Celiac disease, sounded some butt sentence: a good speech. Applauses. Silence. Another speaker, the same applauses, identical. Nothing new under the sun!
I was seventh, fourth row, blue tie, pen and notepad donated by the sponsor, the usual company that makes pasta and biscuits for celiac people. The conference is titled: “Celiac diseases : new horizons and new protocols …”, well, something like that.
Salt a step of blue moquette, the rapporteur looks at his audience, as would an animal with its prey, plays some butt sentence and somewhere taking the applause, as a controlled mechanism. A loud burst of applauses echoed in all the hall, first as timid beats and then courageous vigorous ovations. Another speaker, and the conference continues its boring rhythm.
To resist the whole day in this madness seminar, you have to be a Chinese accustomed to lens torture, or a schizoid without any sense of humor. Or maybe one really interested to celiac disease.
Then you look around and all of a sudden you see them, they are sitting there behind you, beside you, around you , they are the real protagonists of the conference, the first stars of the show: 137 celiac people, locked up for a nightmare day in a conference room on the third floor of the Royal Hotel.
So I realize that only if you are a true celiac, if you have suffered for years the horrifying symptoms of this debilitating disease, only like that you can even resist to this day and even be able to cheer.
The protagonists of this story, of this conference, have a dragon inside: an immunity system that reacts disproportionately to just small molecules of gluten, a substance found almost anywhere, in pasta, bread, barley, spelled, kamut, wheat , oats, rye, triticale. One on an hundred is celiac, one in a whole condominium, practically a population of people. Each year about more 3000 celiac people, and with an increase of 10%. A catastrophe!
Is it really all the fault of the multinationals? Or even of our lifestyle, GMO, or smog, or the greenhouse effect? No one knows, however, the conference speaking an unknown language, that only a few followers celiac and believers in the faith of perfect science , know how to recognize the signs in the victorious seal.
Today celiac disease is truly a hellish plague! It would be enough to determine it by a test and then a diet that will last all the lifetime. But things are not always as simple and linear. That immune answer, inflames the intestine until the disappearance of the intestinal villi and then you cannot digest anything of glutinous. Everything, so to speak, slips inside you , and is a diarrhea without end.
If, however, the diagnosis of celiac disease is late you can find yourself with autoimmune thyroiditis, alopecia, epilepsy with cerebral calcification, osteoporosis, intestinal lymphoma … well the symptoms of a child just burned by the historic Chernobyl radiations, the old USSR, just around the corner . A ghost paradise, where today we are still paying devastating consequences.
Unfortunately that of celiac disease is insidious, serpentine pathology, it doesn’t go right to the heart of the problem and zacch! It kills you, No! It leaves you to burn in doubt and pain, it can be presented as diarrhea and stunting of the growth already after weaning, and that is called typical. Then there is another that presents with anemia and that is called atypical. Even there is another that is quiet and doesn’t have symptoms, calls itself silent. And finally, the other that is the potential one that comes with positive serology exams but with negative biopsy of the intestine. A real clinic babel. A real scourge of humanity.
Yet, to find it, we have developed a series of analyzes of IgG and IgA, until the last analysis that is the anti-transglutaminase. But to resolve it permanently it wanders in the dark, and that applauses, perhaps, if these meetings of vainglory, are just another symptom of a population who is fed up of suffering.
Gluten-free diet: transforming an obligatory choice in a feeding without sacrifices. This is the new slogan of the DAPHNE LAB, specialized laboratories in food intolerances.
The French philosopher Montaigne, said that “Eating is one of the four aims of life, what else … depends on each individual.”
Eating is not just a biological necessity, but a real pleasure for the senses. A great emotion that involves all aspects of the physic and mind.
Many people now believe that it is difficult to speak of emotion related to the taste when it is about gluten intolerance. It’s not like that. Even in celiac disease you can eat without any problem and with equal taste.
It is difficult to imagine a world without gluten in which is prevented the possibility of accompanying the typical regional dishes, all those kinds of bread produced by our Mediterranean culinary art.
Today our eating habits are more cultural and emotional than physiological. Often we realize that we eat just to socialize or taste the illusion of a symbolic figure suggested by advertising.
Difficult to resist the temptation, in front of a buffet, to taste a slice of fragrant mortadella or tasty ham in fear that they are contaminated by gluten in their stage of industrial processing. Even unsuspected foods, may be contaminated by gluten just for the fact that the food industry uses gluten in order to mix well certain mixtures.
The winning strategy in the approach to gluten-free feeding is to tune their tastes and eating habits to different styles and dietaries, focusing on what is allowed and not on what is prohibited, by turning us to a diet without sacrifices and without prohibitions, rather a food style with food possibilities ever larger. Accustoming to gratify the new taste renouncing to something that is gluten which was included in our daily life.
Getting used to eat gluten-free means while “thinking without gluten”, focusing on color and shape of the food, enjoying the aroma of the dish, gratifying with the taste of the main ingredient, amplify the culinary creativity. Researching the history of dishes and traditional and gluten free recipes .
Nowadays, however, the deep changes in the lifestyle of the individuals impacted in an important way on the way of eating: eating a meal outside home now accounts for about 30% of the total food consumption and it is expected to further increase in the coming decades (ISTAT data indicate a value equal to 46% in 2030). This means that many public and private grocery stores must be organized to make available to all gluten-free menus and alternatives recipes. In the same way they must reorganize, and even soon, corporate and private school canteens.
What that misses today in truth is the information to the celiac and the “normal” individual because it is important to create a strong and proactive collective consciousness in front of a variety of styles of consumption which provide always more gluten in our diet .
Sure it is hard to imagine how an individual should be forced to not being able to eat pizza or bruschetta. No drama, however, if we remember that in the first half of the last century flour more widespread, especially in northern Italy, was to corn while the white bread of refined flour was only an achievement of the first postwar period. No drama if we remember that the Mesoamerican Indians the wheat was absolutely unknown, until the arrival of the Spaniards labeled by history as “conquistadores”, while their diet was rich in vegetable fibers and starches derived from corn and potatoes. Potatoes even at the beginning, in Europe were considered poisonous. Even today, unfortunately, there is a certain ignorance at the table and in catering.
Even if we think that the whole east avoids wheat because it prefers rice, and even to not contain gluten, and much more digestible and nutritious.
For all these reasons, after the diagnosis, we do of a virtue necessity, and we also question our ingrained food constructs, made up of habits, conventions, clichés.
Breaking down the paradigm of the food construct, which till today has only enriched the food holding and impoverished our immunity system, we can feed us of new knowledge of recipes made of taste and gluten-free, menu free from useless proteins and harmful molecules, find an old food culture that will make good to everyone and certainly not so much to the big food houses that on the gluten, in these recent years, have invested a lot.
A lot of the allowed foods for celiac become part of the daily diet: in addition to polentine that belong to childhood memories for some, combined with cheeses, vegetables and various sauces, we rediscover the dormant pleasure of legumes soups or that one new of crepes prepared with corn starch or Venezuelan arepas and corn tortillas variously stuffed. As well as vegetables or fish fried in battered cornstarch and potato starch? Or even a Wiener schnitzel prepared with a golden breading of corn grits? Let us surprise from corn pasta , always consistent and to the tooth, good for delicious Neapolitan pies, valid alternative to our classic “first dishes”.
Why then, in the end: who has decided that the “first” is pasta and the “second” is the dish? We are victims of social conventions that it is time to shatter. The time is appropriate and finally the time has come for Western and industrialized man to change eating habits, change lifestyle, enter in the kingdom of a healthy life full of wellness in the name of prevention.
Also we could focus on an oriental food, today gogo publicized on Western tables: rice, and its many culinary applications, starting from appetizers to desserts without forgetting the true gastronomic beauties represented by risotto with Mediterranean and italics taste. Perhaps the news that will surprise us that in the various Italian regions were “counted” more than two hundred different kinds of risotto.
At the end of the meal, when it’s time for “dulcis in fundo”: the dessert, the fantasy together to the ingenuity certainly will be able to create wonderful and aromatic cookies with corn flour, excellent almond paste, crepes, cakes and rice puddings and colorful fruit tarts and savory Capri pies … a great list of gluten-free sweets for an unforgettable dinner for celiac.
But be careful to be well informed and to follow the dictates of the associations for celiac of reference. The risk would be to compose a diet with overabundance of proteins and fats, at the expense of carbohydrates in our daily diets are mainly represented by bread and pasta.
That’s why it is recommended to celiac people to not overdo with diet-therapeutic products, provided by industry sector, because these, to be made more attractive, are often added hydrogenated vegetable fats, butter and eggs so that often result nutritionally unbalanced to detriment of empty calories and industrial fats. So that to do well you risk to exceed the wrong side of the nutritional balance to the detriment of a balance that we’re finding with such zeal.
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