wikipedia lists and references correlations to over 100 diseases. Dr. P. Osborne of the Gluten Free Society and Dr. A. Fassano from Harvard University are just few of the many professionals investigating the extent of damage that gluten and other grains are having on people with allergies and sensitivities.
The belief is that if you are sensitive, your body generates antibodies when you ingest prolamins like gliadens in wheat. Your body becomes inflamed, and this in turn causes other problems such as autoimmune diseases. Currently, there is evidence that connects gluten sensitivity and allergy to the following health issues:
- Celiac and other intestinal diseases (IBS, Crohn’s disease)
- Skin problems (eczema, urticary)
- Pulmonary problems
- Arthritis and rheumatisms
- Thyroid deficiencies
- Brain function (autism, ADD, ADHD)
- Intestinal track cancers (colon, stomach, pharynx and anal)
- And many other diseases still being investigated
Because of this link between gluten and a myriad of adverse symptoms, many people have begun eliminating gluten completely from their diet.
What Exactly Is “Gluten-Free”?
The FDA describes gluten-free as having less than 20 ppm of gluten. However, the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) claims that there is evidence that 20 ppm of gluten is enough to trigger immune reactions in people who are sensitive, and are thus recommending that Non-Gluten certification be based on less than 5 ppm of gluten.
At 2GOOD2B® we are a 100% dedicated facility and aim for less than 5 ppm (non-detectable gluten levels).
Testing for Gluten-free
Although 2GOOD2B® is a dedicated non-gluten and non-corn facility, we are continuously testing our products and supplies to ensure that no external contamination is present. Testing is done through an outside laboratory with routine screening done in-house using CSA approved testing kits.
Why No Corn?
The answer to Why No Corn comes from Dr. Peter Osborne’s work with the Gluten Free Society (2012). Corn, like wheat, also has a very high level of a glutinous protein, a Prolamin called – Zein. This prolamin is similar to that found in wheat, rye and barley, and it appears that many people who are sensitive to gluten are also sensitive to corn.
Unfortunately, corn is often used as a replacement for wheat in the gluten-free diet. In fact, many manufacturers of gluten-free foods use corn flour and corn starch. Although testing for corn allergies is not well-developed, researchers are now publishing evidence that many people with allergies to gluten are also allergic to corn, but are completely unaware of it.
In 2012, Dr. Osborne showed that ALL grains contain Prolamine:
|Grain||Prolamine||% Total Protein|
|Barley||Hordein||46 – 52%|
|Rye||Secalinin||30 – 50%|
|Oats||Avenin||12 – 16%|
Table Extracted from Glutenology, Dr. P. Osborne, 2012
Dr. Osborne’s table not only explains “Why the Corn,” but also why so many people react to Oats. It further suggests that Millet and Sorghum, with contain high levels of Prolamine, can also induce reactions and sensitivities. The bad news: Corn, Millet and Sorghum are all ingredients commonly found in Gluten-Free foods!
At 2GOOD2B, we decided to eliminate all grains with Protamine in excess of 10%, and recently removed oats, teff and millet from our products. Currently, we still use brown rice in our baked goods, as we believe that the low percentage of Orzenin will not be a problem for most people with Celiac and Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivities. (This has been tested and confirmed by Yours Truly – as I consider myself a “canary” as the founder of 2GOOD2B – and I’m very sensitive to low levels of prolamines. In fact, I’m so sensitive I often react to cross-contamination! However, I do not react at all to foods prepared with rice… so we are confident it is safe to use in our products.
Our objective is to ensure sure that 2GOOD2B® is a safe-haven for people with sensitivities and allergies to gluten, corn, soy, oats, millet, sorghum and all grains containing more than 10% of Prolamine Proteins.
We take every measure to safeguard against cross-contamination, and we also make sure to test our products, our suppliers AND our environment (using the ELISA tests), to make sure we deliver exactly what we promise: a safe Environment.
Why No Soy Protein?
Although Soy is not a grain and does not contain gluten, there seems to be some correlation in the sensitivity of many people with gluten allergies. The mechanisms are not well understood.
Is it the fact that soya is mostly genetically modified, and we do not have the enzymes to digest the modern soy? There are many theories. For example, Judy Tidwell (2006) claims that soy has at least 15 allergenic proteins, which could cross-react with other foods such as wheat, barley and rye. Stefano Guandalini (2005) claims that soy in itself is highly allergenic to many people.
Because I’m as allergic to soy as I am to gluten and corn, decided that our cafes and bakeries would be free of all 3 allergens so people can enjoy an environment free of ALL of these allergens. Also, eliminating Corn and Soy significantly reduces the level of genetically modified food at 2GOOD2B, another major benefit to everyone’s health.
Please note: The ONLY exception to the removal of soy from our foods is soy lecithin, which is used as an emulsifier in chocolates. Soy Lecithin does not contain the Soy Protein that most are allergic to. Many who are allergic to soy have not reacted to soy lecithin in the small quantities present in chocolates. Because chocolates without soy-lecithin are hard to find (and the ones that we did find tasted differently or were extremely expensive) we decided to make soy lecithin the only exception at 2GOOD2B® but inform clients that we do use it, in case they are very sensitive to soy,even without the soy protein.
Wondering If the Gluten-Free Diet Is a Fad? A Trend? A New Way of Life? All of the Above?
The answer depends on you.
- For people who suffer from Celiac disease or IBS, going gluten-free means living a normal life. Celiac symptoms are well-recognized by the medical field. (These diseases are diagnosed by detecting IgA antibodies in the blood stream.)
- For otherswho suffer from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), as described by Dr. A. Fassano (2013), going gluten-free means getting your life back. (I am finally free from the pain caused by Fibromyalgia. My thyroid and adrenals are functioning effectively again, and my back muscles and herniated discs have repaired themselves!)
- For still others who don’t have notable symptoms, going gluten-free can mean feeling better and more energetic overall.
- And finally, for some it means reducing empty carbohydrates and blanched flours, and reducing Genetically Modified Food from their lives.