One of the hardest and most frustrating parts about having Celiac Disease and being GlutenFree is continuing to get glutened after the fact.
The first 6 months to a year were by far the hardest. I made mistake after mistake eating things I assumed were gluten-free but weren’t like: soy sauce, licorice, french fries or my Bloody Mary mix.
I wasn’t tediously reading every label, ALL the time or asking enough of the right questions. It seemed no matter how much I educated myself on the do’s & don’ts, the effects of cross contamination, read all the labels, I was still getting sick.
Restaurant Glutening and CROSS CONTAMINATION is a huge problem, especially with items that have the little GF next to it. The actual ingredients they use might not have gluten but where its prepared, the pans they cook it on or the utensils used, may. Not to mention, just like we assume sometimes something is gluten free without checking, so might the kitchen staff. You cannot expect someone else to know more about your disease than you do.
Here’s a few food examples of what to look out for:
- imitation crab meat, lobster, etc…
- sauces/dressings (wheat is used as thickening
- iced tea may contain barley
- sausages/meatballs (wheat is used as binder)
- a ‘roll their eyes’ type of waiter who might not
take you seriously
Misc. Products that may contain wheat:
- multi vitamin
- aspirin coating/medications
- cough syrup/cough drops
- face cream/bathroom items
- pet food
- products that say GF but made in wheat facility
using shared equipment
If sharing a kitchen with a gluten person then you need to take extra precaution with:
- pots n pans
- shared plates,
- cutting board
- counter crumbs
- shared food like: peanut butter and jelly, butter, cream cheese, potato chips, etc…
I suggest getting gluten-free labels for your home so it is easier for everyone to distinguish what is what. Click on picture below.
There is ‘hidden wheat’ everywhere and I mean everywhere, plus all the different names wheat can be called by:
- Triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye)
- Barley Malt
- Duram (durum)
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Rusk(a fancy way of saying bread crumbs)
Here are catch phrases to look for and use caution with:
- Binder or binding
- Gum base
- Modified starch
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Thickener or thickening
- Carmel Color
- Natural Flavors
*Please contact the producer/processor/manufacturer if you have any questions
Here’s a pretty extensive list of ingredients that my contain gluten.
Be cautious, be smart and leery with taking chances and rolling the dice with something you are unsure of. There is a great phone app I use called, Fooducate, it’s brilliant. I can scan the bar codes on items while shopping and it will tell exactly what ingredients they contain. It scans for gluten as well as many other allergens.
“Celiac Disease is NOT an unhealthy response to healthy food but a healthy response to unhealthy food”
Always Read Labels. If you can’t read labels, then ask questions. If you don’t get the answer that you are looking for, then DON’T EAT IT!
I won’t lie and say it is easy and not frustrating, because it isn’t easy and it can be really frustrating sometimes.
- Dealing with family members or friends that don’t take you seriously or do not really understand; be patient, educate them and remember it is your health on the line not theirs.
- Skipping meals because there is nothing you can eat and you didn’t pack your own snacks.
- Still feeling sick and not being able to figure out the source(s) that glutened you.
- And then of course there’s the sheer overwhelming magnitude of it all that can make you feel alone, misunderstood or depressed.
Everywhere I turn I have to worry about eating the wrong thing or relying on people who have little or no true knowledge of what gluten-free means and the serious consequences of what glutening someone can cause.
It does get easier as far as understanding how and what to eat. There is so much support out there through Celiac Foundations, Twitter, Facebook… I have to say I am pretty proud of our community coming together with the support, knowledge and education provided. All you have to do is reach out and someone will be there to help guide you through.