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NGF Digest 005: 12 Homemade sauces, Fettuccine Alfred, Science News and Book Review
March 06, 2022

Issue 005 – March 2022

March is the month that spring begins! Are you excited to see the snow melt and get into some warmer weather? Here where I am, just outside of Toronto, Canada, temperatures have been stubbornly hovering around the freezing mark, but I think we’ll break out of that soon.

With that in mind, I've got a great line up of comfort food for you to close off the winter months. Then we explore the link between celiac and sugar. Have you wondered if there's a connection? I sure have!

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.

Featured Article

Homemade Gluten-Free Sauces

Last month we featured an update to the gluten-free sauces page with lots of advice on how to buy sauces, what to look for on the labels and some specific brand recommendations.

This month’s featured article is all about homemade gluten-free sauces . Can you smell it? Sweet, savory, spicy or cheesy, a warm sauce simmering on the stove will get that spring thaw going from the inside out. You get the basics of how to make any gluten free sauce and lots of recipes to try. Let me know on the Facebook page which ones you try and how you like them.

Featured Recipe

Gluten-Free Fettuccine Alfredo

Did you think that Fettuccine Alfredo was something fancy that you order in an Italian restaurant and that you couldn’t possibly make it yourself? Surprise! Alfredo sauce is one of the easiest sauces to make and it’s naturally gluten-free. Whip it up while the pasta’s cooking and you’ll be enjoying creamy, cheesy goodness in no time.
Gluten-Free Fettuccine Alfredo

News From the Scientific Community

Celiac Disease and Sugar

I asked the NGF FB Group what they’d like to see in this month’s science section and “Sugar and Gut Health” won the pole. I decided to take it a bit further and research any links between celiac disease and sugar and came up with some interesting stuff that you may find helpful.

In researching, I turned to two of my favorite experts on the subject of sugar and its effects on our bodies, Dr. Robert Lustig, M.D., and Julie Daniluk, R.H.N.

Dr. Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist and longtime advocate for getting sugar out of our food supply. In his book Fat Chance, Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease, he scientifically demonstrates the toxicity of sugar and debunks the notion that “a calorie is a calorie” regardless of the source. He points out that when governments around the world insisted we get fat out or our diet, the food industry responded by adding more sugar. I see some parallels here with celiac and the gluten free diet. If you look at most packaged gluten free food, you’ll notice that it’s higher in sugar than its gluten counterparts. This is because sugar helps with leavening, and gluten free products need all the help they can get, and sugar of course pushes our ancient evolutionary buttons, so we want more without perhaps noticing that the product isn’t really that tasty.

In his new book Metabolical, The Lure and The Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition and Modern Medicine, which I’ve not read yet, but it may be next on the list, he explains that in choosing our food we should use two criteria: protect the liver and feed the gut.1 This piques my interest too as celiac patients are at increased risk of liver disease, and of course we know that celiac affects the gut.

Julie Daniluk is a registered holistic nutritionist. It was her 2011 best seller Meals That Heal Inflammation that first alerted me to the notion that food might be at the root of my issues. This was before I was diagnosed with celiac. In her new book Becoming Sugar Free, How to Break Up With Inflammatory Sugars and Embrace and Naturally Sweet Life, she shares her own journey with sugar and provides the best info I’ve seen on sugar alternatives. She’s included recipes for sweet treats and lots of advice on “breaking up with sugar”.

Are Celiacs Sensitive to Sugar?

There is a definite link between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes although the reason for this is not well understood. Both are autoimmune conditions, and both have a genetic component. If you’re interested in more on the link between celiac and diabetes, check out these two articles.

Celiac, Sugar and Gut Health

Have you noticed that you still have stomach issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea even though you’re avoiding gluten? We know that celiac and other food intolerances like dairy, eggs, oats, corn, soy, etc. often go hand in hand. It turns out that sugar is also very hard on your gut, and this can be exacerbated by celiac disease. Sugar requires enzymes for digestion and many of these enzymes are produced in the small intestine. You may be aware of the correlation between celiac and lactose intolerance , lactose being the sugar that is found in milk. Similarly, a person with celiac disease may suffer from a sucrose or fructose intolerance because of damage to the small intestine caused by celiac disease. This intolerance, like lactose intolerance, is often temporary and will resolve once the small intestine has started to heal with the adoption of a gluten free diet.2

We’ve talked a bit in previous issues about celiac and the gut microbiome. That’s the colony of good bacteria that live in an on our bodies and help out with all kinds of functions. A large percentage of these bacteria reside in the gut, and an imbalance of “good” and ”bad” bacteria can result in gas, bloating and diarrhea. Sugar feeds the wrong type of bacteria leading to these symptoms. Trading in the sugar for probiotic and prebiotic foods like apples, cabbage, peppers, and onions will feed the good bacteria and make for a healthier gut. 3

Watch the Naturally Gluten-Free Blog for more on this front. I think it’s relatively unexplored territory and I’d love to learn more and to share what I learn with you.

I’ll also be trying sugar free versions of some of my favorite gluten-free recipes so watch for those updates too!

What I’m Pondering

Holidays and Salads. With spring on our doorstep, I’ve been thinking about lighter fare for those warmer days. And of course, we have a bunch of holidays coming up in March and April: St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, and did you know that March is National Celery Month? Me neither.

What I’m reading

I’m nearly finished Julie Daniluk’s Becoming Sugar Free. I gave you a bit of a preview above, but I’ll post a full review in the Gluten-Free Books section of the website when I’m done. I don’t think I’ll be going totally sugar free, but I’m looking to cut back significantly. It’s partially about taking off those few winter pounds that crept up behind me, and partly because I’ve noticed I don’t feel great when I eat sugar.

Next the on list is Dr. Robert Lustig’s Metabolical. I expect this to be a bit more political, but I’m really interested in where his work has gone since Fat Chance. So, this will be a good opportunity and I think a good education.

A New E-Book from Naturally Gluten-Free

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.

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you’d like to see in the newsletter. Just drop me a line from my Contact Page .

Talk to you in April.

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1. Lustig, R. (n.d.). Metabolical. Robert Lustig Website. Retrieved March 6, 2022, from
2. Administrator. (n.d.). Symptoms and co-occuring diseases of celiac diseases: Frusano. Retrieved March 6, 2022, from
3. Daniluk, J. (2021). Becoming sugar-free: How to break up with inflammatory sugars and embrace a naturally sweet life. Penguin Canada.

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