Gluten Free Holiday Meal ... Surprising Sources of Gluten

If you are new to a GLUTEN FREE DIET or are welcoming someone into your house to share a meal and need to figure out what is gluten free that you can prepare, this list will provide you with some ideas of what to avoid. The dictionary defines gluten as a substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is
responsible for the elastic texture of dough. A mixture of two proteins,
it causes illness in people with Celiac Disease. I will help you gain more specificity about what to avoid. For me, eating gluten free is about what I CAN eat; it is not about what I cannot.

When I first started eating a gluten free diet the choices were limited, many were packed with sugar, and the prices were very high. Today, there are more choices, products are more nutritious, and the prices have moderated. 

Yes, you CAN have Thanksgiving without gluten!

Surprising Places Gluten is Hiding:

  1. Licorice - read the label. Some brands use wheat flour for the consistency.

  2. Flavored Potato Chips - wheat starch may be a part of the flavoring to bind the flavors to the chip. A potato chip is gluten free, until this process. 

  3. Worchestershire Sauce - often contains malt vinegar which is made from barley. Ask your server in a restaurant to make sure the Caesar Salad is OK for you. At home, use a product made from distilled white vinegar. 

  4. Sushi - the sushi itself is gluten free. The soy sauce is not. Make sure yours is not made with soy, or a gluten free soy is used. 

  5. Miso - May be made with barley, rice, or beans. Check labels to make sure you purchase a product made with rice or beans. 

  6. Seasoning Mixes - As mentioned above with the potato chips, many seasonings include wheat so you need to read the label. NOT ALL seasoning mixes have gluten, but all are worth the read. 

  7. Deli Meats - some contain fillers and flavorings with wheat. Read the labels to make sure you are getting a product you can eat. Many store clearly label the gluten free products on the shelf.

  8. Salad Dressings - many use wheat or barley to create a thick consistency. Check the labels. You can always use oil and vinegar!

  9. Sausage, Meatballs, Burgers - many pre-made meat products contain fillers to "stretch the dollar" and help increase profit. Read the labels and ask servers in a restaurant. At home, you can control the fillers used to "stretch your dollar" and use gluten free bread crumbs, gluten free oats, or ground flx seeds. 

  10. Rice Mixes - rice is gluten free but many packaged or restaurant prepared rice mixes contain pasta. Read labels and ask servers!

  11. Medicines - many medicines include gluten in the formulation. Read labels, check with a pharmacist, or contact the manufacturer. 

  12. Personal Care Products - read the labels to avoid exposure to gluten. 

What are Common Sources of Gluten?

You can do a search online and find lists and lists. People have even created extensive lists of safe candy for holidays. Some of the most common include:

  • Wheat ... cracked wheat...wheat starch...wheat bran

  • Barley

  • Bulger

  • Rye

  • Couscous

  • Faro

  • Einkorn

  • Kamut

  • Matzo

  • Semolina

  • Spelt

For more information read 10 Surprising Gluten Containing Foods at Delicious Living.

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