Reference Number: 583
The gluten-free diet is becoming increasingly popular as more people are diagnosed with and become aware of celiac disease. However, little is known about the nutritional quality of the diet, especially in terms of grain consumption and the nutrients provided by these foods. For the general population, grain consumption provides a large amount of daily vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Therefore, being able to describe the grain consumption of individuals with celiac disease may shed a crucial light on nutritional quality of the gluten-free diet. Data was obtained by means of a survey conducted at a Midwest hospital?s annual celiac conference. The sample of convenience consisted of 220 people, 174 of which provided usable data. The survey focused on daily consumption of grain servings, types of grains consumed (cooked grains versus pre-prepared grain products), variety of grains consumed, and reasons for avoiding specific grains. Data from 174 usable surveys were used for statistical analysis. Over 80% of the sampled population consumes less than half of the daily recommended amount of grain servings. Only 1.1% consumes the recommended daily amount. Three-fourths of participants prefer pre-prepared grain products over grains. No matter the product type, rice (both brown and white) and corn make up the majority of grains or grain ingredients eaten regularly. Respondents identified many reasons for avoiding different grains, which can support both clinicians and the food industry, in efforts to improve the grain consumption of people with celiac disease.
Significance of this study to the baker:
In this study, over 80% of a sampled population following a gluten-free diet were shown to consume less than half of the daily recommended amount of grain servings. This suggests that following a gluten-free diet comes with risks, namely, an increased likelihood that you will not get enough heart-healthy whole grains.