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MENHALLS SparkPoints: (31,663)
Fitness Minutes: (25,744)
Posts: 814
12/31/12 7:39 A

Having done a gluten free diet with a family member & tracking that on SP, I respectfully agree with Dietican Becky. It is darn near impossible to avoid gluten in anything in a package, unless it specifically says GF. Even between Canada and the US, there are items that are GF in one but not the other.

I have used the meal plans successfully while GF, simply by substituting for the GF item. The nutrition database is very good and if your brand is missing, just add it in.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,203
12/30/12 1:32 P

i am sorry to be such a jerky devil's advocate. my friends tell me it is endearing in person. clearly a celiac would skip the wheat, but my point was that the menus have come a very long way with regards to their proportion of whole foods for bread to be the most processed thing on the menu.
i do have to ask if you have any special tricks for getting fruits and veggies that aren't waxed though. because yes, i do count that as processing when it comes to grocery stores. my beans and lentils have been depodded and dried, which is also a form of processing. milk has been separated and fortified. carrots, onions, potatoes, mushrooms and lettuce are about the only things that i can think of off hand that are just picked/cut, rinsed off and put on shelves.

i actually just realized i have the eat clean cookbook two right beside me. the first recipe is the very yummy granola recipe. ingredients: rolled oats, almonds, cashews, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, coconut flakes, brown sugar, honey, coconut butter, vanilla, sea salt and dried fruit. the oats are processed because the rolled is how they are processed as opposed to steel cut or whatever is it that they do to the instant ones to make them instant. the nuts are shelled and cooked somehow [steamed? pasteurized, i know raw nuts are hard to find, though i am not 100 percent certain how the other ones are not, roasted and salted notwithstanding]. pepitas are dried and cooked as are most sunflower seeds. i'm not sure on the flaxseed. coconut flakes are just cut and dried. brown sugar i'm not sure of offhand. honey is mostly dumped out of hives. coconut butter is processed. vanilla tends to be dissolved in liquids more often than you find it in pod form. sea salt is just dried out. and dried fruit is dried out.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 12/30/2012 (13:50)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,022)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,724
12/30/12 12:58 P

While I understand and respect that, for you, occasional bread is acceptable, for a person with gluten intolerance, it can cause serious effects.
And with all due respect, I've found it *is* possible to buy all unprocessed goods at most grocery stores. I do agree with you that it can be a bit more difficult at times.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,203
12/30/12 12:42 P

i consider that for four meals a day [breakfast, lunch, dinner snack], for three parts a meal, for a total of 12 things a day, a little bread being the most processed thing you're getting isn't bad. granted i also have seen a week where i got something like twelve pbjs and had oreos for half the snacks and every salad had nonfat dressing so everything is relative. and bread is certainly not something i'm sweating. when it comes down to it, 9,999 times of 10,000 i'm buying it, not taking the time to make it myself. and since the breads i buy tend to have ingredients lists made up of things i could buy in other parts of the store i am going to be lazy and buy it as everything in the grocery store is processed to some degree.

OPUSEVA Posts: 1,330
12/30/12 12:21 P

Found on "According to recent estimates, 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease - approximately 1% of the population"

The estimate is MUCH smaller than the "4% to 5%" you quoted.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,022)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,724
12/30/12 12:17 P

Do you consider breads to be unprocessed? I ask sincerely.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,203
12/30/12 11:49 A

michelle i have to ask what settings do you have on the tracker? because over the past year i have noticed a huge trend towards more whole food meals. i know part of it is that the actual plans are randomly pulled by the computer, so it's complete coincidence if you get the same meal for lunch and dinner a few times in a week. which also makes it somewhat random if you get a ton of processed stuff all at once or a ton of unprocessed. but compared to a few years ago i really feel like they have been filtering out more of the processed options and replacing them with meals you can actually cook.
today's menu for me is
-oatmeal with pears and hazelnuts,a cup of milk
-salmon salad, berries and yogurt, wheat roll
-salmon with brown rice and steam veggies, cottage cheese with pineapple, coffee
-black beans with sweet potatoes and salsa
and tomorrow is
-peanut butter with toast, an apple, milk
-whole wheat pita with tuna salad and tomatoes, raisins, milk
-vegetarian chili, pears
- peanut butter with celery
which is pretty decently unprocessed.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,022)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,724
12/30/12 11:22 A

I understand and agree with much of what you've posted. At the same time, offering a gluten-free meal plan option could be safely presented simply by eliminating all processed foods from that menu option. Just a thought.

SHERRYGIRL56 Posts: 32
12/30/12 6:31 A

I am a diagnosed Celiac . I am a gluten -soy-peanut free celiac . I also limit my grain intake to a small amount of rice, I consume no other grains . I recently started using Sparks . I view the food menu option to get ideas for the day . I would never depend on sparks ,a dietitian or anyone else but my self to decide what I am going to put in my body.
If you or anyone else would like help with a gluten free diet , I would be glad to help or offer you information / recipe sites that I use .

Edited by: SHERRYGIRL56 at: 12/30/2012 (06:37)
12/29/12 11:02 A

This site has over 12 million members from around the world. The ingredients used in a company's food can vary from region to region within the US and around the world. For safety, this is why SP does not have Gluten free meal plans. To be safe the members needs to read labels of foods found in "their" area and see what works. Then use the SP meal plans and substitute accordingly. If it says bread or cereal---one must use a gluten free bread or cereal. If it says vegetable soup, you must read the label to make sure it is a gluten free veggie soup.

The member should see a Registered Dietitian for education and know what food ingredients to look for on food labels to keep the diet safe and appropriate. For example: If a meal plan says to use "Mrs. Jone's veggie soup" because it is gluten free in Ohio....doesn't mean it is gluten free in England.

SP Registered Dietitian Becky

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
12/29/12 8:37 A

I use the recipe box/entry portion often and add my own recipes.
I don't use the menu plans.

It's very adaptable, but SP isn't here to give you specific advise, just general guidelines, as far as I know. If you don't want free, then there are likely other places you can pay to provide you with medically-appropriate menu plans

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,022)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,724
12/29/12 7:08 A

I recently began using the food tracker. I use the customize option and my favorites list frequently. I would love to see meals comprised entirely of whole foods (in their natural state) in the meal options as well. I think sparkpeople tracker is more applicable to standard America diet; I hope they break out of that mindset. Until then, I'm grateful for the tracker and its customize option.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/29/12 12:56 A

This is a free site. They provide what they can and do a good job doing it. There are many, many diets that spark doesn't have on the meal plan, like dairy free and vegan (which are also popular diet requests). They can't please everyone, I'm afraid!

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (80,947)
Fitness Minutes: (46,897)
Posts: 5,092
12/28/12 7:53 P

Most people I know on here don't even follow SparkPeople's meal plans. A lot of members are gluten free, low carb, raw vegan, vegetarian...most people enter their own foods according to how they want to eat and what works for them.

YELLOWDAHLIA SparkPoints: (94,861)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 13,413
12/28/12 7:08 P

In all the years I have been here I have never used Sparks meal plans. I've always done my own thing.

I think the most important thing is to stay with in a calorie range that will allow you to lose weight. In your case you will be "spending" your calories on gluten free foods.

LHEMENWAYGA SparkPoints: (34)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1
12/28/12 6:19 P

It is very disappointing to see that Spark People, a site rated by so many groups as one of the best free diet sites, has no Gluten Free Diet plans. Why? Weight watchers and other groups have this.

Celiac disease is the most misdiagnosed diseased in the US and has the fastest growing numbers of new people being diagnosed. Among adults, the largest problem is people being diagnosed and having to lose weight.

The number of adults in the US with Celiac Disease is now estimated at 4% to 5% with 30% of the population having the genes for this disease. Why isn't Spark People responding to this need???

You have diets that follow trends, why not have one that meets a true need.

I'd love to see your responses.


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