General Meeting Minutes
WESTERN NEW YORKGLUTEN FREE DIET SUPPORT GROUP, INC
GENERAL MEETING – March 10, 2012
The meeting was opened at 10:11 a.m. by President Cliff Hauck. He welcomed all in attendance (47 present; 39 signed in). He referred to our association with the Celiac Sprue Association/USA. He asked newly diagnosed attendees to self introduce (3). He announced that a small group counseling session for the newly diagnosed follows the regular meeting. A bag of gluten free groceries provided by Wegmans will be available for first time attendees. There will also be a raffle at the conclusion of the regular meeting of a basket of gluten free products donated by Wegmans.
There was a review of upcoming events:
April 14 – general meeting; representative from WNY Food Bank will speak. Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable foods to the meeting for use by the Food Bank.
April 22 – Special dining event at Milo’s Restaurant (Greek cuisine).
May 12 – Annual Walk for Celiac Awareness at Clarence Town Park.
June 9 – Annual meeting, election of Directors; pancake breakfast.
He noted that for security reasons, the entrance to our meetings at Mount Mercy will in the future be limited to the door accessed through the small parking lot at the side of the main building.
Grace Little, our Librarian, announced that a small number of books will be available at today’s meeting for purchase at half price. She named books available and asked for suggestions for future purchases. Pat Burt announced that individuals who had paid their 2012 dues but had not yet picked up their membership card could get them from Grace. A membership card is now required to borrow books from the library.
Cliff introduced Kevin Zack, regional representative for ZING Nutrition Bars. Mr. Zack advised that the bar had been designed by nutritionists and endorsed as “best bar” by Cooking Light magazine. Samples are available today; bars are available for sale at $2.50 as are order forms.
Pat Demicke advised that the toaster bags are available through CSA’s web site.
Cliff then introduced the meeting’s speaker, Alice Elaine Rothfus, RN, RD, a member of the Board of Directors, our group Dietitian and a 46 year celiac. She spoke about being gluten free and heart healthy.
She began by identifying the objectives of today’s presentation, defining what a hearty healthy lifestyle is all about; strategies to increase fiber and decrease fat in the GF diet; identify healthy grains; identify ideal items to include in your diet; and the importance of exercise.
She described Celiac Disease as an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of the small intestine which has an impact on the absorption of nutrients. She referred to the indicators of the disease and methods for diagnosis of the disease.
She then went on to describe a heart healthy diet:
- Lean meats, fish, chicken and legumes
- Decrease in saturated (solid) fats; increase in mono-saturated fats - olive, canola and grape seed oils. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 30% of calories in a day from fat.
- Increase in fiber intake with whole grains being the best. (Soluble fiber is the part of the grain that helps with cholesterol.)
- Moderate sodium and alcohol.
- Exercise; one hour each day is recommended.
- Weight management is critical. Being overweight impacts not only the heart but is also related to diabetes). Portion size is very important. Studies have shown that weight gain is a common occurrence once the GF diet begins.
She then went on to explain that heart disease is the leading cause of death (one in five) in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death for people with Celiac Disease. Elevated markers for inflammation are a risk factor for atrial fibrillation (irregular and rapid heart beat) and needs to be treated.
She referred to the to the typical gluten free diet. Components refined; B complex vitamins aren’t usually present. GF foods aren’t required to be fortified. They usually have dry starches (which create the tendency of baked goods to crumble) and fats are added to compensate. Generally a person’s body mass index increases 2 to 4 years after diagnosis. Nutritional deficiencies are often noted even if overweight.
What types of GF grains provide the right type of fiber? Buckwheat is recommended for its properties. Oats are good now that there are some certified as GF available, and has multiple uses. Millet, teff and quinoa are high in nutrients and fiber. Nuts also provide fiber. Flours from beans and sorghum are also high in fiber. Pasta made from sorghum is high in protein and fiber and is low in carbohydrates. It’s important to remember, however, that fiber should be added slowly to the diet, especially when new to the GF diet. She referred to a number of uses for each of these grains in the GF diet.
She cautioned that label reading remains critical, not only the ingredients themselves but what constitutes a serving size. She had available for distribution charts containing the fiber content of gluten free grains cereals and flours; beans, nuts and seeds; vegetables; and fruits. Also available was a chart for determining your Body Mass Index and how to figure your fat grams.
She used a display of a variety of gluten free products as well as portion size measurement tools during her presentation. She responded to questions from the audience. Her presentation was well received.
Thereafter the raffle was held followed by the meeting for the newly diagnosed.
Joanne M. Schwartzott
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