A new gluten-free pasta made from green banana flour may be a new food option for people with celiac disease, a new study reports.
The researchers compared a standard whole-wheat pasta to one made from flour extracted from green bananas. The green banana pasta reduced fat content by 98 percent, an important consideration for people with celiac disease as many gluten-free foods compensate for gluten removal with high fat levels. A total of 50 people without celiac disease and 25 people with celiac disease taste tested the two types of pasta.
The banana flour pasta was better accepted in both people with and without celiac disease. The participants found no difference in terms of appearance, smell, flavor or quality between the two types of pasta.
The researchers concluded that banana flour pasta may help expand food options for celiac disease patients and help them adopt a more diverse diet.
Celiac disease, also called celiac sprue, is a digestive disorder that occurs when an individual's immune system overreacts to the protein gluten, or other proteins within gluten such as gliadin, found in grains including wheat, rye, barley, and to some degree, oats. When a patient with the disease eats food that contains gluten, the immune system's response damages the intestinal lining. This causes symptoms of abdominal pain and bloating after consuming gluten.
Additionally, complications, including poor absorption, may occur if the patient continues to eat gluten-containing foods. When the intestinal lining is damaged, patients have difficulty absorbing nutrients.
It has not been determined what triggers this reaction in celiac patients. However, celiac disease is associated with autoimmune disorders, such as lupus. Autoimmune disorders occur when the patient's immune system mistakenly identifies body cells as harmful invaders, such as bacteria. As a result, the immune cells in celiac patients attack the patient's intestinal cells.
For more information about celiac disease, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.