Gluten… is it a Fad?

GLUTEN. Such a controversial topic these days.  Some people don’t even know what gluten is!  So if you don’t, you’re not alone!  Gluten is the protein portion of the grains wheat, rye and barley.  It’s also used as a thickener as well as a preservative or stabilizer.

Gluten is probably the most inflammatory food on the planet.  And here’s the tricky thing, it is inflammatory even if you do not have Celiac disease.  I have seen many clients in my practice at Nutrition the Natural Way who cannot tolerate gluten, nor do they Celiac.  In fact, I personally have what’s called a “Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.”  Simply put, if I ingest a thumbnail size amount of gluten, it will take my digestive and immune systems (they’re actually connected!) 6-12 months to recover.

See below for the MANY, MANY sources of gluten ingredients, and food substances that gluten hides in, to watch for!

Ingredients/Food Substances with Gluten

  • Wheat,
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Caramel coloring
  • Food starches *(Wheat starch, modified starch, gelatinized starch)
  • Malt and malt flavorings
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Flour (unless from a known non-gluten source like rice, nuts or coconut)
  • Vegetable gum and vegetable starch
  • Emulsifiers (also stabilizers)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Graham crackers or flours
  • Batter fried / breaded foods
  • Sauces and gravies (unless made to be gluten free)
  • Pastas
  • Maltodextrin
  • Soy sauce
  • Tamari
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat bran
  • Farina
  • Bulgur
  • Semolina

Unusual Gluten Sources

  • Postage stamps (the glue)
  • Grain alcohol
  • Food colorings
  • Curry powder
  • Blue cheese
  • Natural flavorings
  • Excipients (in medications)
  • Gum base
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • French fries (often cross-contaminated by being cooked with breaded items)
  • Salad dressings
  • Malt vinegar
  • Multivitamins – depending on product.
  • Make-up, shampoos and toothpastes – many available “gluten free.”

Pure “Wheat” and “Gluten” Ingredients/ Red Flag Ingredients

  • Oats (oatmeal) – must buy “gluten free” oats. Contamination happens when harvested.
  • Spelt
  • Millet
  • Durum
  • Macha
  • Matzo
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Triticum
  • Seitan
  • Fu
  • Udon
  • Couscous
  • Tabbouleh
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Sprouted wheat
  • Barley malt
  • High-gluten flour
  • Vital gluten
  • Wheat gluten

These generalized terms which should also be avoided include:

  • Malt/ Malted milk/ Malt extract/ Malt syrup
  • Soy sauce/ Teriyaki sauce
  • Flour
  • Beer (most contain barley or wheat)
  • Bran
  • Germ
  • Orzo (pasta)
  • Cookie crumbs/cookie dough
  • Bread crumbs
  • Gravy
  • Seafood analogs (imitation crab contains wheat)
  • Bouillon or broth

“Vegetable Protein” and Other Mysteries

  • Extracts (including vanillin extracts) can use grain alcohol in preparation
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein” (HVP)
  • Textured vegetable protein”
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
  • Isolated vegetable protein
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Vegetable protein
  • Modified food starch
  • Food starch
  • Dextrin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Emulsifiers
  • Various flavoring

“Caramel Color” can also Indicate Gluten

  • Caramel coloring (can be made from heat treatment of one of any number of food carbohydrates, ranging from molasses or corn sugar to barley, malt syrup or wheat starch.)
  • Artificial color
  • Caramel flavoring
  • Clarifying agents
  • Coloring

Email me any time with questions!

Dani at Nutrition the Natural Way . com