If you're following a gluten-free diet to treat celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you know that gluten—the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, or any foods that have a combination of those grains—are off limits. But going gluten-free takes more than just saying "no" to the bread basket or a bowl of pasta. Gluten can be found in many foods you'd least suspect, such as flavored ice creams, deli meats, and even soy sauce.
"Wheat isn't the only thing people should look for in ingredients labels. Look out for spelt, semolina, kamut, barley, rye, and malt, since all of these terms also indicate gluten," says Anne Roland Lee, EdD, RDN, LD, assistant professor of nutritional medicine in the celiac disease center at Columbia University.
In fact, many products use varieties of wheat to create thickeners and flavorings for foods. For example, malt comes in various forms, like malted barley flour and malt syrup, and can be found in candies, chocolates, milkshakes, and even protein bars.
How can you tell if a packaged food is gluten-free?
Foods with a gluten-free label are required to have less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten, according to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). But it's best to always read the ingredients list of foods carefully and keep eye out for sources of gluten. While some packaged foods will list wheat as an allergen found in the product, along with soy, egg, nuts, and milk, barley and rye aren't required to be on the list. That's why it's important to read the ingredients list for these hidden sources of gluten.
To help you avoid gluten at all costs, we put together a list of surprising foods that are common culprits of this problematic protein.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
1 Sauces, condiments, and gravy
Pre-made sauces and condiments might have traces of wheat or wheat starch to help thicken the texture and add flavor. In fact, "alt can also be added as a flavoring for some barbecue sauces and taco seasoning," Lee says.
Some cream-based pasta sauces, like Alfredo and mac and cheese, may also use wheat flour to create a roux with milk and butter. Moreover, many canned gravy that goes over turkey meat might have wheat flour as a thickener.
A variety of gluten-containing grains are used to prepare beer and aren't distilled from it at the end of the brewing process, so most beers out there aren't gluten-free unless they're explicitly labeled. That means lagers, stouts, IPAs, and malt beverages are sadly off limits for people with celiac disease, but wine, hard liquor, and distilled alcoholic beverages are gluten-free.
But Lee points out that people with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity should also avoid gluten-removed beers. "Gluten-removed beers are brewed with gluten-containing grains and then undergo a process to remove the gluten. But there are a lot of questions about how much gluten they actually remove, so it's best to avoid these beers altogether," Lee says. You also want to watch out for cider ales. While hard cider doesn't have gluten, cider ales are ciders combined with an ale, which is brewed with gluten-containing grains.
3 Deli meats
Yup, there might be traces of gluten in processed and cured deli meats, like ham and salami, so be sure to read the ingredients labels carefully and look out for derivatives of wheat, rye, or barley. However, Lee says that there are many gluten-free deli meat options available at the grocery these days. Enjoy organic lean protein, such as grilled chicken and turkey, in your sandwiches. "But more importantly, I advise my patients to make their own sandwiches at home because ordering a sandwich at a deli increases your risk of consuming gluten from cross-contamination," Lee says.
4 Granola bars
Many store-bought granola bars and energy balls contain oats, millet, amaranth, and other whole grains. Additionally, granola bars may contain malt extract or use malt syrup as a sweetener, Lee says. So unless it's specifically labeled gluten-free, there's a risk you're consuming this problematic protein in some granola bars and snacks.
While candies and chocolate are loaded with sugar and fat, many of them also have malt and malt extract, which derives from barley—a gluten-containing grain. "Some chocolates in Europe won't have malt, but the same ones here in the U.S. actually use malt," Lee says. If you're craving something sweet, the Celiac Disease Foundation created a list of gluten-free candies, which include Annie's Homegrown and Hershey's chocolate bars.
6 Soy sauce
Soy sauce contains wheat, and soy-based meat alternatives, like veggie burgers, use grains and oats. They may also use malt flavoring. Fortunately, many soy sauce brands now have gluten-free varieties so be sure to read labels properly to ensure you're picking up the right one.
7 Canned soups
Be wary of canned soups that are cream-based or have a thicker consistency, like New England clam chowder, as they may use flour. There are also pre-made soups that contain white pasta, barley, farro, and other gluten-containing whole grains. "Many people forget that minestrone has pasta in it and lentil soups often have barley," Lee says.
8 Scrambled eggs
While eggs are naturally gluten-free, some restaurants and diners are notorious for adding pancake batter in their scrambled eggs and other egg dishes to give them their fluffy texture. To avoid ingesting any gluten when dining out, ask your waiter how your eggs are prepared before ordering.
9 Salad dressings
Many salad dressings use malt vinegar because it adds flavor and depth. To avoid malt, prepare your own salad dressing at home, using apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Or, try one of these delicious and flavorful Whole30-approved recipes.
10 Flavored potato chips
Potato chip seasonings may include malt vinegar or wheat starch for flavoring. "Flavored chips like salt and vinegar and nacho cheese may potentially use wheat flour to hold the flavoring, or malt as a flavor itself. Some potato chips also use soy sauce," Lee says.
Instead, make your own healthy version of potato chips at home by thinly slicing sweet potatoes and adding your favorite seasonings, like rosemary, garlic, thyme, and black pepper. Then, lightly drizzle them with extra-virgin olive oil and bake them in the oven until they're lightly browned and crisp. Check out this Green Goddess Dip With Vegetables and Homemade Pita Chips recipe for cooking inspiration.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
10 Sneaky Foods That Contain Gluten, Source:https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/g29210820/hidden-sources-of-gluten/