Gluten-Free Simplicity

Useful Info, Tasty Anecdotes and Simple Recipes for Attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity

Learning to Read Food Labels Can Probably Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on November 15, 2008

21. Learning to Read Food Labels Can Probably Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Why?  Because it can help one prevent accidental Gluten exposure.  It can also serve as a gradual way for a person to learn about which foods are safe and which foods are not.  Theoretically, the more one knows or the larger ones repertoire of safe and unsafe foods is; the more simple ones life can me.

  There are those who offer commercial food label analysis, probably for a fee.  i suppose one could contract with such a firm to do one food checking if one can afford that.

  On the other hand, there are other ways.  One can learn a few new terms of ingredients to watch out for.  Then it is just a matter of reading the food labels.  From the Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology website, comes a list of various ingredients to watch out for.  Some contain Gluten and some where made with processes that may have exposed them to Gluten-Containing Ingredients.  Some of these words on a given food label might not necessarily mean that the product contains Gluten, but there should raise red flags which should tell you to consume with caution or better still, to get better information before consuming.  I have alphabetized this list in order to possibly make it easier to remember:

  • Barley.
  • Emulsifier.
  • Flavoring. 
  • Flour or Cereal products, unless made with pure rice flour, corn flour, potato flour, or soy flour.
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein.
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), unless made from soy or corn.
  • Malt vinegar, Malt or Malt Flavoring unless derived from corn.
  • Modified Starch or Modified Food Starch unless arrowroot, corn, potato, tapioca, waxy maize, or maize is used.
  • Oats.
  • Rye.
  • Vegetable Gum unless vegetable gums are carob bean gum, locust bean gum, cellulose gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gum aracia, gum tragacanth, xanthan gum, or vegetable starch.
  • Vegetable Protein unless made from soy or corn.
  • Wheat.
  • Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids unless you know they do not contain wheat.
  • Stabilizer.
  • Starch. 

  There are also those concerned about the reliability of current food labelling  and the issue of  whether or not the label “Gluten Free” really means just that.  Apparently, the U.S. Government allows products with a certain amount of Gluten to still be labelled as “Gluten-Free”.  Go Figure!!!

  So, yes, there is a bit to learn in order to become an efficient and reliable food label scanner, but I promise that this process will become easier as one grows accustomed to it.

  In the meantime, as one is learning to scan food labels for Gluten-related ingredients and processes, one can also begin to make note of other issues such as “Fat”, “Carbohydrates”, “Sugars” and other health-related ingredients.

  Hopefully, practicing such a skill will make ones life easier as one attains Gluten-Free Simplicity.


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