Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why the GF/CF Diet?

Q: Why the GF/CF Diet?

A: Because I don't know what else to do - to be honest.

I just wanna survive the holidays. Usually I would have baked 5-8 different kinds of cookies, half a dozen different candies, toffees, fudge, etc. Not this year. Sugar is evil to Nicolas. It does very bad things to him. So, I will have to buy my Christmas candy and hide it. And eat it all myself. I will, if the Hubs doesn't' find it. He seems to be able to sniff out my hiding stashes. It must be his "gifting", cuz it sure isn't figuring out what's happened to Nick. I mean, he seems to still think it's my parenting style. Duh... He might just be getting a lump of coal... just kiddin'. He knows. He has to. Doesn't he?

What is GFCF?

Gluten is more than just wheat – it’s grains like wheat, barley, oats and rye. Casein is the protein found in all things dairy – more specifically, anything juiced from a mammal – including cow’s milk, sheep, goat and human breast milk. Labels that say “wheat-free” do not necessarily mean gluten-free and certainly not GFCF. Dairy-free isn’t casein-free. Lactose is milk sugar. Lactose-free isn’t casein-free either. Organic doesn’t mean GFCF. Organic milk still comes from a cow and organic wheat is still wheat. Reading labels and understanding the difference is crucial. Gluten-free also includes things that do not have gluten in them but are either grown near them or processed in a facility with them, contaminating them, such as millet and oats. Here is a list of common hidden sources of gluten.

What is organic?

Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards. For crops, it means they were grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives. For animals, it means they were reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. In most countries, organic produce must not be genetically modified.



More Information


More Information

Some children may be allergic or intolerant to soy
, corn or other food.

Artificial (synthetic coloring)
Artificial (synthetic flavoring)
Aspertame (nutrasweet, an artificial sweetener)
Artificial (synthetic preservatives BHA, BHT

For more information contact:

The Feingold Assocation
554 East Main Street Suite 301
Riverhead, NY 11901
1-800-321-3287 (U.S. only)



"The GFCF Diet is one of the very first recommendations made by the Autism Research Institute. It is considered to be a cornerstone of the DAN! Approach. The reasons are many: first, many of the children lack the [dpp4] enzyme that allows them to break down the peptides from gluten and casein. As a result, a subset of autistic individuals have these improperly digested proteins which cross the intestinal membrane, travel in the blood, pass through the blood-brain barrier and interfere with neurotransmission. When this happens, Dr. Karl Reichelt, M.D., Ph.D., and other researchers have shown that these opioid-like substances can be responsible for poor attention, odd behavior, a deficit in socialization skills and poor speech.

Conversely, when gluten- and casein-based foods are removed, there can be an initial drug-withdrawal phase [when symptoms can worsen], followed by improved behavior, better attention, at times improved speech and an increase in socialization skills."
Maureen H. McDonnell, R.N., DAN! Conference Coordinator and former DAN! clinician

For autistic children, their bodies do not process gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) correctly and cause an opioid reaction and like all opioids (heroin, etc.) they need to feed their habit with more of the same. They come out of their fogged state with their senses emerging. They reduce their dangerous climbing, can feel pain and are clearer and more compliant. DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY, as you will have an ugly withdrawal reaction as any addict would.

We cannot stress enough the importance of reading labels on all of your food purchases. While we strive to have our lists of foods as accurate as possible, some food manufacturers are known to change their ingredients without warning. Some of these foods may still be included on our list without our knowledge of ingredient changes. If you come across any changes, please contact us by email as soon as possible products@gfcfdiet.com

Laboratory Testing

We feel that because of the successful improvements seen after strict adherence to the diet, a test for allergies is not always necessary to prompt parents to start using Dietary Therapy. Many parents see dramatic changes the first few weeks. It has been reported that this diet has helped children who have NOT tested positive for gluten and/or casein allergy. However, keep in mind that lab testing may help some parents make the decision to try the diet and stick with the GFCF Diet.

An ELISA blood test measuring IgE and IgG anti-bodies will help you determine your child’s food sensitivities.

Important Suggestions
Start the diet gradually, one meal or one food at a time. That is, for a week , just make dinner gluten free and casein free. Then once you've got that figured out, add in breakfast. Then after that's done, add in lunch and snacks.

Add more foods to your child's diet that are acceptable BEFORE you start the diet. Start introducing rice and potatoes if your child only eats noodles. Add fruits and vegetables to every meal so that you child may eventually try the new foods. The reason this is suggested is the gluten free and casein free substitutes don't really taste like the "real things" they know and love. Rather than having them starve during a a hunger strike, you will have backups in case they reject the gluten-free and casein free substitutes.

Understanding How To Read Labels
This food listed on this website must be used with caution due to the fact that manufacturers change their ingredients without warning. This may be due to changes in the recipe, changes in the ingredients supplied to the manufacturer, or changes in the production & manufacturing methods. Parents and individuals with food allergies and intolerances are responsible for reading the label of all products they intend to use regardless of how the product is represented on this site. Certain unacceptable ingredients may be hidden under the name of natural flavorings. Modified food starch is also a vague term which does not indicate the source of the starch (wheat or corn). Any and all questions and/or concerns about a product should be directed to the manufacturer. This website cannot guarantee that the list of foods are gluten and casein free. This is a guide to calling and verifying that products are gluten and casein free. If anyone has reason to believe that the manufacturing process and or ingredients have changed in the following products and should be either included or deleted, please write to us at products@gfcfdiet.com.

Read all labels, verify that they are gluten and casein free. When in doubt call the company. Toll free numbers have been provided for most of the food listed on this website.

Cross Contamination

Gluten and casein cross contamination is a legitimate concern. Some manufacturers produce food on machinery that is also used to make many different products. The rinsing process on manufacturing lines may well vary between different companies. There are some companies that are not concerned with rinsing their lines but most companies are committed about thorough rinsing. Some manufacturing companies sterilize and clean machinery between each item, using much higher water temperatures than water used in most households. Some of these manufacturing companies insist there is more chance of contamination in a consumer's kitchen due to improper washing of counter tops, plates and utensils or pots and pans.

Gluten contamination from products which use flour ingredients is harder to control due to airborne flour dust. Dairy cross contamination may be easier to control when lines are washed between manufacturing products since airborne contamination at most times does not exist unless a powdered form is used. It is important for you as consumers to contact companies and tell them these issues are important to you. If you do not tell them, they will not know. Avoiding cross contamination is a personal choice but one that should be based on being informed.

Some other cross contamination considerations are listed below and recommended by the Celiac Organization (They restrict gluten from their diet).

*Use separate baking pans that have never been used with gluten-containing foods. These baking pans should be used only when baking GFCF foods.

*A separate toaster or toaster oven should be used for GFCF breads, waffles, bagels, rolls, etc.

*A separate Waffle iron should be used strictly for cooking regular waffles.

*Cross contamination can also occur when a knife is used for spreading jelly, jams, peanut butter, etc. on breads. The knife can collect crumbs which remain on the utensil after used on regular breads and also gluten free breads. Keep two of the same product, labeling the products which are used for your gluten free family member(s).

*Also keep in mind that purchasing products from bins creates a high risk of cross contamination. Frequently scoops are used in multiple products, hence contamination is likely to occur.

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