November 19, 2006

Another book on Celiac / Wheat intolerance

I'm slowly getting through the pile of books that Nancy M. loaned me on gluten intolerance. Personal Touch on Celiac Disease calls it The #1 Misdiagnosed Intestinal Disorder. The book is a collection of stories contributed by ordinary people who either have celiac disease or live with someone who has it.

Several points came up repeatedly, including a tendency for the condition to run in families and an intolerance for even tiny amounts of wheat. This is disconcerting for those of us who thought we could just remove the croutons from our salad or peel off the skin from breaded chicken and eat it.

Although the book was published in 2004, some claims are already out of date. Several people stated that Mcdonald's fries are gluten-free, but McDonald's now warns that the fries contain traces of both wheat and milk. So readers need to supplement this sort of book with current research.

I wrote about another book on celiac disease here along with an audio course on American History.


  1. Hi Linja:
    You may be interested to know that McDonald's had their fries tested by an independent company and there was no detectable wheat/gluten in the fries. Apparently their was an additive in the par-fry oil that is derived from wheat, but it is so highly processed that any trace of wheat protein has been removed. Most experts on gluten intolerance/celiac disease feel their fries are safe to eat. But of course, everyone has to make their own decision.

  2. Thanks Laurie. The McDonalds website links to a PDF with detailed information. Excerpt: "The RAST test found virtually no wheat-allergic residues in the hydrolyzed wheat ingredient. The RAST test found some milk-allergic residues in the hydrolyzed milk ingredient."

    The book really stresses that some celiacs are sensitive to really miniscule amounts of wheat. Those individuals may find that "virtually no wheat" is not good enough. I went to a website mentioned in the book and it lists as "contaminated" foods that are wheat-free but cannot guarantee no cross-contamination from wheat-containing foods processed in the same place. That seems extreme but to some people it's important.

    Actually, I haven't eaten McDonald's fries in years. They just taste awful to me.


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