GF Foods Ingredients to Avoid on a Gluten Free Diet
Eating Gluten Free - Understanding Product Labels
It's been a couple of years now since Celiac disease made it's ugly appearance in my life. It was at this time that I had to re-learn how to eat and carefully consider everything that goes into my mouth. For those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, knowing what is safe can be a daunting task.
The experiences and research I've done the past couple of years have prompted me to write this hub specifically about foods to avoid on a gluten free diet.
Some things seem confusing, like buckwheat for example. It sounds like you shouldn't have it right? After all it has “wheat” in the word. However, buckwheat is fine to eat (as long as it isn't blended with wheat). Another baffling thing for me was things like soy sauce. You'd never think soy sauce or tomato soup would be full of gluten – but they are!
Since I don't like surprises, especially the kind that can put me on the floor in pain for a couple of days if I get accidentally “glutenized” I decided to research and compile a list of things to look for on labels. If you see these on a product you need to avoid it.
Print it up and take it to the store with you when purchasing for yourself or for a loved one who is gluten intolerant.
Author Suggested Resource
I highly recommend the . I learned so much using this book. More than just a cookbook; it gives highly detailed directions for understanding gluten and how it functions in food. You learn how to stock your kitchen with gluten-free items and there are photo guides for trickier things like how to make gluten-free flour mixes and shape the dough etc. Baking GF is a challenge initially even for experienced cooks. This book makes the transition SO much easier. gluten free bible
Ingredients to Avoid - Hidden Gluten Sources
Remember, even if gluten or any of the ingredients below are not on a label there is still a chance that foods can get cross contaminated. When in doubt, do not be shy – call the manufacturer. Also, important to note, foods labeled “Gluten Free” are made in dedicated areas of facilities where gluten cross-contamination is not a problem. Several companies specialize in making only gluten free products which ensures their entire facilities are gluten free. (For more information on this see the web links)
Wheat in all forms must be avoided this includes the following:
Bulgur, Kamut, Spelt, Semolina, Einkorn, Emmer, Farro
Gluten (with the exception of rice or corn gluten, which are not the same as wheat gluten and can be eaten. They do not cause the problems that wheat gluten does.)
Wheat germ and Wheat Bran
Oats – although oats themselves do not contain gluten the vast majority of the US oat supply is cross-contaminated which is why those with Celiac are advised to avoid oatmeal or oat products unless they are specifically labeled “gluten free”
Hydrolyzed wheat protein
Flour (unless it's a gluten free variety and stated as such) be VERY careful with pastas, cakes, cookies, etc. Buy only products that are labeled “Gluten Free” to be safe or for best results make your own – many of the prepackaged breads are quite expensive and leave a lot to be desired.
Malt or anything that says malt – like “maltodextrin” , “barley malt”, “malt vinegar” etc.
Brown rice syrup (often uses malt as thickener)
Seitan (wheat based meat substitute)
CousCous (aka FuFu or FuFou)
Soy Sauce (made from wheat) and also Teriyaki sauce because it is made from soy sauce. There are however a couple of specialty soy sauces that are gluten free that can be used.
Cream of Wheat (also called Farina)
Triticale (wheat grain hybrid)
Gliadin (a wheat protein)
Gluten free can be challenging, but it isn't impossible, and life is so much better when you can get it completely out of your system. Since finally freeing myself fully from gluten, I have increased energy, mental clarity, and no more gastro-intestinal distress. The skin issues I had caused by gluten consumption also cleared up completely.
If you suspect you may have gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease it is important to be tested to be sure. This means you should not go on a gluten free diet prior to being tested. Once you are officially diagnosed, there are many helpful resources available to you.