There is perhaps no more popular current health trend than the gluten-free diet, yet it can be tough to tell what exactly is and is not gluten-free. This is especially true because foods that contain gluten are actually sometimes labeled gluten-free despite the fact they aren’t 100 percent absent of this sticky wheat protein. Enter gluten-free technology.
Gluten-free technology can really help those who suffer from gluten intolerance symptoms, celiac disease symptoms or people who simply want to follow a gluten-free diet. That is a larger number of people than you may think. For instance, a Gallup survey conducted this past summer reported that 20 percent of Americans say they try to include gluten-free foods in their diets. One in five! (1)
In addition, roughly around 6 percent to 7 percent of the population have some form of gluten intolerance, and sales of gluten-free foods increased by 63 percent between 2012 and 2014, when sales were predicted to reach $8.8 billion. (2, 3) So clearly, gluten-free is more than just a fad. It’s here to stay, and gluten-free technology is here to help.
The Best Gluten-Free Technology
Take, for instance, the Nima. It’s a handy gadget that can identify if there’s gluten in food in just two minutes. That’s right, in just two minutes this technology can help you go gluten-free by letting you know if a food is safe to eat.
It works by “using an antibody-based test that the founders say produce results on par with what’s done in labs. The device uses disposable pods that break down a sample of a food item.” You load a pod with a food sample on it and screw the cap closed. Then you insert it by sliding the test pod in until you hear a click. In about two minutes, the display will smile if no allergens are detected. (4)
Once the Nima has the results of this test, the data is uploaded to a cloud-based database. Additionally, “the pods can be configured to test for other allergies, additives and pathogens. Peanut and dairy pods are already in development.”
And if you’re wondering how to go gluten-free completely, there are gluten-free technology applications beyond just the Nima to help. (5)
1. Gluten-Free Shopping
Apps such as Is That Gluten Free or GF Groceries allow you to select a category of food and search to see if the brand you’re checking out is actually gluten-free. The two apps — along with others — have different listings, so you may want to utilize more than one so you have all your bases covered.
There are other helpful gluten-free shopping apps as well. With the Shop Well app, you enter your age, gender, food goals and what’s important in your diet, then search for items that match.
My Food Facts is an app that lets you scan barcodes to see if allergens are present, while the Gluten Free Ingredients app has “an alphabetized list of often unfamiliar ingredients like maida, heeng, fu, farina, and EDTA and tells users if they’re gluten-free or not.” This allows you, for example, to identify gluten-free flours or even gluten-free alcohol.
Then there’s the Gluten Free app, which has lists ingredients as either gluten-free (green) or not gluten-free (red). These gluten-free technologies can really help with your shopping list.
2. Gluten-Free Recipes
Obviously, any search engine out there can provide gluten-free recipes, but the Celiac Sprue Association’s Gluten-Free Recipe Index is a great starting point. Of course, I have my own collection of gluten-free recipes, such as my:
- Gluten-Free Waffle Recipe
- Gluten-Free Toaster Pastry with Sugar Pumpkin Filling
- Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
3. Gluten-Free Meal Planning
There are also many resources for travelers or those dining out who wish to eat gluten-free. The Dine Gluten, Gluten Free Registry, Find Me Gluten Free, Healthy Out and Gluten Freed apps let you search by location and access thousands of gluten-free dining and travel reviews.
Myriad gluten-free social media groups exist as well to work alongside these gluten-free technologies, all of which can help you manage and maintain a gluten-free lifestyle and benefit your gut health.
Gluten-Free Technology Takeaways
- 20 percent of Americans say they try to include gluten-free foods in their diets.
- Roughly around 6 percent to 7 percent of the population have some form of gluten intolerance.
- Sales of gluten-free foods increased by 63 percent between 2012 and 2014, when sales were predicted to reach $8.8 billion.
- Gluten-free technology that help ensure a gluten-free diet include: the Nima, which tests whether or not a food contains gluten; shopping apps that provide info on ingredients that are or are not gluten-free; gluten-free recipe apps for ideas on how to make your own gluten-free meals; and meal planning apps for travelers to ID allergens and potential gluten-containing foods.
Read Next: How to Overcome Gluten Sensitivity
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