GLUTEN- WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt, and barley with gliadin and glutenin being the main proteins. When flour and water mix the gluten proteins give the mixture a glue-like consistency that holds the desired food together.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

1% of Canadians have been diagnosed with celiac disease which is an inherited autoimmune condition in which foods that contain gluten trigger a response that damages the inner lining of the small intestine. This interferes and reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients including iron, folate, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and others. Undiagnosed celiac disease can cause a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, anemia, skin conditions, weight loss, and other complications. Individuals with celiac disease must avoid all foods containing gluten for life (1).

Other individuals have self-diagnosed Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) which does not have the same physiological mechanism as celiac disease or distinct biomarkers. This population may also benefit from a strictly gluten-free diet to relieve intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms, although it is not known whether the diet needs to be followed for life.

NUTRIENT HIGHLIGHTS

A gluten-free diet if not carefully planned can lead to poor intakes of certain nutrients due to the elimination of many types of grains and substitution with starches and/or refined flours. It is important that those who exclude gluten-containing foods from their diet get enough fibre, folic acid, iron, vitamin D, B12, zinc, magnesium, and calcium from other sources (2).

WHY AREN'T KITCHENMATE MEALS GLUTEN FREE?

Ingredients used in meals tagged No Gluten Ingredients do not inherently contain gluten, and best practices and procedures are used to minimize cross-contamination; however KitchenMate’s production facility produces gluten-containing meals on-premises, so it is not a certified gluten-free facility. Read about our Food Allergies and Intolerance Handling Procedures here.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, if a food may contain any gluten, it should not be labelled gluten-free. For this reason, we correctly refer to meals made with ingredients that do not contain gluten as No Gluten Ingredients.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH MEALS ARE TAGGED WITH NO GLUTEN INGREDIENTS?

Whatever the reason you choose to avoid gluten, KitchenMate offers plenty of meals made with ingredients that do not contain gluten.

Look for the No Gluten Ingredients tag in the dish details:

We are fully committed to preparing food safely and thoughtfully. We try our best to minimize cross-contamination so that only the ingredients that are supposed to be in a meal make their way in.

(1) Food Allergies and Intolerances, Health Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/food-safety/food-allergies-intolerances/celiac-disease.html

(2) Gluten-free diet and nutrient deficiencies: A Review, Clinical Nutrition http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261561416300887

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