Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Bit About Gluten and Its Imps

If you're reading this, chances are GLUTEN is akin to a dirty word in your vocabulary. Because it makes us so sick, it is not at all presumptious to say that if we see a gluten containing grain in the ingredients for food, it may as well just say 'dirt', 'bugs' or 'cat dander'. Some of us would no sooner eat those things than we would a product with gluten.

Knowing our digestive enemy has many faces besides wheat, we need to become familiar with this enemy of the broken and wrecked system of the Celiac/Food Allergy/Intolerant.

The following is an extremely informative article about gluten. I strongly recommend that you read it:

In short, gluten is found in many different grains including, but not limited to, wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye and oats (there are gluten free oats made by Bob's Red Mill).

Typically, the 'safe' grains are rice, quinoa (keenwa), corn, buckwheat (not a wheat at all), millet and some gluten free oats.

Gluten is also found hidden in many strange places: MSG, chips, sodas, salad dressings, lunchmeats, commercial cereals, candy bars, gum, mints, taco seasoning and the list could go on for paragraphs.

Amazingly, some poultry has gluten in it. I always buy Foster Farms chicken and Tyson also has a '100% natural' brand that is also safe.

Lunchmeats: Most are not safe....but Hormel has some, along with a really good nitrate free bacon that are allergy free called 'Natural Choice'. I find them at Walmart and locally at Fred Myer. Jeni-o sells an allergy free lunchmeat, but it is 8.99 a pound at your local deli. Your best bet, unless it is labeled otherwise, is to stay away from meats with broth, unless it's labeled 'gluten free'

Also, Pacific Broth is the only trusted Gluten Free broth. I find it at Walmart and locally at Winco, and Fred's. The best price is at Costco by the case.

And be sure to check all your condiments. 'Natural Flavors' can be gluten.

Gluten Free products I like:

Tinkyada pasta

Cocoa Loco or Very Berry bars (all allergy free as well)

Enjoy Life bagels

Van's waffles

Imagine Beef Broth

EnerG Pretzels

Gorilla Munch, Panda Puff's or Koala Crisp cereal by Envirokids

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats (though, if you're really sensitive, this may bother you too, but may be more of a digestive issue).

La Choy soy sauce is wheat free.

Any Enjoy Life foods

Chex Brand only rice and corn chex

Enjoy Life chocolate chips are dairy, gluten, egg and soy free. If soy is not a big issue, Guittard chocolate chips are also great.

To help you in your gluten free adventure, below are some links to some very helpful websites.

Happy Getting Rid of Gluten!


smilinggreenmom said...

Great info :) Our little boy has had food allergies since he was a baby and I know how hard it can be. I noticed you had Kamut down for gluten - but I was wondering if you had heard about how Kamut can be actually tolerated by some with gluten intolerance because it is an ancient wheat and different fro today's varieties? I read that and just thought I would see if you had. Anyway - love your post, thanks :)

Mrs. Rohmance said...

Thank you!

As for Kamut, I did not know that. I was told, for Celiac's sake, to stay away from it. I think it may be similar to oats - supposedly, those that are labeled 'gluten free' are considered safe, but I still cannot eat even those. It is nice, however, to discover for those who are intolerant that one more grain may be a possibility for their diet. Ah, variety!

Kimberly said...

Thank you for taking the time to put all this information together and in one place. Very helpful and fun to see what other Gluten Free gals are using in their kitchens. We all get in a rut sometimes and need the new ideas.