Our blog post will explain why gluten is so bad for those with celiac disease. For those just getting started on a gluten-free diet, the task can be very daunting. Identifying what to and what not to avoid is where most people get stuck or frustrated. Below we have put together a video and a list of some of the most common foods that will get you into trouble while following a gluten-free diet…
Grains are the number one food to avoid with gluten allergy. As part of the gluten-free “Golden Rule”, grains should be avoided to prevent reactions to gluten. The most common items are bread, pasta, cereals, muffins, bagels, cookies, and cakes. But there are many more food items on this shortlist that commonly contain grains – gravies, croutons, bread crumbs, biscuits, rolls, pita, batter-fried foods, noodles, tortillas, ice cream cones, bran, wheat germ, dumplings, pancake mixes, pies, pumpernickel and rye breads, cornbread, vermicelli, doughnuts, buns, pretzels, spaghetti, waffles, and pastries. Many companies have started making gluten-free versions of these products. Problem is – they are not TRUE gluten-free products and cause major problems for people with gluten intolerance. Other grains like corn and rice are commonly used as alternative safe substitutes despite the research showing their detriment. For more on this, you can view our comprehensive page on food terms to avoid while eating a gluten-free diet.
2. Condiments and Seasonings
Many common condiments and seasonings are foods to avoid with gluten intolerance. Because many contain gluten and cause problems for those who are gluten-intolerant. The following foods should be eliminated from the diet unless they plainly state on the label that they are gluten-free: Worcestershire sauce, MSG, modified food starch, malt products, bouillon, barley malt, and soy sauce. Also, be aware that many gravies and salad dressings are thickened with gluten-containing flours and grains.
3. Alcoholic Beverages
Most forms of alcohol are made from grains. At the top of the list are beer and malted beverages like wine coolers. It’s recommended that you proceed cautiously with any of the grain-based alcohols such as whiskey, certain vodkas, and gin. Many claim that these are OK because they are distilled, but clinically, patients continue to have reactions to grain-based alcoholic beverages. Additionally, alcohol slows the healing process and can contribute to other health problems. If you are going gluten-free because you are sick, drinking alcohol will not serve as beneficial to aid in your recovery. It is best to stop drinking alcohol altogether when you are gluten intolerant.
4. Processed Meats
Processed meat products are unhealthy. The most common contain high levels of cancer-causing preservatives. There is some question as to whether meats coming from grain-fed animals create problems with gluten-intolerant individuals. Processed meats including cold cuts, liverwurst, hot dogs, sausages, bologna, pepperoni, salami, and pate are high in gluten because various grains are used in their manufacture.
5. Sweets and Treats
Being on a gluten-free diet includes eliminating sweets and treats that may be made with flours and other substances containing gluten. Foods to avoid include all products made with malt, all chocolate and chocolate candy containing malt, ice cream, candies containing cereal extract, sherbets, commercial cake frosting, and root beer. Check labels, read the ingredients.
Many items that people get gluten exposure from are less obvious. Pet food, make -up, shampoos, and skin lotions are some common examples. For more comprehensive information on hidden gluten and cross-contamination, we recommend reading and watching this <<<
Beware of Cross Contamination
During product manufacturing, a variety of gluten-free products come into contact with products such as grains containing gluten. This is where cross-contamination may occur. This is common in factories that process both regular and gluten-free products and use the same machines for both. This process can cause major problems for people with gluten intolerance. The other place cross-contamination can occur is in the kitchen. It occurs most commonly when preparing meals and sharing the same kitchen tools and surfaces.
A recent study found that more than 40% of processed foods labeled gluten-free still had enough gluten to cause damage to those with gluten intolerance issues. Use extreme care and have a backup cutting board that is only used for preparing gluten-free items to avoid cross-contamination. On that same note, use extreme caution if eating out. Many restaurants will not have measures in place to prevent the cross-contamination of the food they are serving you.
This post is meant to be a helpful guide on what is gluten-free and on foods that need to be avoided. Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions about being gluten-free.