What to Avoid on a Gluten Free Diet
What is Gluten and Where is it Found
Gluten (from Latin gluten “glue”) is the composite of two proteins called gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains: wheat, rye, and barley. It is commonly found in most bakery items and packaged foods.
On a Gluten Free Diet Always Avoid:
- Barley (including ingredients derived from barley: malt, malt flavoring, malt vinegar)
- Graham flour
- Matzo meal
- Spelt (a form of wheat)
- Wheat, wheat berry, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat germ oil, wheat grass, wheat gluten, wheat starch, whole wheat berries
Additional components frequently overlooked that often contain gluten.
Read labels and avoid the following ingredients unless labeled Gluten Free:
- Blue Cheese (some GF brands are available-read labels)
- Breading, Coating mixes, Panko
- Broth, Soup bases
- Brown rice syrup
- Cakes and pies
- Candy – ex: Licorice, some Chocolates
- Caramel Coloring*
- Communion Wafers
- Drugs & Over-the-Counter Medications (Click here for a site with gluten free ones)
- Flour (Including but not limited to: all-purpose, barley, bleached, bread, brown, durum, enriched, gluten, graham, granary, high protein, high gluten, oat, wheat, white)
- Fried, breaded foods
- Herbal supplements
- Imitation bacon
- Imitation seafood
- Malt, malt beverages, malt extract, malted milk, malt flavoring, malt syrup, malt vinegar
- Natural Flavors (may contain gluten-check with manufacturer)
- Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins & Mineral Supplements*
- Oats* (can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing. Some oats are specially grown and processed to avoid contamination and are labeled Gluten Free)
- Some medications, lotions, make-up & hair care products (external gluten containing products should be avoided if you have contact allergies or reactions with gluten)
- Processed luncheon meats
- Some Salad Dressings
- Sauces, Gravies
- Self-basting poultry
- Soy sauce or soy sauce solids
- Stuffing, Dressing
- Thickeners, Roux
- Playdough: A potential problem if hands are put on or in the mouth while playing with playdough or are not washed after use, or if a contact rash from gluten occurs
There are Gluten Free versions for just about every food you will have to give up to be on a Gluten Free diet – pastas, pizza, cookies, cakes, and even soy sauce and beer.
Helpful: 4 Tips to Avoiding Hidden Gluten
*Four ingredients that MAY contain gluten:
(From MayoClinic.com) These are on both posts of what to avoid and what to eat. Be careful when you see these on an ingredient list as they can be hidden sources of gluten.
Vitamin E can use wheat germ as its source. You can check with the manufacturer and they should be able to tell you the source of the vitamin that they use.
Caramel color is manufactured by heating carbohydrates and is produced from sweeteners. Although gluten-containing ingredients can be used, they are not used in North America; corn is most often used, however it is important to check with food manufacturers.
Maltodextrin is [usually] made from cornstarch, potato starch, or rice starch.
A note about oats: Historically, oats were not recommended because it was thought that avenin (the storage protein found in oats) was also toxic to gluten-intolerant individuals. However, recent research in Europe and the US has described that oats are well-tolerated by most children and adults when consumed in moderation and do not contribute to abdominal symptoms, nor prevent intestinal healing.
PLEASE NOTE: regular, commercially available oats are frequently contaminated with wheat or barley. However, “pure, uncontaminated” oats have recently become available from several companies in the US and Canada. These companies’ process oats in dedicated facilities and their oats are tested for purity. Pure, uncontaminated oats can be consumed safely in quantities < 1 cup per day. It is important that you talk to your physician and your registered dietitian prior to starting oats.
It is recommended that people with celiac disease meet with a registered dietitian who is educated in the disease and the gluten free diet. Long-term, it is critical to monitor the diet not only to ensure that gluten is completely out of the diet, but also to ensure that critical nutrients are being absorbed.