Nutrition News: Craft-Beer Labeling, Gluten Sensitivity, Healthier Checkout Lanes

FDA requires nutrition labels on craft beer, research offers insight into gluten sensitivity, checkout lanes go family friendly and candy free.
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Photo by: Pavle Taborosi ©Taborosi Photography

Pavle Taborosi, Taborosi Photography

Craft beer clarity

Pretty soon, when you order a craft beer at a chain restaurant or brewpub, you’ll know a lot more about its nutritional value and calorie count than you do now. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations that would require craft breweries to list nutritional information on the beers offered at chain eateries, specifying a December 2016 deadline. Although the new rules may be costly for small brewers to implement, many have embraced the move toward greater transparency, ABC15, in Arizona, reports. “Craft brewers would love ingredients to be listed as well … because that's really what separates us as ‘craft,’” Mike Lawinski, owner of Fate Brewing Company, in Boulder, Colo., told the station, “and a lot of the bigger breweries are using GMO ingredients and high-fructose ingredients.”

Gluten sensitivity explained?

Are you sensitive to gluten (but not suffering from celiac disease) and sick of people around you thinking you’re just latching onto a fad? Now you can point to a new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Bologna, in Italy, that suggests that those who are gluten-sensitive may have elevated levels of an inflammatory protein called zonulin, NPR’s The Salt reports. Zonulin, which assists in the regulation of gut leakiness, helps protect us from harmful bacteria. For example, it triggers diarrhea to rid the body of germs in contaminated foods. The researchers also found that people who were gluten-sensitive were genetically predisposed to celiac disease, even though they didn’t have it. While further research is in order, scientists are currently working on a medication to safely regulate the production of zonulin and offer relief to those with gluten sensitivity.

Candy-free checkout lanes

Grocery shopping with kids who love candy (that is, pretty much any kids ever born) can be a tough go for parents trying to keep their progeny’s sugar consumption in check. Even if you make it successfully through the supermarket with only healthy items in your cart, there are heaps of colorfully packaged treats in the checkout lane — right at small people's eye level — to contend with. However, sweet relief may be in sight. Stores are increasingly offering specially designated “healthy” or “family-friendly” checkout lanes that replace the junk food with nutritious items, like grab-and-go granola bars, trail mix, whole-grain crackers, dried fruit and nuts, Today reports. The healthy checkout lanes are "an easy and effective way to limit junk food for the whole family," Madelyn Fernstrom, Today’s health and nutrition editor, notes. “Studies show that what you see is what you eat, so healthier choices on the shelf could make a difference."

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish .

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