Over 3 million Americans claim to follow a gluten free diet. While only 25% have a medical reason to avoid gluten, like having celiac disease or IBS, the majority choose to avoid it for personal reasons. With the increase on low-carb diets like Atkins, Keto, and Paleo, and the recent health studies shaming it, avoiding gluten is becoming an increasingly popular idea.
While everyone knows that gluten is primarily in breads and pastries, there are a few hidden sources found in products you would otherwise think to be safe. Please watch out for the following…
1. Malt Milkshakes
I’m sure everyone has had a malted milkshake before, but did you know that malt powder is directly derived from barely, which is a common gluten containing grain. So next time be careful when you see the word “Malt.”
2. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is one that most people don’t realize it contains gluten until you fully read the label. All soy sauces (and sauces made with soy sauce) contain wheat. They use wheat during the brewing process, therefore taking away the GF label.
3. Canned soup
Canned soup is another widely unknown source of gluten. They add wheat flour to make the soup thicker and creamier, so read the ingredient label carefully. (Cream of ___, Tomato, Chicken and Noodle, ETC.) all contain gluten, so just make sure to pick up a gluten free version next time at the store.
4 – 5. Meatballs and Meatloaf
Most packaged, store-bought, and restaurant made Meatballs/Meatloaf contain gluten. The standard recipe for creating meatballs usually call for taking bread crumbs, or something similar, and combining it with the meat. The same goes for meatloaf, most people add crackers to it. So, just remember to look at the label or ask the chef if there are any sort of special add in ingredients!
Gravy is literally made by whisking milk into flour! So unless you use a GF flour, there is no getting around this one!
7. Salad Dressings
Again, flour is commonly used to thicken sauces, soups, and other recipes, so just be sure to read the salad dressing labels or ask the chefs before. My general rule for dressings is (Creamy, thick = Not safe) (vinagrettes, clear = usually OK)
8 – 9. Gummy Bears and Licorice
Believe it or not, most candy companies add wheat to their gummies or licorice. The gelatin they use is usually derived from wheat, and the candy companies add it to hold their licorice together! (Twizzlers and Haribo are usually not GF)
Note: fries are naturally gluten free, but they are almost always cross- contaminated (fried in the same oil as wheat containing foods). Therefore fries you can bake at home are always gluten free, but fries at a restaurant are normally not. Just be sure to ask where they are fried! ( Chick-Fil-A frys it separately, so it is GF ), but ( McDonalds put gluten containing flavoring on their fries, so they are NOT GF )