Gluten sensitivity and intolerance are on the rise with 6-7 percent of the American populous suffering from dietary issues related to gluten. One percent of the U.S. population suffers from Celiac disease – a severe and serious autoimmune disease triggered by gluten. Gluten is the protein found in many grains and brain-based foods so it is essential that, if you have issues with gluten, you avoid goods that contain it.
To help you do this, I’ve collected 20 gluten free recipes for you to enjoy – each one is easy to make, healthy, and delicious. But, because I want to make life as easy for you as I can, here is a list of high gluten foods you need to avoid.
Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is a condition in which the body reacts negatively to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is a common ingredient in many food products, making it difficult for those with gluten intolerance to find safe foods to eat. In this article, we will discuss the common foods to avoid if you have gluten intolerance.
Grains are probably the biggest source of gluten in most people’s diets. We eat grains in their natural state and use them to make a wide variety of foods. A few grains are gluten-free but most are not. The ones you need to avoid are:
- Triticale and Mir – hybrids of wheat and rye
2. Grain-based foods
One of the most common sources of gluten is bread, pasta, and grains. Products such as pizza crusts, bagels, rolls, muffins, and other baked goods contain gluten. Pasta made from wheat flour is also a common source of gluten. It is important to note that gluten can also be found in processed grains such as bulgur, farro, semolina, and spelt. To avoid gluten, look for pasta and bread made from alternative flours such as corn, rice, or quinoa.
Most breakfast cereals contain gluten, including popular brands such as Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, and Lucky Charms. However, there are several gluten-free cereals available on the market, such as Rice Chex, Corn Chex, and Cheerios made from gluten-free oats. Always check the label to make sure the cereal is gluten-free before purchasing.
A great many staple foods are made from grains, especially wheat. Wheat is processed to make flour and that is than used for baking. If you have issues with gluten, you’ll need to avoid foods like:
- Breakfast cereals
3. Condiments and seasoning
Many sauces and gravies contain gluten as a thickener. This includes soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and teriyaki sauce. In addition, many canned and packaged gravies contain gluten. To avoid gluten, look for sauces and gravies made with alternative thickeners, such as cornstarch, or check the label for gluten-free options.
Many condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, contain hidden sources of gluten. For example, some ketchups contain barley malt syrup as a sweetener, while others contain wheat flour as a thickener. To avoid gluten, look for condiments made with alternative ingredients, such as honey or corn syrup, or check the label for gluten-free options.
Many condiments and seasonings contain hidden sources of gluten. In many ways, these are the most nefarious because you might think you have eliminated all sources of gluten by going grain-free but still be inadvertently eating gluten that is hidden away in less obvious sources. Unless a product specifically says it’s gluten free, you need to carefully check the ingredients list for signs of gluten. Condiments and seasonings that may contain gluten include:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Malt products such as Marmite, malt vinegar
- Store-bought gravy
- Store-bought sauces
- Soy sauce
4. Alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages, such as beer and malt beverages, are often made from barley, which contains gluten. In addition, many alcoholic beverages may contain hidden sources of gluten such as wheat, barley, or rye. To avoid gluten, opt for gluten-free beers made from sorghum, rice, or corn, or choose gluten-free spirits such as whiskey, gin, or vodka.
Some alcoholic beverages contain gluten – the main culprit being beer which is usually made from wheat and malt. Other grain-based drinks include:
5. Processed meats
Processed meats, such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats, often contain gluten as a binding agent. In addition, many snack foods, such as crackers, chips, and pretzels, contain gluten. To avoid gluten, look for processed meats and snacks made with alternative ingredients, such as cornstarch, or check the label for gluten-free options.
Some processed meats contain grains which are added as fillers or to “bulk out” meat products. The main culprits are:
- Hot dogs
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
Surprisingly, some prescription and over-the-counter medications also contain gluten. This is because some medications use gluten as a filler or binding agent. To avoid gluten, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about alternative medications that are gluten-free.
6. Cross contamination
Just because a food does not directly contain gluten doesn’t mean traces of gluten aren’t present. Food is made in factories and those factories process a wide variety of foods – many of which contain gluten. For example, factories that produce gluten-free bread will often also produce regular bread so it’s all too easy to consume gluten by accident. 40% of gluten-free processed foods contain small amounts of accidental gluten so try to purchase foods that are certified as being prepared in a gluten-free environment.
Living with gluten intolerance can be challenging, but with a little effort and knowledge, you can easily identify and avoid gluten-containing foods. Always check the label for gluten-free options and opt for alternative ingredients whenever possible. Remember, with a little creativity and determination