Gluten ahead, celiac disease patients
Luckily, I do not have any food allergies. I eat gluten (in moderation, whole grain and organic whenever possible) - bread plays a significant role in the European kitchen.
But once you have celiac disease you will have to stay away from gluten for the rest of your life. It is not always obvious that products contain gluten.
Many arguments why we all should not eat gluten are in this article HERE
I bet you did know many items from the 20 products below actually contain gluten:
- Potato products
Potatoes are gluten free. But they are mixed into many ready-made potato pancakes, croquettes, and such contain flour or other ingredients that contain gluten.
That applies to french fries as well. In fast food restaurants, other gluten containing foods might have been fried in the oil even should (which most of the time is not the case) the fries are gluten free. Often fries are powdered with flour to make them more crispy.
Sorry...I know it hurts, I can feel your pain. There are even three sources when it comes to chips: spice mixes, gluten as aroma enhancer, or the product gets powdered for crispiness.
- Roasted onions
We are not talking about the battered kind where it is evident. Un-battered roasted onions are powdered with flour as well on order to make them more crispy.
- Fruit yogurt and light products
Surprised? Fruits are gluten-free, and natural yogurt is gluten free as well. The conclusion could be that fruit yogurt is gluten free as well. Wrong. Anything labeled "fruit preparation" (or similar) will likely contain gluten. It´s used as a helper and binding agent for its ability to bind water and keep the product smooth.
- Cream cheese with herbs
The cream cheese itself is gluten free. But ready made cream cheese with herbs or other flavors often contains gluten a) in the form of spice mixes and b) as "glue". Especially in light products you should read the ingredient list carefully if you want to be sure that it does not contain gluten.
- Hazelnut spread/Nougat cream
Sweet spreads can contain gluten when barley malt is used as a sweetener. Also, flavorings can contain gluten. The same applies to other candy and sweets.
- Spice mixes
Sometimes gluten has been added to enhance the flavor - sometimes flour has been added to keep the product from clumping.
- Ketchup and sauces
Unless marked gluten free spicy sauces, salsa & co. are the next suspect. Gluten is a cheap stabilizer. There are other options, but gluten is the cheapest so that it´s commonly found in ketchup & co.
One would think one is safe when eating sushi, right? NOPE. The soy sauce contains gluten in nearly all cases. Gluten-free soy sauce is hard to come across and even harder to come across in restaurants and take-outs. Tamari sauce is a good alternative. And if you are like me: With enough wasabi soy sauce becomes irrelevant.
- Stock cubes, stock fond, bullion.
That probably does not come as a surprise. Most of the time producers mark the products as "can contain gluten" or "contains gluten" for legal reasons.
- Ice cream
Sadly, gluten is not just added to sauces but also to ice cream. Celiac disease patients should only buy their ice in supermarkets where they can view the list of ingredients.
- Baking powder, dry yeast
Both products often contain wheat flour.
- Dried fruits
Often contaminated because they are produced in factories that also process gluten foods. But dried fruits are products you should check the ingredients list for other reasons. Added sugar and sulfuric acid are also not our friends.
- Sausage and sausage products
Meat is gluten free. Ham and roast beef are usually risk-free. Any other form of sausage product can and often will contain gluten in the form of spice mixes or cheap fillers. Obviously, any battered meats are to be avoided. But also any marinated meat can contain gluten.
Oh, no!!! Yes, it´s true. Some producers offer gluten free beer that´s not made from barley malt or wheat. But I will not lie to you. It takes more patience to get used to than I have. The alternatives are made from rice, soy or millet.
- Modeling dough
If kids cannot tolerate gluten we have to consider more than just the food. Children tend to swallow smallest parts of items and take things into their mouth. Often wheat flour is the main ingredient in the modelling dough.
- Bubble bath & co.
Because they are not used internally, they are risk-free for grown-ups. But, similar to the modelling dough, the problem with kids is that they will likely swallow tiny bits of the product so that parents should go for gluten free alternatives.
The problem with toothpaste is that it is hard to find out if it contains gluten or not. Producers hide behind Latin names: Triticum aeastivum, Triticum Vulgare, and Triticum turgidum are Latin names for wheat. Triticum spelta = spelt; Hordeum vulgare = barley, Avena sativa (or Avena strigosa) = oat; secale cereale = rye.
- Lipstick, lip care
We swallow part of whatever we put on our lips. Check for hidden gluten (Latin names under 17.)
Wheat starch is often used in tablets and pills. Some vendors use corn starch - it´s best to inform your doctor upfront so that he can choose appropriate products.
Lentils are gluten free. But most of the time they are grown in mixed cultures so that they can be contaminated.
More health and nutrition related articles HERE