Don’t Let Gluten Corner You!

gluten attack
Many people know the basics about how to avoid gluten- no bread, no pasta, put down the cookie, and don’t even think about that slice of pizza! Whether you are a gluten free seasoned pro or not, though, it is very easy for gluten to sneak up on you when you don’t expect it! With there being so many different forms of gluten, it is important to know where you should be a little extra careful to ensure you do not get glutened!

Gluten Out to Eat

  • Chips & Fries could use seasonings that may have malt vinegar or wheat starch and the oil used to cook them could be contaminated if also used with breaded/ gluten containing foods
  • Omelets and eggs may have pancake batter added to them by some restaurants
    • TIP! Try and stay away from any eggs that are scrambled
  • Gluten Free pizza and baked goods could be contaminated if made in a facility that also produces non-gluten free products. Surfaces could be contaminated if not thoroughly cleaned after coming into contact with gluten containing products and wheat flour could be lingering in the air if used.
  • Meat & Poultry could be prepared with seasonings or marinades that may contain gluten.
  • Imitation crab meat used in sushi or crab stuffing or salad is many times made with fish and wheat starch to hold it together
  • Vegetables are sometimes par-boiled in the pasta water
    • TIP! Always ask for your vegetables to be cooked in fresh water
  • Many Chinese condiments may contain wheat including soy, oyster, hoisin, and bean sauces, unless otherwise labeled
    • TIP! You cannot control a restaurants kitchen but you can help protect yourself by calling the restaurant ahead of time and letting the kitchen and manager know what time you will be there, ordering your food a plain as you can, and bringing your own salad dressings, bread, or sauces that you enjoy and can trust.

Gluten In Your Kitchen

  • Crumbs in toasters can contaminate Gluten Free breads
  • Community Peanut Butter, Jelly, Butter, Cream Cheese, Mayo, and other condiments can be contaminated by crumbs or utensils used on gluten
  • If wheat flour is used in your kitchen, it is so light that the flour can stay in the air for a long time after you use it. This puts you at risk of having a reaction if you ingest it or if it settles on gluten free food you prepare after using it.
    • TIP! If you must use wheat flour, either prepare anything gluten free beforehand or wait at least a few hours after using it and clean all kitchen surfaces before preparing anything gluten free
  • Shared cookie sheets and baking pans can contaminate gluten free foods with any crumbs or breading left behind
    • TIP! Line all cookie sheets and baking pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil and change after each use
  • If you have a shared kitchen where both gluten containing and gluten free foods are frequently made, utensils, pots & pans, and many other frequently used kitchen items can become contaminated by residue left behind from gluten containing products- such as on your colander after making gluten containing pasta!
    • TIP! Keep a set of dish sponges, utensils, cutting boards, a colander, etc. separate for use with only gluten free food preparation so that what you make gluten free does not become contaminated
    • TIP! Always clean kitchen surfaces thoroughly and frequently

Gluten Off the Shelves

  • Self-basting poultry and processed meats may use gluten as a binder in items such as cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages, and some specialty/reformed meats
  • Beware of flavored ice cream and gelato! These may contain gluten or have added ingredients that contain gluten (Think cookies and cream ice cream- we know, we’re sad too)
  • Various candy (such as licorice) can use wheat flour as an ingredient- but don’t worry, there are many gluten free candies left! (Click here for an updated list)
  • Many sauces and gravies (such as soy sauce, bouillon, and envelope mixes) contain gluten as an added ingredient or uses it as a thickener. Many salad dressings are also made with wheat
  • Many soups (boxed, canned, or mixes) may be made with wheat or barley
  • Meat & Fish substitutes such as veggie burgers, sausage, bacon, bacons bits, and imitation seafood may contain gluten as a binder
  • Pickles made with malt vinegar, (which is made from barley) contain gluten. Avoid malt vinegar as well as beef barley soup
  • Some spice companies use gluten as a filler or anti-caking agent so only use pure, high-quality herbs and spices with no fillers

Non-Food Items with Gluten

  • Medications & Supplements may use gluten to bind the ingredients of the pill together
  • Makeup, Lip balm, and other beauty products may contain gluten that could cause a reaction if ingested by touching around your mouth after use
  • Communion wafers are not gluten free
  • Kids modeling dough can be wheat based and can cause a reaction if a child is playing with it and then touches their mouth
  • Toothpaste and some mouthwashes may use a form of gluten that, if ingested enough, can trigger side effects
  • Many brands of chewing gum are not gluten free and can cause major reactions due to gluten being ingested through chewing. Brands such as Wrigley’s and Trident are gluten free

Gluten in Beverages

  • Flavored coffees and teas, instant coffee, hot cocoa, and powdered milk can all contain wheat starch that is added to give bulk to the mixture
  • Non-dairy creamers and beverage flavoring syrups may also use wheat starch
  • Beer, ale, lager, and malt beverages may contain gluten but wine and distilled alcohol is gluten free. Some wine, though, may have been stored in barrels that are sealed with flour paste

Other Names for Gluten

  • Other names for wheat include semolina, spelt farina, graham, durum, emmer, farro, khorasan, udon, and einkorn
  • Latin names that could be used on labels could include tricticum vulgare (wheat), hordeum vulgare (barley), Secale ceral (rye), triticale (wheat/ rye hybrid), triticum spelta (spelt/ a type of wheat)

Remember to always read labels and ask questions to do your best to avoid being glutened. When in doubt- go without, is a good motto to follow to be safe. Also, remember that when on a gluten free diet, you may have a greater need for nutrients such as B Vitamins, Vitamin D, and Iron so be sure to take a (gluten free) vitamin and/ or consume a variety of nutrient dense foods to help keep you fueled and repair any damage you may have to your intestinal lining. Some foods that are good to help repair any current damage you may have from consuming gluten are berries, brussel sprouts, summer squash, purple kale, and quinoa. The more colors you consume each day, the more antioxidants and nutrients you will get out of it.

Also, just because something is labeled gluten free, does not mean it is a green light to consume as much as you want of it! Gluten Free processed foods can be just as high in sugar and just as unhealthy as other processed foods. A bag of cookies is still a bag of cookies- gluten free or not! Do your research so you know that what you consume is clean, uses healthy ingredients, and is third party certified gluten free! Once you find your go-to products, pay attention to the serving size and where it falls in your daily variety of ‘colors’ that you should be eating and you will feel great while doing your best to avoid gluten!

 

For more information:

Bakery On Main- Items to Avoid

Celiac Support Assoc. – Label Reading 101

Avoiding Gluten Cross-Contamination