If your physician tells you that you must remove gluten from your diet it is time to become a food detective. While wheat, rye and barley as well as foods made with these grains, breaded chicken patties for instance, are the most obvious foods that contain gluten, there are many more. And, those with celiac disease, in particular, may need to be cautious about foods that do not naturally contain gluten, but have gluten in them either through cross contamination or by being processed in a facility that processes wheat.
Beware of cross contaminated products
For instance, oats are naturally gluten free but oats are sometimes contaminated with gluten due to environmental factors, like wind, that spread bits of neighboring wheat, rye or barley crops onto the oats. And, if you turn over the package of your favorite “gluten free” potato chips, nutrition bar or other food, you may notice this: “processed in a facility that also processes wheat” – something that could be a major issue for those with celiac disease. In addition, gluten is also in a variety of medications, vitamins and supplements and other products that you wouldn’t normally suspect. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to foods and other products that may contain wheat, rye or barley.
Look at complete list of ingredients
For vitamins and supplements, it's important to check each and every ingredient listed and check the brand website or call to make sure. Many fillers and excipients used in pills and tablets do contain gluten or are manufactured in a facility with other gluten products.
Luckily the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires food labels to clearly identify wheat in the list of ingredients. For more information and updates on food labeling regulations concerning gluten, click here.
These inactive ingredients (excipients) should be further investigated to determine the gluten-free status of the product:
- Modified starch (source not specified)
- Pregelatinized starch (source not specified)
- Pregelatinized modified starch (source not specified)
- Dextrates (source not specified)
- Dextrimaltose (when barley malt is used)
- Caramel coloring (when barley malt is used)
- Dextrin (source not specified, but usually by corn or potato)
Look for supplements that are 100% gluten free such as Wellesse Liquid Supplements at www.wellesse.com. Because many gluten intolerant or Celiac sufferers can become deficient in nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, iron and B vitamins, taking supplements may be a necessity.
If you think you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it is imperative that you get tested first, before taking gluten out of your diet. Why? If you stop consuming gluten and then get tested, the results of the test may be negative even if you have the disease.