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NGF Digest 004: Which Sauces are Gluten-Free, French Onion Soup, Science News and Book Review
February 06, 2022

Issue 004 – February 2022

Go ahead and pass this along if you know someone who would benefit from info on living gluten-free and some of my best recipes.

It’s February. Groundhog Day came and Gluten-Free Gus predicted an early spring for celiacs. Aren’t we fortunate!

Gluten-Free Sauces

Last month we cleaned out our pantries together. How did that go?

Did you find yourself having to replace some bottled sauces and needing guidance on what is and isn’t glute-free? Is ketchup gluten-free? Is mustard gluten-free? What about brown sauce, barbecue sauce, hot sauce? If this is you, then you may like the refreshed gluten-free sauces page on the website. This article focuses on store-bought sauces. If you want to know about making your own gluten-free sauces, stay tuned. That will be next month’s feature.

Gluten-Free French Onion Soup

Do you miss ordering French onion soup in restaurants? Do you think of it as something fancy that you couldn’t possibly make yourself? Well, it is fancy, and you can totally make it yourself. Click the link below and you’ll soon be slurping up savory, cheesy tummy warming soup and feeling like you’re missing out on nothing! There’s even a vegan version.

News From the Scientific Community

Celiac Disease Home Testing

When I was reading this month’s book, Celiac Disease, A Hidden Epidemic by Dr. Peter Green of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, I came across some interesting news for the future of celiac diagnosis.
In his book, Dr. Green tells us about some exciting innovations in celiac diagnostics. When I read this, I wanted to know more and started digging into it.

As most of us know, celiac disease is severely under-diagnosed. It takes an average of nine years for someone experiencing symptoms to get a diagnosis and that diagnosis often doesn’t come until the fourth to sixth decade of life,1. I’ve heard so many stories of people who are fairly certain themselves that they have a gluten issue but can’t even get their doctor to order the tests. What if there were an easier way? What if a person who suspects they may have celiac could take a home test then take the result to their doctor as evidence that they need to be properly assessed for celiac disease.

Keep in mind, the only way to diagnose celiac disease is through a combination of blood screening for tissue transglutaminase (tTG) IgA and serum IgA along with a positive small intestine biopsy so you do need to get your doctor to order these tests. Also, you must be consuming gluten to get an accurate result.

I’m not endorsing any of these tests as I haven’t tried them myself. I’m simply exploring so I can provide you with some info that may be of value. If you do try any of these, do not diagnose yourself. If the result is positive, take it to your doctor.

Saliva Test:
Saliva tests screen for IgA-AGA in saliva and may be a desirable alternative for young children. They are still under investigation and are not yet sensitive enough to diagnose celiac disease.

DNA Testing:
This is also a saliva test, but it is screening for the HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 genes which are the genes for celiac disease. These are available through a few companies, 23andMe may be the most well-known. The test does not diagnose celiac disease, it simply tells you if you are genetically pre-disposed. Many people have those genes and never develop celiac disease. If you get a positive indicator, you still need to go to your doctor for proper diagnosis.

At Home Blood Test Kits.
It appears these were common about 10 years ago, but several brands have come and gone. I don’t know if this is because of lack of demand or if there is another reason. Here’s a bit of an overview of the landscape.

BioCard: A Naturopath told me about this one. She said she used to use it often in her practice and was able to help many patients whose celiac disease might not otherwise have been diagnosed. If the test was positive, she would then send them to their MD for further assessment. BioCard was / is made by a company in Finland called Labsystems Diagnostics. It was endorsed by the Canadian Celiac Association, and from what I can tell was considered reasonably reliable for pre-screening, to be followed up by a doctor. The test is no longer available in Canada. I have messaged the company to see if they are available elsewhere, but at time of writing have not heard back.

Imaware: This company is in the U.S. and has received a positive review from They provide several different medical tests including two for celiac. The test costs $99 US and screens for the (tTG) IgA biomarker and according to the review seems to be reasonably accurate. It has a rating of 4 stars on The process is to provide a blood sample from a finger prick and send it into their lab for analysis. They also have a celiac monitoring test which I was going to order so I could give you a personal review but sadly it’s only available in the U.S.

LetsGetChecked: This is another company that provides a range of home medical tests including one for celiac disease. They have locations in New York and Dublin. The celiac test screens for tTg and EMA antibodies. Medical News Today has done a review of the company but not this specific test. It appears they are considered trustworthy. The test is available directly from the company in the U.S. and I assume in Ireland. It’s on Amazon in Canada.

Prima Home Celiac Test: This one is based in Switzerland and available in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It’s the only one I’ve found that provides an immediate result without having to mail in the sample. It has an Amazon rating of 3.9 stars.

Other Home Tests
There are various food intolerance and gut biome tests on the market. These do not test specifically for celiac disease. The reliability of these tests is in dispute so if you think something like this may be helpful for you, check with your medical practitioner.

Have you tried any of these tests, or any other home medical tests? Join the discussion at Naturally Gluten-Free's Facebook page

What I’m Pondering

Fermented food: I mentioned last month that I’ve taken an interest in fermented food since re-reading Cooked by Michael Pollan. Well, I’ve ordered my E-Jen container and when it arrives, I’ll get my first batch of sauerkraut going. I’ll keep you posted.

What I’m reading

Last month I promised you my full review of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan. It’s up on the site now so check it out. Spoiler alert: I’m a Pollan Fan so you know it’s going to be a good review.

This month’s book is Celiac Disease, A Hidden Epidemic by Dr. Peter Green of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. I first came across Dr. Green when he was referenced in Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s book The G-Free Diet. I felt I should check him out for myself. click the link above for my full review.

A New E-Book from Naturally Gluten-Free

As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, some of you have been asking for advice for the newly diagnosed. A “Beginner’s Guide” so to speak. Well, I started working on it and soon realized that it is much more than just a web page. I’ve decided to create a hyperlinked e-book for you which will likely come out mid-2022. I’ll keep you posted here in the newsletter and on Facebook.

That’s all for this month.

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Talk to you in March.

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1. Green, P. H. R., & Jones, R. (2020). Celiac disease: A hidden epidemic. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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