Could quinoa be unsuitable for some celiacs? Some folks think, possibly.
I keep hearing about this quinoa possibly not being safe for celiacs malarky. There don’t seem to be any concrete findings on this issue as yet but I decided I was too intrigued by the possibility of quinoa being another dodgy grain for celiacs not to ask for your thoughts.
Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for it’d edible seeds. It’s not really considered a grain but I only discovered this fairly recently since it looks, acts and tastes like a grain to me. I didn’t discover quinoa until I was diagnosed as celiac and began looking for tasty new gluten free alternatives. It’s since become one of my favourites as it’s so flexible! I love eating it for breakfast with peanut butter and fresh fruit or later in the day as a salad or a side. It’s gluten free, high in protein and very tasty so it’s perfect for celiacs…or is it? Mwahahaha (evil voice)
A new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has found that some varieties of quinoa may in fact trigger symptoms in some people with celiac disease. My response when I first read this was not a happy one. Sometimes it feels like all of our “safe, go-to foods” are slowly being taken away from us.
So why do some people think quinoa may not be 100% safe for celiacs?
Researchers tested 15 different varieties of quinoa and found that two contained “levels of celiac toxic elements sufficient to cause an allergic response in a minority of gluten-sensitive people.”
Interestingly though, all of the varieties tested were confirmed to have lower than 20ppm which is the level currently believed to be safe for most celiacs. 20ppm is the limit set for “gluten free” products in most countries and the proposed limit that products would have to adhere to here in the US. So do these findings really show any kind of a threat at all? I wonder how other naturally gluten free grains like rice, buckwheat or amaranth would test on the gluten scale..
Whilst research such as this is always a little concerning for those of us who are already on a limited diet, I definitely wouldn’t worry about it just yet. A lot more research still has to be done to figure out whether a gluten response from quinoa really is a possibility in those of us with celiac disease.
Personally I eat quinoa pretty regularly and I feel great. I have never had a negative response to quinoa. How about you?