Sunday, January 1, 2012

Have you been gluten-ed?

I have a gluten intolerance. When I eat gluten I get terribly congested and suffer from a strange brain fog and what feels like pressure in my face. Sometimes this happens right away. Sometimes it happens the next day. I do not know if I have Celiac Disease because I have never been tested all I know is that I can't have gluten. Hence....this gluten free cooking blog.

I am continuously surprised at the unusual places I come across gluten. The more I meticulously pay attention to what I eat the more I am surprised by the ingredients. In the beginning of going gluten-free I would often feel bad from what I had eaten...but I would not know why. This was so frustrating, and it still happens to me sometimes. Going gluten-free involves so much more than just giving up bread.

For informational purposes here is a short list of "surprise gluten" I have come across in my daily life. If you have been on a gluten-free diet for some time, this is probably information you already know. I hope this information helps those who need to stay gluten-free avoid being accidentally gluten-ed.

McDonald's Fries - there is a lot of controversy surrounding this topic. Some say they are gluten free some say they are not. Basically I was surprised to learn that anything cooked in a fryer that once had something else with gluten in it can be contaminated. Bottom line - if McDonald's cooks nuggets and then your fries you have been gluten-ed. For this reason I avoid McDonald's completely. Plus the fries lead to the aforementioned symptoms.

Soy Sauce - this one may seem obvious but not everyone knows that "soy" sauce is actually made from wheat. To avoid this replace soy sauce with tamari in your recipes. This means fried rice, and a lot of other Asain dishes are off limits if you are eating out.

Sauces and Marinades - I put a packet of grill seasoning marinade in my grocery cart thinking "hey, its just spices". Upon checking out I scanned the ingredients and there is was in bold letters "wheat gluten". I am still shocked about this. This is just another reason why its better to make everything yourself from scratch.

Chocolate Truffles - Most popular chocolate brands such as Godiva and Lindt have "barley malt" on the ingredients list. It wasn't until recently I started reading the labels on my chocolate candies.

I am trying harder to be certain of all of my foods ingredients, we do cook at home a lot more now then we used to. I try to stick to my tried and true restaurants that I know are safe. And I am getting better at explaining what I can and can not eat to my waiter.  But every now and then it still happens, I'm gluten-ed.

What are some places that you have come across "surprise gluten"? Please share them in the comments so that we can all learn more about living a gluten-free life. 

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