- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Aug. 21, 2013
FDA defines 'gluten-free'
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
At long last, the Food and Drug Administration has issued the final rule that defines what foods may carry the term "gluten-free" on their packaging. This is good news for the 3 million people in the U.S. who have celiac disease and others with gluten sensitivity.
In order to use the term "gluten-free" on a food label, the food must meet the following requirements:
- The food is inherently gluten free (like fresh fruit or raw vegetables)
- It does not contain an ingredient that is a gluten-containing grain (such as wheat, spelt wheat, rye or barley)
- It does not contain an ingredient derived from a gluten-containing grain that that has not been processed to remove gluten (such as wheat flour)
- It does not contain an ingredient derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten, but that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food
- It does not contain any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food in amounts of 20 ppm or greater
It may seem contradictory to say that a food that contains less than 20 ppm gluten is "gluten-free." However, research shows that most individuals with celiac disease can tolerate this amount of gluten without adverse health effects.
It's important to note that this rule holds true for look-alike claims appearing on labels, such as "without gluten," "free of gluten" or "no gluten." These terms will be interpreted to also mean "gluten-free." The rule applies to food products imported from other countries — so imported food products bearing the "gluten-free" claim must meet the above criteria. It also applies to dietary supplements.
Unfortunately, the new rule does not cover foods regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (meats, poultry, certain eggs) or beverages regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (alcohol, distilled spirits, wine, beer). However, the FDA will work with these agencies to ensure that labels for these products will follow suit. Likewise, the FDA is working internally on regulatory efforts to disclose gluten-containing ingredients in drug products.
Manufacturers will have one year to bring package labels into compliance. Thereafter, any food product containing the words "gluten-free" on its label that does not meet the criteria would be deemed misbranded and subject to regulatory enforcement.
I think this is good news and a step in the right direction. Thoughts?
- Jenniferblog index
- FDA defines 'gluten-free' for food labeling. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm363474.htm. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- For consumers: What is gluten-free? FDA has an answer. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm363069.htm?source=govdelivery Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Questions and answers: Gluten-free food labeling final fule. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm362880.htm. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Food labeling: Gluten-free labeling of foods. Federal Register. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/05/2013-18813/gluten-free-labeling-of-foods-food-labeling. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.