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Issue 95: Navigating the Gluten-Free Landscape

Gluten in and of itself is not inherently bad, but it can turn ugly when gluten proteins and gluten-derived peptides encounter the immune system. For some, gluten intake—even in minute amounts or hidden food places—can lead to an immune response that attacks the gut and more. In short, for those people, the body creates antibodies to fight off gluten, thinking it’s a foreign invader.

Here’s what happens and why those who are sensitive to gluten must stay away from it. When the immune system attacks, it damages the small intestine’s membrane, leaving holes in the membrane that can let in large proteins. Once through the ravaged intestinal membranes, the large gluten molecules enter the bloodstream, which carries the gluten system-wide in the body. Wherever those gluten molecules settle in the body, that’s where the immune system attacks—which is why those with gluten sensitivity can experience unhealthy effects in the intestines and even way beyond the gut.

Being gluten-free necessitates being on the lookout for foods containing gluten—and they’re everywhere, including obvious gluten-packed foods as well as more obscure foods. And remember…there simply is no safe amount for those who are gluten-sensitive. Here are some foods to avoid if you’re on the gluten-free track:

Foods with Gluten
Breads
Rolls
Biscuits
Croissants
Doughnuts
Flour tortillas
Chicken nuggets
Croutons
Breaded fish or other breaded foods
Hamburger buns
Waffles
Bagels
Ice cream cones
Pastas
Fried vegetables
Graham crackers
Crackers
Pretzels
Pita bread
Corn bread
French fries (if frozen or coated)
Toast
Stuffing
Cereals
Pizza
Cookies
Pies
Cakes
Pastries
Cupcakes

Foods with Hidden Gluten
Salad dressings
Cold cuts
Bleu cheese (may be made with bread)
Sauces
Marinades
Conventional yogurt
Meat loaf
Soy burgers
Dry-roasted nuts (processing agents may contain wheat)
Meat and fish pastes
Syrups
Ice cream
Sherbet
Commercial bouillon
Fruit fillings
Custard
Gum
Pudding
Conventional stock
Sour cream
Self-basting turkeys
Soy sauce
Teriyaki sauce
Root beer
Commercial chocolate milk
Licorice
Baked beans
Some soups (may include flour)
Inexpensive chocolate
Instant coffee
Non-dairy creamer
Some lipsticks
Some toothpastes
Some supplements
Some medicines
Some cough drops
White pepper
Chutneys and pickles
Mustard (dry mustard powder contains gluten)
Some potato chips
Powdered gravy and sauce mixes
Alcohol products made from grains
Crumbled toppings
Sausage
Imitation crab meat
Some spice mixtures

 

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.


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