OK, so most of us know that gluten is found in wheat products. This is true, but of course, it’s not the whole story.
Basically, gluten is a protein. It is formed by the combination of glutelin and gliadin, which are found in wheat and other related grains like barley and rye.
More and more people have been choosing to follow a gluten-free diet, as celiac disease, wheat allergy, and wheat intolerance are on the rise (it is estimated that 6% of the population suffers from some form of gluten intolerance). For some celiac sufferers even the most minimal gluten consumption could result in hospitalization.
Unfortunately, avoiding gluten isn’t quite as simple as cutting out wheat, barely and rye, which isn’t simple at all if you love rye bread as much as I do!
Because it is a thickening agent, gluten is included in many things like gravies, salad dressings, even some ketchup. Flour also prevents things from sticking together, so even things like packaged grated cheese might have wheat flour.
Wheat – Flour, Bread, Cereal, Couscous, Spelt, Wheat Bran, Bulgur, etc.
Barley – Malt, Malt Vinegar (and any product that is made with malt vinegar, like some pickles, and apparently in Canada Worcestershire sauce)
Curry Powder – I looked at my label and my brand does not contain gluten, but apparently some do.
Blue Cheese – Some do, some don’t. Blue cheese is often made with lab-produced mold, instead of the original bread mold.
Traditional Tabbouleh – I make mine without the wheat anyway…
Baking Powder – Check your label
*Clearly my list is not extensive, but I’m going with common sense here. If it is some sort of processed food with a list of ingredients the length of my arm…well I’m just going to assume it has gluten. I don’t usually eat those things anyway. In fact….I avoid those aisles at the grocery store. I am just trying to list things that I found surprising, or that seem like pretty basic “foods” to begin with.
As always, suggestions and corrections are appreciated!
Good Foods * Mostly just copied from www.free-from.com *
Cereals & Grains - rice, millet, maize, quinoa, tapioca, sago, buckwheat, teff and sorghum
Meat, Fish & Eggs – All good :)
Dairy – Gets the go ahead (for now). Just watch out for the grated cheese! Of course…read labels..who knows what’s lurking in your yogurt?
Flours – rice, corn, potato, maize, gram, soya, chickpea, sorghum, tapioca and chestnut flours are all OK
Fruits & Veggies – all naturally gluten-free
Fats – Butter, Oil & Lard are OK (gluten-wise), but check spreads.
Alcohol – Liquor, Wine & Cider are OK as are some Beers that specially made gluten-free (check here for a list)
Other – Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are OK (check coatings though), spreads & preserves, spices & seasonings (check ready-made mixes though).
*Always read labels just in case*
Alright…off to buy some xanthan gum…