The foods that contain the most gluten are very common in our lives because these foods are cheap, easy to prepare and eat. Furthermore, the gluten in wheat, barley and rye actually consists of two proteins : gliadin and glutenin. When the two combine during the cooking process, they form a thick, elastic, glue-like substance that provides bread and other baked goods with elasticity and attractive texture.
Gluten also helps to raise the dough by trapping the bubbles (literally gluing) from the yeast fermentation inside the dough itself, allowing the dough to rise into a light, airy bun . Unfortunately, the gluten proteins in other grains don’t provide that same ability, which is why it’s so hard to find a decent gluten -free bread .
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It is these qualities in baked goods that have given rise to the popularity of modern wheat (and, to a lesser extent, barley and rye). In fact, modern wheat was bred to contain much more gluten than older wheat varieties such as Einkorn wheat and spelled wheat , which makes modern wheat more toxic to those of us who react to gluten .
If you’ve heard that gluten comes from wheat , rye, and barley, you can assume that oatmeal is gluten -free . It would be if it wasn’t contaminated (often highly contaminated) with gluten from the cultivation, harvesting and transport of oats. And that means products that contain oatmeal, like granola and granola, aren’t gluten -free unless it’s specified that they are.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to find gluten -free ice cream , but you have to be careful. Most commonly, gluten is found when ice cream contains added ingredients such as cookies or cookie dough. But it’s not unheard of for flour to be used as a thickener, so always check the ingredients or ask at an ice cream shop.
When you’re at an ice cream shop you also have to ask about possible cross-contacts if they’re using the same spoon for gluten-containing and gluten-free flavors . And remember that cones are not gluten free .
One of the MOST Gluten-Containing Foods is beer , light beer and harder liqueurs are all made with gluten -containing grains . It is vitally important to reduce or eliminate alcohol from your diet at the first sign of gluten intolerance .
Canned (or boxed) soup
Some soups obviously contain gluten , like chicken noodle soup, but other soups may surprise you, like tomato soup and cream of chicken soup. Never assume a soup is gluten free . That’s why canned soup is one of the MOST Gluten-Containing Foods.
Imitation seafood, which can be used in sushi, often contains gluten , and so do vegetarian meat substitutes such as veggie burgers.
It’s easy to assume that snack foods, which are usually made from potatoes or corn, are gluten -free . Most of them are, but not all. Some flavored fries (especially barbecue flavored) and all Pringles contain Gluten . And there are several other snacks such as Sun Chips and multi-grain tortillas that are not gluten -free .
It’s just chicken, right? Wrong. I think all roast chickens have some spices/flavoring added to them. Some are gluten free and some are not. Look for brands that say they are gluten -free and read the ingredients (sometimes listed on the bottom of the roast chicken package, making it difficult to read).
I list this first because it is very commonly used and often surprises people. I know it surprised me, but many brands of soy sauce contain wheat . Also, be on the lookout for other sauces that include soy sauce as part of the ingredients, such as teriyaki and marinades.
A lot of candies are gluten free , but a lot is not. One that often surprises people is Twizzlers that contain wheat . Wheat can also be found in other sweets (like butterscotch custards), and don’t forget barley malt that appears in things like malt balls. You also need to be careful about cross-contaminating shared equipment, especially with chocolates.
Individual herbs and spices are gluten -free , but when you start mixing spices, especially the packaged type (like chili seasoning), you need to be careful. Because this mixture can become one of the foods that contain the MOST Gluten.
It’s easy to assume that rice products are gluten -free . While many rice cereals do not contain wheat , they usually contain malt flavoring which is made from barley and contains gluten . There is also a high risk of cross-contamination with many brands.
A Note About Eating Out
Eating out at restaurants can be particularly challenging if you have a gluten intolerance , but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat out. You should be able to avoid gluten candy if you stick to the same types of items you eat at home, like grilled meats and steamed vegetables. Foods to avoid in restaurants include fried foods, certain sauces, or anything that has been fried in the same pan with one of the MOST Gluten-Containing Foods .
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Celiac disease requires extra care when eating out. Make sure dietary restrictions are communicated to the chef in advance. Certain restaurants are almost certainly out of the question for those on a gluten -free diet , including fast food restaurants, buffets, salad bars, and most bakeries. On the other hand, some establishments, such as vegetarian restaurants, cater to the gluten – free diet . Some restaurants also have areas dedicated to gluten -free prep and cooking , but calling to confirm is always a good idea.