Protecting Yourself From Possible Gluten In Medication Look For Wheat Starch
Currently, there is no law mandating that drug manufacturers disclose the source of these excipients in any public record or database, so we must rely on calling the manufacturer to obtain information.
Some drug companies are transparent with their information, while others either give incomplete or even false information. Often, you are told that the company does not use any gluten in the manufacturing of their product, but they wont guarantee that its gluten-free.
As a consumer, how do you protect yourself when trying to obtain information regarding the gluten status of a drug when the information you are receiving is either incomplete or questionable?
It is highly unlikely that any excipient other than starch will contain any measurable amount of gluten.
As mentioned earlier, the most likely source of gluten contamination will come from starch. It is highly unlikely that any excipient other than starch will contain any measurable amount of gluten.
When the excipient listed for the product contains the single word starch, it can come from any starch source. In the food industry, plain starch must be derived from corn, but this regulation does not apply to the pharmaceutical industry.
Finally, there is the rare occasion when you see the words wheat starch. By using the two FDA websites mentioned above, you can frequently find the source of the starch.
How Does Our Body React To The Presence Of Gluten
When you suffer from gluten intolerance, it means that your body is reacting incorrectly to the presence of gluten by your immune system.
In our small intestine, specifically in the intestinal mucosa, there are millions of villi that provide the possibility for the intestine to better absorb nutrients. Thus, when a coeliac consumes gluten, the villi of the intestine can be damaged, so that they gradually tend to become shorter.
As a result, food reaches our large intestine in half-digestion, causing severe diarrhea and gastric spasms, in addition to other usually related symptoms such as: flatulence and gas, constipation, nausea, fatigue, physical decline, weight loss and depressive disorders.
In other words, the small intestine is progressively deteriorating, which over time can cause a serious food deficit. The diagnosis for the inclusion of an adequate gluten-free diet is extremely important and must be made quickly.
This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.
What Foods Have Gluten That You Wouldnt Expect
1. Medications + supplements
Gluten may be used as a filler or coating in medications and supplements. Always review the ingredients list on any over-the-counter medications, or vitamin/mineral supplements. Any prescribed medications should be reviewed by your doctor to be sure they dont contain gluten and find gluten-free substitutes if you have celiac disease.
Research also suggests those with celiac disease have a greater need for nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin D and iron.
2. Meat, fish + poultry
Watch for hydrolyzed wheat protein in meat, fish and poultry. Processed lunch meats and deli meats like cold cuts, hot dogs, salami and sausage may contain gluten. Other foods like self-basting poultry or seasoned turkey breast may also contain gluten.
3. Meat substitutes
Watch for gluten in veggie burgers, sausage, bacon and crumbles, and in imitation seafood and seitan.
4. Chips + fries
Potatoes and corn are naturally gluten-free, but potato chip seasoning may contain malt vinegar and wheat starch. Also be aware that tortilla chips and French fries may be fried in the same oil/fryer as foods that contain gluten. This will contaminate the oil and may cause harm to someone with celiac disease.
6. Beverages + alcohol
Gluten may be in flavored coffees and teas. Beer, ale, lager and malt beverages may also contain gluten. Wine is naturally gluten-free. Distilled alcohol are considered safe for people with celiac disease.
7. Eggs at a restaurant
10. Soy sauce + miso
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What Exactly Is Bad About Gluten
For people without intolerance, gluten is not a problem. Although science is currently still faced with the question of whether gluten is generally less easily digested by humans, it should not actually be a problem for healthy people. For people with intolerance, the effect of gluten is similar to an autoimmune disease. The mucous membrane of the small intestine is attacked and slowly dissolves. Due to the damaged mucous membranes, vitamins and nutrients can often no longer be digested properly. This can lead to deficiency symptoms in those affected.
What Is A Gluten
This is essentially a diet that removes all foods containing or contaminated with gluten. However, since gluten-containing whole grains contain fiber and nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, and iron, its important to make up for these missing nutrients. Along with consuming naturally gluten-free foods in their whole form like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, and poultry, the following whole grains are also inherently gluten-free:
- Gluten-free oats
Its also key not to rely on processed gluten-free foods that may be high in calories, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium and low in nutrients, such as gluten-free cookies, chips, and other snack foods. Often, these foods are made with processed unfortified rice, tapioca, corn, or potato flours.
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Which Foods Should I Avoid
Don’t eat the following products unless they state gluten free on the packaging.*
Foods containing gluten
* Note: These lists are not complete. For more information, speak to a registered dietitian or visit www.coeliac.org.nz.
Gluten and wheat is identified on all food labels in New Zealand and Australia. Always check the label.
What Can I Eat On A Gluten
If you have been diagnosed with sensitivity or perhaps even celiac disease, you do not have to bury your head in the sand right away. While just a few years ago it was extremely difficult to live with a gluten intolerance and to adapt your diet to it, there are already enough alternatives available today not to have to do without anything.
But just because you have a gluten intolerance does not mean that you have to give up cereals altogether. There are plenty of gluten-free cereals, such as buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth or millet. If you are affected, it is important to make sure that the products are really gluten-free when you buy them. Otherwise it is possible that the products have come into contact with other products containing gluten during processing. So you should pay close attention here!
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Sweets That Are Usually Safe:
- Chocolate: Chocolate does not naturally contain gluten, though some manufacturers have add-ins that do contain gluten. There is also a risk of cross-contamination, so it’s best to check the label on chocolate.
- Hard candy and gummies: These candies don’t usually don’t contain gluten avoid those listing “wheat flour” as an ingredient.
- Ice cream, sherbet, gelato, frozen yogurt: These treats are generally gluten-free, but steer clear of those with pretzels, cookie dough, graham crackers, brownie bites and other gluten-containing add-ins.
Proteins That Need A Second Look:
- Processed meats: Including hot dogs, pepperoni, sausage, etc. These may have gluten added, so be sure to check the ingredient list and avoid those with wheat gluten, wheat starch or wheat dextrin.
- Cold cuts: It’s rare, but cold cuts may have gluten-containing ingredients added cross-contamination can also happen at the deli on the meat slicer.
- Ground meat: Ground beef or ground turkey can have gluten added in as filler. Be sure to check the ingredients carefully.
- Veggie burgers and other meat substitutes: Some flavors and brands are made with ingredients that contain gluten-check the labels.
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Overall Balance Of The Diet
Once you have successfully achieved a gluten-free diet, it is important to consider other aspects of your diet to keep you healthy. A diet in line with the ‘eatwell plate’ will provide you with all the nutrients and energy you need. After commencing a gluten-free diet, the lining of the intestine will repair, restoring normal absorption of nutrients. This means that deficiencies such as iron-deficiency anaemia should begin to resolve and improve.
Milk And Dairy Products
Milk, products made from milk , and milk substitutes can be included in this category. One of the most common and well-known nutrients associated with consuming milk and dairy products is calcium. Calcium is essential for building bones and teeth. Consuming healthy amounts of calcium is especially important in children who are building bone mass and for older adults who might be at risk for osteoporosis. Another nutrient that you can find in dairy products, and especially milk substitutes like soymilk, is potassium. Potassium can be helpful in maintaining a healthy blood pressure . Similar to the protein category, it is important to keep in mind the fat and cholesterol content of the food you consume from this category. Too much fat and bad cholesterol quickly outweighs the health benefits that foods in this category offer.
While some people suggest that most unflavored cows milk and cows milk products are gluten-free, other people believe that it is important to consider what the animal is being fed. There have been studies showing that gluten can pass through a mothers milk which suggests that it is likely that cows who are grain-fed instead of grass-fed may have higher levels of gluten in their milk. It is also important to keep in mind that some dairy products may contain thickening agents that are made with grains . The following dairy products contain gluten:
- Processed Cheese
- Malted Milk
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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
What Is Gluten Actually
Gluten is a natural protein that occurs mainly in wheat and other cereals. That is why gluten is found in many foods that contain some form of cereal and there are many of them. Cereals containing gluten include wheat, rye, spelt and barley.
Gluten is found so frequently in a wide variety of foods because it offers many beneficial physiological and technological properties. For example, gluten is responsible for flour and water combining to form a sticky dough. This is why gluten is also called gluten protein.
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What About Wheat Allergy
If you can eat gluten but avoid wheat due to an allergy, spelt might be an acceptable alternative.
An Australian study in 73 people allergic to wheat revealed that only 30% tested positive for a spelt allergy .
Nonetheless, you should still be careful. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider if you have a wheat allergy and are considering trying spelt.
Spelt is a type of wheat, which means that it contains gluten. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you should avoid spelt.
Foods Where Gluten May Be Hidden
If youre new to eating gluten-free, youve been told to avoid wheat, barley, and rye, but you may not be aware that some processed foods may not sound like a problem but could be made using gluten-containing grains. An example of this is malt, which is germinated dried barley.
How is it possible to consume gluten when youre being so careful about what you eat? You may have ingested, or otherwise taken in, hidden gluten.
Hidden gluten refers to the gluten that is either not mentioned on a product label in a way that is obvious or is in products that may not seem likely to contain gluten but do. Gluten isnt really hiding, but you have to check ingredients carefully or contact the manufacturer to identify it.
Also Check: Gluten Free Substitute For Bread Crumbs
Foods Drinks And Condiments That Are Naturally Gluten Free
These days there is a pretty strong emphasis on gluten-free foods. Some people avoid gluten because of celiac disease and for them, even a little bit of gluten can make them bloated. Other people feel that they are sensitive to gluten, while others avoid it in an attempt to eat healthier.
Gluten itself is a protein that plays a role in how elastic dough is and the protein is present primarily in wheat and some other grains. Unfortunately, that also means that gluten is present in anything that uses flour and that category covers a whole lot of food.
Im not going to get into the debate about whether you should be avoiding gluten or not. There are a lot of strongly held opinions out there and that simply isnt the point of this post. Im simply trying to highlight a range of foods that are naturally gluten free to make the struggle in finding good gluten free food that little bit easier.
For meals & desserts, I have a bunch of gluten free recipes you can browse.
After all, we should all be able to find good food, regardless of the restrictions on what we can eat. Hopefully this list shows that gluten free eating doesnt have to be as challenging as it first appears.
- Quinoa, brown rice, kaniwa, amaranth, sorghum, millet, buckwheat, teff
What Does Gluten Do
Gas contained within a dough or batter helps the baked goods rise.
The gas occurs when bread dough is kneaded.
Most, but not all, flours contain gluten in different amounts.
Bread flour has a high gluten content and is therefore good for yeast-based breads, which need an elastic framework to rise.
However, low-protein cake flour has a softer, less elastic quality and is better for cakes.
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Ingredients That May Contain Gluten
Depending on the source, all of these ingredients potentially can contain gluten. The FDA does require food manufacturers to declare wheat-containing ingredients on their labels. However, other gluten-containing grains potentially could be used to make some of these ingredients.
You’ll need to check with the manufacturer to find out for certain whether or not a food that includes one or more of these ingredients are safe on a gluten-free diet:
- Vegetable protein/hydrolyzed vegetable protein: Can come from wheat, corn or soy
- Modified starch/modified food starch: Can come from several sources, including wheat
- Natural flavor/natural flavoring: Can come from barley
- Artificial flavor/artificial flavoring: Can come from barley
- Caramel color: Now considered a safe ingredient, but if you’re in doubt, check with the manufacturer
- Modified food starch
- Seasonings: May contain wheat fillers
- Flavorings: May contain wheat fillers
- Vegetable starch: May contain wheat fillers
- Dextrin and maltodextrin: Both sometimes made from wheat