Part Three of my four-part series on gluten.
What Not to Eat
If you took a look at my first two Gluten articles, you now understand the science behind the body’s relationship to gluten. But how do you avoid gluten? Is gluten hiding in foods that you normally eat? What about gluten in other products, like skincare and home products? If you are trying to cleanse your life of gluten, read on.
First of all, here are the foods you probably know contain gluten:
Flour: white, whole wheat, bleached, unbleached, enriched, etc.
All wheat: flour, bran, germ
Grains: bulgur, barley, couscous, kamut, oats (if not marked as “gluten-free”), rye, semolina, spelt, triticale
And here are some common foods that likely contain gluten:
Alcohol made from grain alcohol: beer, wine, bourbon/whisky, gin
Baked goods, unless marked “gluten-free:” pies, biscuits, breads, cookies, cakes
Crackers, matzo, some chips
Pasta: macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, some corn pasta
Breaded meats or vegetables
Also keep an eye out for these ingredients. If you see them on labels, the product contains gluten:
Starches: corn starch, wheat starch, modified food starch, gelatinized starch, vegetable starch (and vegetable gum)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Gluten is not always easy to spot. It’s often hiding in these foods:
Battered food: fish sticks, fried chicken, onion rings, etc.
Boxed rice mixes & canned baked beans
Chewing gum, candy & licorice
Cream sauce, gravy, tomato sauces, soups & bouillon cubes (thickening agent)
Ice cream & milk shakes (thickening agent)
Instant drinks, including coffee, hot cocoa, Ovaltine & artificial creamer
Pepper (compound or synthetic, powdered)
Processed meat: hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage, lunch meats
Some ground spices
Some veined cheeses
Soy sauce & some teriyaki sauces
Veggie burgers & seitan (meat substitute made of wheat gluten)
Now that you are a gluten detective, let’s tackle non-food items like cosmetics. Can gluten in these items still trigger celiac-type reactions? Some say No, products shouldn’t affect you unless they go in your mouth or over an open sore. However, my patients have reported negative reactions to skin products that contain derivatives of gluten.
Here are some non-food items that may contain gluten:
Dental products: sealants, plastics, mouthwash, toothpaste
Body products: hairspray, lotion, makeup, soap, shampoo, sunscreen, lip balm
Glue on stamps and envelopes
Capsules and tablets: low quality vitamins, supplements, medicines
When it comes to gluten in skin products, it really depends on your level of sensitivity. Some are not reactive at all, while others must completely avoid exposure. If you are still having symptoms, you might want to switch to allergen-free brands like those listed at Skins Matter.
Now that you know all the things you should avoid, check out my fourth and final post on Gluten, “Baking with Gluten Free Flours,” for things you CAN eat.
Want to look deeper at your health before changing your diet? Dr. Charny can work with you to identify food sensitivities and shape your diet for your individual wellness. Make an appointment today:310-553-4242.