Top 10 Hidden Glutens
When I first went gluten free, it took about 4 months for me to be able to finally get well as I continued to eat and use things that had hidden gluten in them that were still making me sick. I know that there is a lot of information online, but here are the top 10 things that I discovered where not gluten free, that once I completely eliminated, I got better.
1. Cross Contamination at home – when I first became GF, I had 3 roommates who were gluten loving. When they would slice their bread on the counter, the crumbs would go everywhere and would sometimes accidentally end up in my food. Other examples are, if you are cooking both a GF dish and a gluten filled dish, use different spoons. There are many times when I have not been able to eat an otherwise gluten free meal if it wouldn’t have been stirred with the same food that was stirring a gluten filled dish. Another big problem area is the toaster. Make sure that you don’t toast your GF bread in a toaster that have contained GF bread. You need to buy a new GF toaster and not allow any one else to use it.
2. Cross Contamination in restaurants – when dining out, make sure you tell your waiter that you have a gluten (wheat, rye, barley oats) allergy, as many times they cook gluten containing food in the same pan, or on the same grill without cleaning the cooking surfaces. Also, chefs may not change their gloves in between handling something like a hamburger bun when they are dishing up your GF meat on a lettuce wrap. There is always a risk each time you eat out unless you can guarantee a 100% GF kitchen.
3. Soy Sauce – some brands like La Choy are gluten free, but most soy (or soya in the UK) sauces are not gluten free and the main ingredient is wheat. This in particular was very important when I was traveling in China and had to either eat at home or eat white rice while out in order to guarantee there was no soy sauce in my dish.
4. Worcester Sauce (off brands and in the UK) – Lea and Perrins Worcester sauce is gluten free in the United States, but in the UK it is not. Also in the US, many off brands or store brands of Worcester Sauce are not GF.
5. Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Lotion – For a few years my hair was falling out and I couldn’t figure out why. It came down to the Shampoo that I was using as it had gluten in it. As soon as I changed to a GF shampoo my hair stopped falling out in chunks and actually began to grow back and become thicker. Also lots of body lotions contain oats which can irritate some people’s skin if they react to gluten with skin rashes as some Celiacs do.
6. Salad Dressings – be weary of this at the grocery store and when dining out. Many salad dressings have binders in them which contain gluten. They could also contain Malt Vinegar which is not gluten free.
7. Malt/Barley Malt – This is in everything, cereals, sauces, soups. Check over every package that you buy as this is usually one of the main ingredients, which is not GF.
8. Oats – I know that they sell GF oats, but I continue to react to them even if they say gluten free. If I accidentally eat oats, usually the first time, there is little reaction, but if I eat 2 days in a row, I am guaranteed a high fever and chilles
9. Canned soups – Campbells is the biggest culprit in the States and Heinz is in the UK. Check all ingredients in canned soups as wheat is usually a sneaky surprise ingredient.
10. Seasonings – Some companies use gluten containing ingredients as a binder in herbs and seasonings. Before buying something new, be sure to check with the company to ensure that it is GF when buying.