When we started INBalance Health Corporation, my partners and I wanted to find a good solution for Type 2 Diabetics. This goal helped us to create the INBar along with our supplements of glucose management, weight management and multi-vitamin. Everything we did to market our bars initially was focused on the diabetic community. When we first introduced the bars in 2012 at the Natural Expo in Baltimore, we realized that because our bar was gluten free, allergen free, non-GMO, Kosher, vegan and organic, we attracted more than just diabetics.
It wasn’t until a few years later that we realized that our bar was for everyone, and that there were more than just diabetics that can benefit from our bars. Before I started the company, I wasn’t well-versed in a lot of the diseases out there, including diabetes. My mother and grandmother both had it, and I know my grandmother had to give herself shots every day and eventually lost her leg to the disease. But that was the extent of my knowledge.
I know a lot more about the disease today, and even more so about other diseases that are affected by gluten, allergens and other food disorders. I looked into these disorders because it seems our INBar could be a solution for them, as well. One of those diseases is Celiac Disease. I had very limited knowledge of this disease, as most people would if they had no exposure to it or had a need to learn about it. Celiacs is a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. Gluten is a form of protein found in some grains. The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate.
Number one issue is gluten. Most of us have no problem processing gluten, but for these individuals, their intestine is unable to properly process these types of foods. Principles of a gluten free diet are as follows:
- Avoid all foods made from wheat, rye, and barley. Examples are breads, cereals, pasta, crackers, cakes, pies, cookies, and gravies.
- Ask your doctor abut oats. Some patients with celiac disease can tolerate oats in the diet. But long-term safety of oats in celiac disease patients is unknown, and some oat preparations can be contaminated with wheat. Thus, it is probably best to avoid oats at least during the initial treatment with a gluten-free diet. Once the disease is in remission with a strict gluten-free diet, it may be possible to reintroduce small quantities of oats into the diet under medical supervision.
- Pay attention to processed foods that may contain gluten. Wheat flour is a common ingredient in many processed foods. Examples of foods that may contain gluten include:
- Canned soups
- Salad dressings
- Ice cream
- Candy bars
- Instant coffee
- Luncheon meats and processed or canned meats
- Ketchup and mustard
- Beware of tablets, capsules, and vitamin preparations that contain gluten. Wheat starch is commonly employed as a binding agent in tablets and capsules. Gluten also can be found in many vitamin products, and cosmetic products such as lipstick.
- Avoid beer, but wine, brandy, whiskey, and other alcohols without barley are fine in moderation
- Avoid milk and other dairy products that contain lactose. Untreated patients with celiac disease often are lactose intolerant. With successful treatment, dairy products can often be reintroduced slowly into the diet later.
- Consult dietitians and national celiac disease societies for lists of gluten-free foods. Read the food and product labels before buying or consuming any product. This is necessary, because a manufacturer may change a product’s ingredients at any time. A product that was gluten-free in the past may now contain gluten. Even branded products may be gluten-free in one country but contain gluten in another country. If one is not certain after reading the labels, call the manufacturer.
- Because people with celiac disease who have severe malabsorption can develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies, vitamin and mineral supplements are important. Ask your doctor if a multivitamin is right for you. Patients with iron deficiency anemia should be treated with iron. Patients with anemia due to folate or B12 deficiency should be treated with folic acid and B12. Patients with an abnormal ProTime should be treated with vitamin K. Patients with low blood calcium levels or with osteopenia or osteoporosis should be treated with calcium and Vitamin D supplements.
Eliminating gluten from your diet is becoming easy these days. Most restaurants now have a gluten portion of their menu. But it is still important to read your labels to ensure you are adhering to a gluten free diet. Find trusted products that you know are gluten free, and if possible certified as gluten free. Did you know that the INBar is certified Gluten free? I am thankful that my diet isnt restricted other than portion control, but for those that need to have those restrictions, I am glad that we are able to provide them with a solution that they can not only trust, but is also good for them.
After starting out as a healthy option for diabetics, our bar meets the needs of many people. Even if you are healthy, our bar is a great replenishment food source for you. Because we are certified as gluten, allergen free, vegan, kosher, non-GMO and organic, you wont find a cleaner bar on the shelves. No matter what your need is, the INBar can be part of your solution.
Stay tuned for the next blog on GMO. It has been a big buzz word for a number of years now, but do you really know what it means and how it effects you?