Gluten is Lurking
Cue the Jaws theme- dun dun, dun dun, dundundundundun...
When you are newly diagnosed as having a gluten allergy or intolerance it can seem like it can pop up at any time and be anywhere. This can make your life full of anxiety and always second guessing yourself when it comes to foods.
Gluten is one of the most common allergies and intolerances which encompasses Celiacs disease (those who suffer from this disease tend to call themselves Celiacs). It has become a much more well known allergen and a huge market for dieting. This is great for those who cannot eat it for varying reasons. Most people know wheat has gluten in it so anything with it is off limits but there are also other foods and parts of foods that have gluten that are lesser known; such as barley, rye, malt, and farrow.
Nowadays wheat has become the easily used scapegoat for gluten so many companies use other whole grains to make it healthier but those navigating a new gluten allergy it can be very confusing what products are safe. Barley, rye, and malt are whole grains that can be used in breads, crackers, pasta, and even alcohol.
Malt can be used as a sweetener even and its usually called malt syrup. This adds sweetness without added sugar making it taste yummy but laden with gluten. This is one of the many variations of gluten that if you are not familiar with can cause some serious consequences.
Farrow is a lesser known grain that is also part of the gluten family. It is used in many vegan or vegetarian dishes instead of using pasta for a healthier take. It seems like a great idea for that community but a huge no no for the Celiacs and gluten allergic/ intolerant.
Other food ingredients that can have gluten are: oats (due to cross contamination), spelt (used as a flour), graham flour, malt vinegar, chicken or beef stock, salad dressings, soy sauce, condiments, semolina, bulgur, and seasonings and spices.
Most gluten questions can easily be answered while asking our favorite search engines like google, bing, etc and these can become a life saving question for the newly diagnosed.
I have a friend who is a Celiac and when she was first given this prognosis she googled everything. I mean every food out there- is “such and such” gluten free? She asked this question so many times google would auto fill her question to end with the words, gluten free. It happened so much that one time she asked “is Channing Tatum” and google quickly filled in “gluten free?”. She then, of course, forgot all about what she was trying to ask because she was laughing too hard and never found out the answer to this most dire question. And for all those waiting with baited breathe, he did go on a gluten free diet to get ready for his movie Magic Mike. I think we can all agree it worked for him.
Now that we have a better understanding of where gluten can be found in food- what other places were you completely surprised with where it could be found? I found one of my favorite mustards had wheat flour in it the other day... who would think mustard would have wheat?