Gluten-free diets have been exceedingly popular over the past few years, for numerous reasons. In some cases, individuals are dealing with a serious condition known as Celiac Disease.
Others experience severe digestive problems when they ingest foods contain gluten. Still others hope to gain any number of health benefits from abstaining from the wheat protein.
But, how can one successfully go gluten-free? What are some foods and ingredients to avoid on a gluten free diet?
First, Some Basics
Before delving into the specifics, it's helpful to understand what gluten is and why it is so common. As mentioned, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that is responsible for the shape, texture and structure of foods that contain those ingredients.
Which explains how it's ended up in nearly everything we eat. Gluten makes things fluffy, flaky and delicious. It's also a fairly inexpensive filler and thickener, used in soaps, sauces and even spice mixtures.
What to Look For
So, now that we understand what gluten does and why it might be added to foods, which foods need to be avoided starts to become a little clearer. Here's a basic list of some of the obvious things to look for:
- Wheat in all forms, including wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, faro, graham, kamut, einkorn
- Malt in all forms, including malt flour, malted milk, malt extracts, malt syrup, malt flavoring and malt vinegar
- Brewer's Yeast
But that list only tells us what ingredients contain gluten. Things aren't always as simple as reading the ingredients list. For the sake of clarity, here are some less obvious sources of gluten:
- Breaded foods
- Foods fried in the same oil as breaded foods
- Soy sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Licorice and other flour-based candies
With a watchful eye, you'll be able to notice any ingredient of food that contains gluten. However, it never hurts to ask for extra verification.
At Naked Nutrition we seek to have all our products be gluten-free and many have been tested for the allergen.