Over 4 Million Canadians Going Gluten-Free

 

Consumers identify improved health, happier moods and better weight control as most common benefits of dietary change

TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The vast majority of Canadians (81 per cent) who reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets claim they feel healthier, happier and more energetic. According to a new national survey, these consumers also spend more time exercising and cooking at home with their children, and report a healthier body weight.

Released in advance of the Gluten-Free Expo in Toronto, September 14 - 15, the Canadian Attitudes to Gluten-Free Study* estimates that approximately 4.3 million Canadians (12.3 per cent) have gone gluten-free, or have reduced gluten in their diets. Commissioned by Expo sponsor Udi's Healthy Foods, the study surveyed 2,530 randomly selected Canadian adults and also revealed that British Columbians are most likely to have made the switch (17 per cent), followed by those in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta (12 per cent in each province).

The national survey suggests more Canadians are in the process of adopting the lifestyle, with nearly 11 per cent of British Columbians confirming they have tried a gluten-free or reduced gluten diet in the past six months. Of respondents who have gone gluten-free or reduced, nearly half said they did it to feel better, not because of a medical diagnosis.

"Going gluten-free isn't just for people with dietary intolerances," says Stephanie Clairmont, RD, a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who runs the Clairmont Digestive Clinic in the Greater Toronto area. "Even Canadians without food sensitivities are choosing to reduce the amount of gluten they consume, and claim they're feeling better about their overall health. Simple recipes like Hawaiian Pizza Fingers offer a convenient, tasty way to reduce gluten in your diet, and help families support the dietary needs of a family member."

Of those who have made the switch, 21 per cent point to gluten intolerance, and 15 per cent have eliminated or reduced gluten to support a family member. The most commonly reported health benefits identified by respondents who reduce gluten include improved gastrointestinal health (52 per cent), healthier weight (36 per cent), improved activity levels (32 per cent) and a better mood (31 per cent).

When it comes to sticking to a gluten-free diet, bread is the most commonly reported challenge. In the baked goods category, 79 per cent of Canadians say bread is very or moderately important in their family's diet.  And nearly one in four (24 per cent) of Canadians who are gluten-free or gluten-reduced say they cheat with bread.

"Canadians love their bread," says Denise Sirovatka, VP of Marketing at Udi's. "The good news is that gluten-free options like our Whole Grain, Millet-Chia and Omega Flax & Fiber offer an increasingly diverse selection. Today, grocery stores offer a wide range of specialized products with the same great taste as the gluten full versions. Everything from sandwich breads and baguettes to cookies and frozen pizzas - even treats like brownies - are available gluten-free."

*Backgrounder
A survey backgrounder with additional findings is available here

Recipes & photos
Media are welcome to publish the following recipes with corresponding high resolution photos:
Gluten Free Hawaiian Whole Grain Pizza Fingers - See Media Carousel above to download high resolution photo
Gluten Free Veggie Millet-Chia Sandwich - See Media Carousel above to download high resolution photo

About Stephanie Clairmont, RD
Stephanie Clairmont is a culinary dietitian and president of the Clairmont Digestive Clinic in Waterloo, Ontario. She is a speaker, consultant, and cooking instructor on culinary nutrition and digestive health. Struggling for years with IBS herself, Stephanie is passionate about using delicious recipes and real food to help Canadians follow a gluten-free diet. Stephanie believes that real, wholesome food is the true key to health, from the way food is grown all the way to how it is presented on the plate. She is a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario and Dietitians of Canada. Stephanie is the 2010 recipient of the National Speaking of Food and Healthy Living Award.

About Udi's
Udi's Healthy Foods LLC (Udi's) is a leader in the fast growing market for gluten-free foods in North America. Udi's markets a diversified and growing range of gluten-free products under the well-recognized Udi's Gluten Free Foods brand in the retail market, and since mid-2011, food service channels. Udi's Gluten Free Foods is a leading brand in gluten-free bread and bakery products. In addition, Udi's markets other gluten-free products in the frozen pizza and granola categories.

Methodology
From July 19th to July 22nd 2013 an online survey was conducted among 2,530 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 1.95%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Image with caption: "Commissioned by Udi's Healthy Foods, The Canadian Attitudes to Gluten-Free Study estimates that approximately 4.3 million Canadians (12.3 per cent) have gone gluten-free, or have reduced gluten in their diets. According to Stephanie Clairmont, RD, a registered dietitian and nutrition coach in the Greater Toronto area, "Even Canadians without food sensitivities are choosing to reduce the amount of gluten they consume, and claim they're feeling better about their overall health." (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130910_C5587_PHOTO_EN_30563.jpg

Image with caption: "Gluten Free Hawaiian Whole Grain Pizza Fingers (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130910_C5587_PHOTO_EN_30558.jpg

Image with caption: "Gluten Free Veggie Millet-Chia Sandwich (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130910_C5587_PHOTO_EN_30559.jpg

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/09/10/20130910_C5587_DOC_EN_30647.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/09/10/20130910_C5587_DOC_EN_30648.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/09/10/20130910_C5587_DOC_EN_30646.pdf

SOURCE: Udi's Healthy Foods LLC

For further information:

Media contact
Katherine Heydon
FleishmanHillard
Katherine.Heydon@fleishman.ca
416-645-3665

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