Which Foods Contain Gluten
Gluten is the sticky protein that gives bread, muffins, and pastries their ability to stretch and pull apart, which makes it easy to differentiate them from gluten-free grains. For example, a light, fluffy croissant will stretch apart when you break off a piece for your friend because gluten gives it the desirable stretchy properties.
On the other hand, a piece of gluten-free rice bread or a gluten-free pastry will be dense and crumble when you try to pull it apart .
Aside from wheat, gluten is found in other grains such as kamut, spelt, barley, and rye. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but often become contaminated with gluten when theyre processed. This is why oats should always be assumed to contain gluten unless theyre certified gluten-free on the label.
The tricky thing about gluten is that its not just found in grains, but many processed foods, sauces, and condiments. This can make it difficult to avoid if youre not sure where to look for it. Here are a few other foods gluten hides in:
Gluten isnt just limited to food sources either. Body care products and cosmetics contain gluten, which can be absorbed through your skin and produce the same reaction as if youd eaten it.
How Do I Choose Gluten
Choosing gluten-free foods requires an understanding of product labels. You also need to become ingredient aware.
Your state Coeliac Australia association can help you learn these skills and provide resources to help you follow a gluten-free diet.
You will need to pay a fee to join Coeliac Australia and be medically diagnosed with:
- coeliac disease
- dermatitis herpetiformis
- other medical conditions requiring a gluten free diet
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can also teach you how to choose gluten-free foods and products.
General Guidelines For Wheat Allergy
The key to an allergy-free diet is to stay away from all foods or products containing the food that you are allergic to. Wheat is found in many foods. To stay away from foods that contain wheat, you must read food labels.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act is a law that requires U.S. packaged foods to state clearly on the label if they contain wheat. Always read the entire ingredient label to look for wheat. Wheat ingredients may be in the ingredient list. Or wheat could be listed in a contains wheat statement beneath the ingredient list.
Note on gluten-free foods: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats. People with celiac disease must stay away from all grains with gluten. People with wheat allergy often only need to stay away from wheat and can eat the other grains. So following a gluten-free diet may be limiting. But gluten-free foods should be safe for people with wheat allergy. Always read the ingredient list to double check.
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What About The Rest Of Your Family
I am often asked if the rest of my family suffers from gluten sensitivity or intolerance and the answer is no. The obvious next question I usually get is do you cook separate meals then or do you just have your whole family follow a gluten free diet? Again, the answer is no. I do not believe that my children or I should avoid gluten without a medical reason to do so. I believe a diet rich in whole grains is important. A New York Times FAQ published last year quoted Michael Pollan as saying that People who eat lots of whole grains are generally healthier and live longer than those who dont. In the same article Pollan also addressed gluten-free diets saying, They are very important if you have celiac disease or cant tolerate gluten. But its hard to believe that the number of people suffering from these conditions has grown as fast as this product category. Gluten has become the bad nutrient of the moment, the evil twin of Omega 3 fatty acids. Could it really be that bread, a staple of Western civilization for 6,000 years, is suddenly making millions of us sick? Im dubious.
Condiments Sauces And Spices
Many products in this category contain gluten ingredients, and even single-ingredient products like spices can be subject to significant gluten cross-contamination.
- For spices, Spicely is certified gluten-free, and McCormick’s will clearly label any gluten-containing ingredients, but does not test for cross-contamination.
- Heinz ketchup and French’s yellow mustard are considered gluten-free, as are some popular salsa brands.
- Salad dressing can contain gluten ingredients, although many do not. Organicville salad dressings are certified gluten-free.
- Don’t buy soy sauce unless it’s specifically labeled “gluten-free.”
Read Also: Aldi Baked Beans Gluten Free
Surprising Foods That Contain Gluten
But Im still finding out about hidden gluten in foods I wouldve assumed were gluten-free!
If you have a food sensitivity to gluten, youre gluten-intolerant, or if you have celiac disease, its really important for you to be informed about all the foods that contain gluten so you can avoid them.
There are so many delicious and healthy gluten-free alternatives!
Why Is Gluten Bad
Gluten doesnt get along with every digestive system. Some people have wheat intolerance syndrome. Thats one of three conditions that gluten can trigger:
- Celiac disease: A disorder in which gluten causes your immune system to attack your small intestine over time, the attacks can damage the lining of your intestine.
- Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: Also called gluten intolerance, the condition causes celiac symptoms — like stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea — but doesnt damage your small intestine.
- Wheat allergy: Your immune system fights gluten like a virus or bacteria if you eat it, you may have trouble breathing, a skin reaction, or problems digesting.
Going gluten-free is also a trend among people who dont have medical reasons to avoid the stuff. Some people say they lost weight and gained energy when they cut gluten. But, theres not much scientific evidence to prove that a gluten-free diet offers health benefits to people who can tolerate the ingredient.
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Coffee Tea Soda Fruit Drinks And Alcohol
- Unflavored coffee and plain black or green tea should be gluten-free, but flavored varieties may not bestick with those labeled “gluten-free” to be safe.
- The most popular sodas in the United States, including Coke and Pepsi, are considered gluten-free. AriZona bottled iced teas also are considered gluten-free, and the vast majority of energy drinks are considered gluten-free.
- Juice made from 100% fruit should be gluten-free, but fruit drinks made from fruit plus other ingredients may not be. Be particularly wary of green smoothies, since they can contain wheat and barley grass.
- You’ll need to buy gluten-free beer, since conventional beer contains glutensafe brands will be prominently labeled “gluten-free.”
- Wine is considered gluten-free, although you should be wary of flavored wines.
- All distilled alcohol is considered gluten-free even if it’s made from gluten grains, but some people report reacting to gluten grain-derived alcoholic beverages. If you’re one of them, stick with alcohol not derived from gluten grains, such as rum or tequila, or with gluten-free vodka .
How Gluten Causes Trouble
People with celiac disease cant tolerate gluten, not even small amounts. Just 50 milligrams of the proteinabout the amount in one small croutonis enough to cause trouble. In people with celiac disease, gluten in the bloodstream triggers an immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine. This can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food, cause a host of symptoms, and lead to other problems like osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, and seizures.
A related condition called gluten sensitivity or non-celiac gluten sensitivity can generate symptoms similar to celiac disease but without the intestinal damage.
Not long ago, celiac disease was diagnosed by a process of elimination. Today it can be identified with a blood test for the presence of antibodies against a protein called tissue transglutaminase. A biopsy of the intestine confirms the diagnosis.
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Who Needs To Follow A Gluten
If you are diagnosed with coeliac disease, the treatment is to avoid eating food that has gluten in it. This includes making sure to avoid hidden sources of gluten and foods that may have been cross-contaminated with gluten.Your doctor may also advise you following a gluten-free diet if you have gluten intolerance or sensitivity. You may find that you can tolerate a small amount of gluten, so may not need to take so much care to avoid hidden sources of gluten or cross-contamination.Removing gluten from your diet without medical advice puts you at risk of missing out on some nutrients, and this can lead to other health issues. Digestive symptoms can be caused by many things, so see your doctor before changing your diet. Getting the right diagnosis is your best chance of improving your symptoms and maintaining good health long term.
Why You Should Avoid Gluten
If you have any symptoms of gluten-sensitivity, you may want to consider removing gluten from your diet. There are four conditions that require a strict gluten-free diet:
About 1% of Americans have celiac disease, however, most cases go undiagnosed. People with celiac disease experience gastrointestinal symptoms like excessive gas, diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, and nutrient deficiencies.
Prolonged ingestion of gluten in people with celiac disease results in damage to the intestinal lining. This damage affects the digestive systems ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. People with celiac disease have a high risk of developing osteoporosis, arthritis, infertility, and neurological problems.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Some people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome may have gluten sensitivity. Its possible to have difficulty digesting gluten without having celiac disease. If you experience gastrointestinal symptoms after eating wheat, barley, or rye, but have tested negative for celiac, you may have NCGS and could see improvement on a gluten-free diet.
Wheat and other cereal grains can cause allergic reactions in some people. Typical allergy symptoms include:
- Itching/swelling of the mouth or throat
- Skin rash
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Help I Am Gluten Intolerant What Else Can I Eat
More and more people are currently concerned about gluten. Because gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity are no longer rare. What happens if you have developed gluten intolerance and what are you allowed to eat then? How do you actively avoid products containing gluten? And how can you make sure that you have a gluten-free breakfast in the morning?
Who Is Living Gluten
Anecdotally, the gluten-free diet benefits many people with various medical reasons to avoid gluten. More research is needed to best understand the relationship between certain conditions and the gluten-free diet.
Currently, people who are eating gluten-free include those living with:
- Celiac disease, a serious genetic autoimmune disease that affects 1% of the US population or 3 million Americans.
- Gluten sensitivity , which has been estimated to affect up to 18 million Americans. Other foods may play a role in gluten sensitivity.
- Wheat allergies, which can range from a mild reaction , or a more serious reaction .
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Foods That Have Gluten In Them
Having a gluten intolerance can make eating challenging. Gone are the quick dinners of ordering pizza or indulging in a cheesy lasagna from that wonderful Italian place down the road, since pizza dough and lasagna noodles are loaded with gluten.
There are substitutions of course, and many restaurants are beginning to offer them pizza chains now offer gluten free dough as an option, and while these impostors dont have the taste or texture youre used to from wheat, eventually your palate will get used to it. Knowing which foods contain gluten will make eating out, grocery shopping, and cooking at home much simpler.
Gluten free foods may not be for everybody because they often dont taste that great, but there is enough choice on the market now that if you dig deep, youll find some items that satisfy your requirements.
The Gluten Free Diet All You Need To Know About The Diet That Will Make You Well Again
- If you have coeliac disease you will have to avoid gluten for life.
- A gluten free diet is the only treatment for the condition.
- Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
- On the gluten free diet you can eat many foods including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, rice and potatoes.
- You can also eat gluten free substitute foods and processed foods that don’t contain gluten.
- You can tell whether gluten is in a food by learning about allergen labelling – it sounds scary, but you get used to it once you know how.
If you have been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease then your immune system has been reacting to gluten and damaging your gut. To get better, you must remove gluten from your diet, which is the only treatment for coeliac disease. Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
You may have heard the term ‘gluten free diet’ before. This can be a bit confusing to some people because it isn’t a diet in the way that most people understand it – it’s not designed to help people lose weight. It’s just a way of eating that helps you heal your gut so you can start absorbing all the nutrients you need from your diet.
Read Also: Are Jelly Belly Gluten Free
Breads Snacks Cereals Cakes And Pastas
- Almost anything you buy in these categories should be specifically labeled “gluten-free,” including cereals, breads, and snack foods.
- Most grocery stores carry a few of these gluten-free staples, and somelike Whole Foods and Fresh Market may boast a wider selection. But you may find the best selection online.
Wheat Intolerance And Sensitivity
Intolerance occurs when the body has difficulty digesting wheat and therefore reacts against it. The symptoms are usually much less defined than allergy and may take several days to appear but can cause digestive and nutritional problems. Symptoms of wheat intolerance can include poor digestion, bloating and wind, fatigue, headaches and joint pains. People who are sensitive to wheat may be able to tolerate the other gluten grains i.e. barley and rye. People with coeliac disease have an auto-immune disease caused by a reaction to gluten and must avoid it for life.
It is important for anybody who suspects they might have a food allergy/intolerance to ask their GP for a referral to a registered Dietitian prior to removing whole food groups from their diet.
A note on coeliac diseaseCoeliac disease is a chronic auto-immune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks itself when gluten has been eaten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body is unable to properly absorb nutrients from food. For more information on gluten-free diets and coeliac disease visit Coeliac UK and read our spotlight on gluten-free guide.
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