Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hidden Sources of Gluten

There are hidden sources of gluten all around us.  Here is some food for thought...

Around the home: Food & Prep
  • Use a different toaster than the rest of the family who toasts gluten bread
  • Have your own strainers for pasta & GF food so no gluten residue remains to contaminate your GF food
  • Grilling on the same grill as those that toasted their buns on can contaminate your GF food
  • Baking sheets can have gluten traces
  • Be sure to use different knives than those that use theirs on food containing gluten
  • Have your own GF cutting board
  • Waffle makers can have gluten residue, be sure to wash well or have your own
  • The oven can have flour remnants, be sure to clean it well!
  • Using the same knife/utensil as those that use it on their food containing gluten [think Thanksgiving dinner & the butter knife]
  • Oats 
    • This has caused much debate, I purchase GF oats
  • Nuts
    • They can be on shared equipment when packaged [wheat]
    • Wheat [and other ingredients] may be added, always read the packaging!
  • Butter
    • Have a separate stick of butter for yourself
  • Peanut Butter jar
    • Have a separate peanut butter for yourself just incase someone double dips when spreading on their bread
  • Medicines/Vitamins 
    • Look on the back and see if they have an allergen
    • I use Target brand vitamins and I've found them to be gluten-free!
  • Look out for the words "modified", "hydrogenated", "natural flavorings", "MSG", "binders", "stabilizers", and more.  These could contain gluten.
  • Salad dressings often contain gluten
  • Soy sauce
  • Chicken broth
    • I use Swanson; Cottage Inn has gluten in it
  • Deli meat
  • Seasonings/Spices
  • Beer
    • I recommend Michelob Ultra or a hard cider - I've been okay with these myself

Around the home: Products
  • Some latex gloves are dusted with wheat flour
  • Glue on envelopes
    • This has been a great debate, sources say it is made of corn starch, just be aware
  • Art supplies
  • Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, soap, shave gel, tooth paste, hair products, makeup, sunblock, lotion/cream...
  • Washing machine detergent

Out & About
  • Make sure your waiter/waitress knows you are gluten-free, don't be embarrassed to tell them!  They can make sure your food is prepared separate from others.  Always ask if the restaurant has a gluten-free menu and if not, what can be made GF for you.  Cross-contamination can happen any time you are eating out, so be aware.  Not everyone understand what a gluten-free diet is.  Shopping at the mall and trying to find gluten-free food in the food court is very hard - I recommend bringing along snacks instead of risking it.  You are probably safer at a restaurant.  When I was at the mall & asked if a station had something gluten-free they pointed to the NO MSG sign... [here's my sign!... ok bad joke :)]
  • Restaurants and eateries often have allergy lists - I've found Panera Bread and Moe's have all of their items listed out and if they contain major allergens.  Sometimes these can be found on the restaurant's website - so you can do your research before you go!
The safest way to be gluten-free is to look for products/food that contain the GF symbol above.  That way, you know there won't be any gluten in your food/product.  To be safe, if you can't read an ingredient on the food you are to eat, don't eat it!  Eat as natural and unprocessed as possible, your body will thank you!  :]

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