Gluten, the Sneaky Ingredient

Wheat, and therefore gluten, is surprisingly prevalent in food and drink.  Anyone who is gluten intolerant has no doubt had to eliminate a number of favorites from their diet after discovering, much to their chagrin, that it contained wheat in some form.  There are the obvious ones like pasta, which is often made from durum wheat or some such.  Bread and pastries of all types also contain wheat, obviously, and in fact celiacs don’t really have many good choices in good bread.  Most gluten-free bread sold commercially is heavy as a brick and about as solid, making it rather undesirable.  One way out of this dilemma is to purchase gluten-free bread mix from someplace like Whole Foods and bake it yourself.

Apart from the obvious food and drink containing gluten, there are some surprising ones as well.  Some soft drinks, like Coca-Cola, contain a small amount of gluten because of the caramel color in it.  Soy sauce often contains caramel color as well.  Some types of mustard contain wheat ingredients, and so does black licorice in some cases.  Breakfast cereals made from oats, like Cheerios, should be treated as suspect, at least until tested.  Seasoning can perhaps be the most surprising of all, as it can contain wheat starch.  Some spirits contain gluten, such as beer, whiskey, and vodka, being distilled from grain.

There are many more foods and drinks which contain gluten and celiacs are advised to always read the list of ingredients before consuming, and barring that, to employ good, common sense.

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Published in: on September 19, 2009 at 12:35 PM  Leave a Comment  

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