Yes, you read that right. Gluten-free can be complicated for the simple fact that gluten can be hiding in many foods and you may not know which foods contain gluten. Following a gluten-free lifestyle is tough enough as it is without gluten playing hide and seek with you.
This article will highlight place where gluten may be hiding so that you can spot it a mile away. Of course, before even going into foods that may contain gluten, you need to be aware of foods that you can and cannot eat.
A general rule of thumb is that most natural foods do not contain gluten. Eggs, meat, poultry, vegetables, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts, legume and fruit do not contain gluten. Feel free to eat these to your heart’s content.
While there are grains that contain gluten, there are many that don’t and are perfectly safe to consume even if you’re gluten intolerant. Rice, soy, yucca, teff, millet, quinoa, tapioca, millet, potato, yucca, cassava, maize and oats (gluten-free) are all safe foods to eat. You do have choices.
Now, let’s look at why you may inadvertently end up getting gluten in your diet. In many cases, it may not even be your fault. Gluten may creep into your diet because of cross-contamination or even deceptive or poor labeling.
For example, in stores that package their gluten-free food, they often use the same preparation area for non-gluten free foods. Some crumbs from the bakery section may find their way into the cut fruit packages if a common preparation is used.
Even at home, one family member might use a knife on the whole-wheat bread and leave crumbs in the butter. The gluten intolerant person may get these crumbs into their body without even realizing it. So, separate containers will be required.
Another matter that you may totally have no control over is for processed foods. Even with products such as canned fruit or vegetables, the manufacturing line may be processing gluten containing foods too. There is a very real possibility of cross-contamination despite what the labels say.
In cases like these, you may have to contact the manufacturer and get reassurance that their product line is solely dedicated to gluten-free products. This is a hassle but it is a necessary inconvenience, especially for those who have celiac disease.
Living on a gluten-free diet is a lifelong challenge. There is no easier way to say it.
You need to be aware of foods that contain gluten. Like mentioned earlier, natural foods such as meat do not contain gluten. However, processed meats such as sausages, meatballs and ground meats may use wheat-based filler. Now you have a meat that contains gluten.
Sauces, gravies and marinades may contain gluten too. That dollop of tomato sauce you just added to your plate may have gluten flour in it. That bag of potato chips may be seasoned with ingredients that contain wheat starch.
So, you need to be alert all the time. You need to research and exercise due diligence in getting as well-informed as you can. Ultimately, this will help you make the best choices when deciding if the food you plan to eat is something you should be eating. Forewarned is forearmed.