Gluten can hide in many places that you may not think about looking at which makes it even more difficult for those that are on a strict gluten-free lifestyle. It’s important to know where to look for hidden gluten so you don’t harm yourself and then wonder what you ate to cause a reaction. Hidden gluten can be found when multiple things are put together to make one food. This makes it difficult when you’re reading the label, but if you know what to look for, you’ll know what you can have and what you can’t have.
Not only is gluten in foods, but it’s also in other items we would ingest or come in contact with, so it’s important to pay attention to everything you purchase and read all labels on things you would put in your mouth or on your skin. Here is a short list of some of the items you must read labels for each time you purchase.
1. Soups prepared by a restaurant or in a can could contain gluten. Often times soup base is made from flour and unless you’re for sure it’s a gluten-free soup, it’s not a good idea to even try eating it. The only way it’s sure to be safe is if you make it 100% yourself and from scratch.
2. You’d think cooked vegetables would be safe, but that’s not the case when they’re made by someone else. Some butters contain gluten, so that’s the first thing to watch, but cross contamination can also occur if the vegetables are steamed in the same water or pan that was used for the pasta it would normally go on. Cross contamination doesn’t affect everyone, but if it does you, it’s important to make sure the pan is thoroughly washed before the vegetables are cooked.
3. Handmade potato chips or tortilla chips can also have cross contamination when cooked in a fryer that was used to cook breaded foods like fish or chicken. This happens a lot in restaurants because they don’t have the time or room to dedicate one fryer to gluten-free items only.
4. Meatloaf, burger patties or meatball are other foods that often contain hidden gluten. Most times this meal is prepared with crackers or breadcrumbs and those contain gluten. It’s best to make your own using gluten-free oats or crushed nuts.
5. Certain vitamins contain wheat and not many people think about looking at the label for gluten. You ingest these vitamins so it’s important to watch the label and only purchase ones that are gluten-free.
6. Medications are another area you must be careful with because there are some on the market that contain gluten. These could cause problems you may not think would be from them, so you may take the time searching for the food that caused it, when it was really the medication you were taking.
7. Makeup is another item you must look into when it comes to gluten. They may be natural, but may also contain wheat or other gluten ingredients. It’s best to read the label or contact the manufacturer just to be safe.
Gluten is in a lot of the products we use daily. It may be hiding so to speak because of other ingredients used to make them. This is why it’s important to read labels for all things you’d ingest or may come in contact with your skin. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Wellness Team