Mostly everyone in the world has a gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity when they consume food. When it comes to food that has the gluten compound, most people read the labels on the products that contain it and have cut the compound out of their diets completely. However, did you know that different foods and products have hidden gluten in them? Even though now and days we read labels from products, as well as, cutting off the source of the problem that is making us ill. Hidden additives like gluten, even in small amounts, can cause problems to those that are allergic or sensitive to the compound. Especially when it comes to the product itself, some regulations may or may not be required to label products that contain gluten.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the main protein that is found in many grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is formed by two proteins which are glutenin and gliadin. And the word “gluten” is Latin for “glue” and when mixed with water, it rises and stretches. Most gluten can be found in some bread, pasta, cereal, and beer.
But in this article, we are going to inform you 8 products that have hidden gluten. Because here at Injury Medical Clinic, we take the time to talk with our patients on what ails their bodies and work on discovering what kind of food allergen or food sensitivity they may have. As well as, finding alternatives to prevent inflammation in their bodies.
8 Products with Hidden Gluten
Medications: Yes, you’ve read that correctly, there is gluten in medication. Surprisingly though, a lot of prescription medicine contains excipients (containing gluten) that actually binds the pills together. This is mostly found in generic over the counter medications but the labeling for the ingredients are not always there.
However, labeling standards are changing due to the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019. This was proposed on April 3, 2019, and introduced by Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tom Cole (R-OK). The bill’s intent was to make it easier to identify gluten in prescription medicine and it is telling drug manufacturers that it is required to label medications with the list of their ingredients, their sources and whether the gluten compound is present.
Hopefully with enough signatures and votes that the bill will be passed, however, if you are taking medication and the labels look different; always verify with a pharmacist to see if it is correct. Plus, you can always talk with your pharmacist to confirm that your medicine is gluten-free, so that way you won’t get a bad reaction from it.
Sauces and gravy: Everybody loves any sauces and gravies in the meals they prepared and are excellent in mash potatoes and Thanksgiving dinners. But sauces like soy or teriyaki do contain wheat protein, hydrolyzed wheat starch or wheat flour. While others sometimes contain soy sauce or malt vinegar.
In any recipe that contains a type of sauce for the food you are preparing, especially in creamy sauces and gravies, mostly requires a roux; which is wheat flour mixed with butter. So, whenever you are at your favorite restaurant or have a favorite meal to prepare, get familiar with the sauces, so that way you can know that if they are gluten-free or not.
Starches: When we think of starches, our minds go to the potatoes. However, wheat can also be found in starches and starch derivatives. So, whenever you are looking at products that are starchy, look at the ingredient labels and for terms like “wheat starch”, “hydrolyzed wheat starch”, or “contains wheat.”
In order for starches that contain wheat starch to be gluten-free, the wheat compound must remove to less than 20 ppm. And especially in FDA regulated food labels, if the product says “contain wheat”, it is not safe. But food labels don’t apply to barley, rye, or oats, still continue to read the ingredient labels in the case for the wheat compound and if it is not there then the product is safe. For gluten-free starches for those who don’t want to miss out, tapioca starch, rice starch, and potato starch are perfect for frying.
Brown Rice Syrup: This type of sweetener is made from fermented brown rice with enzymes or from barley, which breaks down the starch and transforms it into sugar. Sadly though, this sweetener is not gluten-free and it can be used on its own or be used as an ingredient in a multi-ingredient product. Some companies use brown rice syrup in their products by listing it as “barley” or “barley malt.” And it is a bit problematic for those who have a gluten allergen to this sweetener.
Soups: Who doesn’t love soups. Soup is there for us when we are sick and for comfort when it gets really cold in the fall and winter seasons. But companies use wheat flour or wheat starch as a thickener for those creamier soups that we love in a can and those thickeners can be hidden in the ingredients label. So, if you want pre-packaged soup bases and canned soups for those colder seasons, be sure to read the labels carefully, especially for those creamed-based soup bases and bouillons because they might contain gluten.
Salad dressings: Did you know that many standard salad dressings can wheat flour, soy, or malt vinegar? Not only that but it can contain wheat or gluten-containing additives as a thickener. Plus salad dressings often have artificial colors, flavorings and many other additives that can contain gluten as a sub ingredient. However, if you want to be safe and not have gluten in your salad dressings, simply put in olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper, and you got yourself a gluten-free salad dressing.
Chips and fries: Chips and fries are the staples for a good burger or hot dog on every barbeque events and parties. Yes, the potato that makes the chips and fries are gluten-free; but the seasonings like malt vinegar and wheat starch do contain gluten. And when we are frying cut potatoes into French fries and chips; the oil that is used to make them can be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing fried foods.
Processed meats: Meat is most likely to be the last place you think that has gluten. However, processed hamburger patties, meatballs, meatloaf, sausages, and deli meats contain gluten. Wheat-based fillers are used to either improve the texture of the meat or bind the meat together. Plus, seasoned or marinated eats can sometimes contain hydrolyzed wheat protein or soy sauce with breadcrumbs are added to bulk up the product.
So if you are at the grocery store getting some food for dinner or meal prepping, it is important to actually read the labeling of the products that you are buying. Whether you have a food allergy or food sensitivity to gluten or any food products, we here at Injury Medical Clinic, listen to what is causing our patients pain to their bodies and offer solutions to fix whatever ailments that the problem is causing.