In my quest to become totally gluten free, I am amazed by learning how many things actually contain gluten! Here are some hidden sources of gluten to watch out for if you are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease:
Salad Dressing – Many salad dressings contain gluten in some form. If your favorite salad dressing is not labels “gluten free” assume it is not.
Deli Meats and Most Processed Foods – These are known to contain gluten. Don’t eat deli meat from the grocery store unless it is clearly marked as gluten free.
Sauces, Bouillon, and More – Most soy sauce, meat sauce, and bouillon contains gluten. Beware unless marked gluten free.
Fried Foods – Unless a restaurant uses a dedicated, gluten-free fryer, most food is contaminated with gluten. In fryers that are not dedicated, restaurants fry breaded fish burgers, chicken burgers, clams, scallops and more as well as French fries. If you are gluten free, avoid these places!
Gravy – Gravy is often thickened with wheat flour. Beware of it in restaurants! I make my own gravy with brown rice flour.
Fillers and natural flavors – Often the ingredients in these products are made from wheat. Be careful here.
Seasonings and spices – Many spices begin as natural but are sprayed with pesticides and preservatives to maximize shelf life. Buy spices in their pure form, marked gluten free.
Medications – Many medications, over the counter and prescription contain gluten. Talk to your pharmacist before taking anything and make sure it’s gluten free.
Shampoo, Lip Gloss, and other personal products – The literature is scattered on whether gluten can penetrate the skin. I like to be safe. Look for personal products that do not contain gluten. Dessert Essence has a whole line. Be extra careful with anything that enters your mouth, like lip gloss or lipstick. Most contain gluten. Do the research first.
Hand Sanitizer and Hair Dye – I’ve had reactions to both. I’m not sure if it was the gluten but since that wreaks havoc on my system, I gave up using hand sanitizer (it’s often made from grain alcohol in a very high content) and I use only gluten free hair dye. You will need to call companies to be sure what is gluten free and what is not. If a company will not say either way, assume there is gluten in their product.
Household Cleaning Products – Anything made these days can be processed using wheat or corn. Be sure to check with the manufacturer to see what is gluten free and what is not. I use Mrs. Meyers whose company states that all products, except their oatmeal products, are gluten free. (Information gained by a phone call in November of 2010.)
There are many hidden sources of gluten that go beyond bread, pasta and beer. Be sure to scrutinize the label and call the company if you are not sure. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
This post is part of Fight Back Friday.
Ahern, Shauna James, Gluten-Free Girl, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2007.
Hasselbeck, Elisabeth, The G Free Diet, Center Street, Hachette Book Group, New York, Boston, Nashville, 2009.