Infant gluten introduction and coeliac disease

A Position Paper by the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) – Gluten Introduction and the Risk of Coeliac Disease:

Gluten may be introduced into the infant’s diet anytime between 4 and 12 completed months of age. In children at high risk for CD, earlier introduction of gluten (4 vs 6 months or 6 vs 12 months) is associated with earlier development of CD autoimmunity (defined as positive serology) and CD, but the cumulative incidence of each in later childhood is similar.

Similar to the findings for allergens and the recommendations to introduce foods to kids earlier. (i.e., earlier introduction of foods does not increase the likelihood of allergy to that food.)

Nutrition with food allergies and sensitivities

While our son has the majority of the allergies and food sensitivities, we are still nursing him and thus his mother also has to stay away from the many of the same foods. I have no food restrictions, but we plan and cook our meals as a family and we want the food at our table to be all-inclusive. Thus in the interest of creating a safe food space for our son, we’ve decided to restrict our foods within the home such that all (or almost all) of the food we eat is safe and healthy for everyone to eat.

With the food restrictions, we have constantly been concerned with nutrition – how do we ensure that we are all getting a nutritious diet? One guidance document is Canada’s Food Guide published by Health Canada.

Overall the guide seems to be quite reasonable – focus on vegetables, fruit and grain products, some milk and alternatives, and some meat. Limit your oils and fats. However, looking at the page on serving size examples, a lot of it is restricted for us. What I see is illustrated below.

GFAF Canada Food Guide Suggested Foods Serving Restricted

I know that this figure is an example of serving size, and not an example of the foods that are possible in that category. But when I look at that, I see limitations and not possibilities, and it’s very disheartening. What I want to find are possibilities for new or different recipes and foods that we may enjoy, and be healthful.

For example, Dairy and Alternatives is a category unto itself in Canada’s Food Guide; however, with our restriction on soy and milk, what can we do? I think calcium and vitamin D are the main nutrients being promoted with dairy, but how can we get that otherwise? What about grain? Our diet is mainly rice since bulgur and quinoa is difficult to source without contamination.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to explore this more and try to answer some questions we have about nutrition and health in light of our food restrictions. I will also look into food guides around the world to see what they have to say about it.

Children of asian descent born in Australia have higher rates of allergy

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute – Migration clue to nut allergy:

Professor Allen said the results suggest that removing children from the Asian environment, or conversely exposing them to environmental risk factors in our Western environment- such as diet changes, microbial and UV exposure- uncovers a genetically-determined risk of food allergy in children of Asian descent.

Professor Allen echoed this sentiment for children raised in rural areas.

Interesting.

Conflict of interest?

Marion Nestle on Industry-funded studies:

It’s been 11 months since I started collecting studies funded by food companies with results favorable to the company’s marketing interests.  I’ve now found 135 such studies versus just 12 with results unfavorable.

When the year is up, I will do an overall interpretation of what this collection does and does not signify, but for the moment I will just state the obvious: it is easier to find industry-funded studies with favorable rather than unfavorable results.

Favourable studies are easier to publish than non-favourable – evident in many other areas of science.

Stay tuned.

People are increasingly obsessed with meat

Lisan Jutras – Why are humans so obsessed with eating meat?, an interview with Marta Zaraska:

What do you make of the more meat-heavy Paleo diet trend?

There wasn’t just one Paleolithic diet. Some people close to the North Pole ate enormous amounts of meat, while some others, some hunter-gatherer tribes, ate barely any meat at all. Which Paleolithic was more Paleolithic? That’s the first and foremost thing for me. And then why not other times in our species history? We’ve evolved for a very long time, so why Paleolithic? And then next, contrary to what many Paleolithic-diet gurus say, our bodies actually have evolved since the industrial revolution and we are evolving faster than we have evolved before.

What also of cows and pigs vs antelope or buffalo or rabbits and squirrels?

Meathooked: The History and Science of our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession With Meat by Marta Zaraska

Snake oil, paleo diets, and what the science says

David Katz on America’s Test Kitchen Radio episode 405 (interview starts at time stamp 17:20).

On calories in vs calories out (22:30):

You get differential disposition of calories depending on what they are from and how that affects physiology.

So for example, calories from sugar will evoke an insulin response, and insulin in turn increases the tendency that calories will be deposited not only in body fat, but body fat in a harmful place right around the middle. If you get your calories from monounsaturated oil or  omega3 oil or high quality protein you’re going to have a different insulin response and those calories will go to different places in your body. So yes, the nature of the calories matters.

The other critical thing here, Chris, and the thing I was about to say this is, the quality of foods that we eat profoundly influences the number of calories it takes to feel full.

On science vs hucksters (30:18):

You maintain, Chris, that the public knows what to do, and that’s a huge part of the problem. See, somebody like me, I really want to empower people with useful information but you ask me any question and I start hemming and hawing, right? There’s subtlety, there’s nuance, but you talk to the hucksters and the charlatans or the fools and fanatics, and they’ll tell you, “Geez you know, Katz is dull as dishwater – he hems and haws.” You talk to a legitimate scientist, we always have doubts, “Well there’s science in favour, science against.” But you talk to dyed in the wool huckster, they know with absolute certainty that just the one simple thing you need to do, “It’s effortless, the pounds will drop off, the years will melt away.” You know, who can resist? I mean, your eyes glaze over, you go into a trance and you start reaching for your credit card.

The takeaway (36:10):

Feet, forks, fingers, sleep, stress, and love.

 

Disease Proof by David Katz

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: ~2 dozen
Working Time: 15 minutes to mix initial dough, 1 hour rest,  5 minutes per oven batch

370 grams rice flour blend*
4 grams xanthan gum
3/4 tsp baking soda
85 grams sugar
85 grams brown sugar
2 eggs replacement**
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free traditional spread*** – melted, cooled
225 grams chocolate chips or raisins or dried cranberries or other, total weight

  1. Mix flour, xanthan gum and baking soda in a large bowl
  2. In another bowl whisk together the sugars, egg and vanilla extract. Whisk for a few minutes until the mixture lightens in colour a bit. Add in the melted Earth Balance spread and whisk to combine well.
  3. Slowly add the liquid mix to the dry mix, using a spatula to combine well, without lumps.
  4. Add in the chips and mix in well.
  5. Refrigerate mixture at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°F / 160°C. Scoop dough into balls, about 3 tbsp each or 4 cm in diameter, and place on sheet about 10 cm apart (about 6 – 8 will fit on a regular cookie sheet). Press them down into 1 cm discs. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the sheet at 10 minutes.

Notes:
* The rice flour blend I’ve been using is as follows: 2 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups white rice flour, 2 cups glutinous rice flour, 1 2/3 cups tapioca flour or potato starch.
** I use Ener-G egg replacer. I haven’t tested any others.
*** Earth Balance Soy-Free traditional spread is the only non-soy butter-type replacement I’ve found. It is also salted, and no unsalted version is available. If you have a butter-type replacement you like to use that is unsalted, add 1 tsp salt to the dry mix.

  • After taking the baked cookies out of the oven, let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring to cooling rack – they will be very soft and may fall apart. They will harden as they cool.

Cookies

Organic vs conventional milk

Allison Aubrey at NPR – Is Organic More Nutritious? New Study Adds to the Evidence:

The study finds that organic dairy and meat contain about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids. The increase is the result of animals foraging on grasses rich in omega-3s, which then end up in dairy and meats.

Organic milk cows are given more forage for feed than conventional, which in comparison causes the increased level of fatty acids. So is it a product of being organic? Or just being fed more forage?

That said, organic meat and dairy contain far lower concentrations of omega-3s than what are found in fish such as salmon.

Better to eat fish if you want to increase your omega-3 intake.

Given the big picture, lots of experts say that, from a health perspective, what you eat matters more than whether you choose organic or conventional.

And at a time when most Americans don’t eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, perhaps the more important step is to add them to your diet — no matter what farming methods were used to grow them.

Agreed.

The recently published meta-analysis can be found here.

Food Poisoning Expert?

Kate Taylor for Business Insider – Food-poisoning expert reveals 6 foods he refuses to eat:

4. Rare meat.

Sorry, chefs: Marler isn’t going to order his steaks any rarer than medium-well. According to the expert, meat needs to be cooked to 160 degrees throughout to kill bacteria that could cause E. coli or salmonella.

The problem with the food safety guidelines is that the time is generally not considered, only temperature. And whether the bacteria are killed or not is dependent on both – the reason why low-temperature cooking can be very safe.

See Douglas Baldwin’s discussion on sous vide cooking safety.

Pasteurization is a combination of both temperature and time. Consider the common food pathogen Salmonella species. At 140°F (60°C), all the Salmonella in a piece of ground beef doesn’t instantly die – it is reduced by a factor ten every 5.48 minutes (Juneja et al., 2001).

Thus over a certain amount of time at a given temperature, the amount of harmful Salmonella in the food can be reduced to a safe level.