What is Gluten? Setting the Record Straight for Celiac Awareness Month

What is Gluten? Setting the Record Straight for Celiac Awareness Month
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

WE LOVE THE Jimmy Kimmel video titled ‘What is Gluten?’! In case you missed it, we’ll give you a quick recap. A reporter over at Jimmy Kimmel asked a number of people if they were on a gluten free diet. They all answered yes, yet could not define gluten. That’s right, people are avoiding gluten but they have no idea what it really is or is not. While the video clip hits on the lack of food and nutrition knowledge of many Americans, EALM feels it is necessary to educate the public! So here you go!

 

 

Gluten is made up of two proteins known as gliadin and glutenin. Gluten is the “glue” that holds most baked goods together and is found in wheat, rye, barley, and contaminated oats. While it may seem easy to some to cut gluten out of your diet, gluten has a way of sneaking into foods unnoticed.

Photo Credit: me'nthedogs via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: me’nthedogs via Compfight cc

Here’s a list of ingredients that contain gluten [i][ii]:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Farro/Faro
  • Graham flour
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Kamut (a type of wheat)
  • Malt, malt extract, malt syrup, and malt flavoring
  • Malt vinegar
  • Malted milk
  • Modified wheat starch
  • Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, and whole oats (unless they are from pure, uncontaminated oats and properly labeled as gluten-free)
  • Rye bread and flour
  • Seitan (A meat-like food derived from wheat gluten used in many vegetarian dishes)
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Wheat bran, flour, germ, or starch
Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc

Gluten can also be lurking in the following food items, so be sure to read the label when shopping to ensure that you’re getting a gluten-free product1, 2.

  • Breading and bread stuffing
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Broth or stocks (including beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Candy
  • Cooking sprays (especially baking varieties)
  • Cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, sausage
  • Communion wafers
  • Dried fruits (some can be covered in flour to prevent sticking)
  • French fries
  • Gravy
  • Imitation fish (surimi)
  • Licorice
  • Ketchups (be sure to read the label)
  • Matzo, matzo meal
  • Rice mixes (pre-boxed)
  • Sauces
  • Seasoned meat and poultry
  • Seasoned tempeh and tofu
  • Seasoned potato or tortilla chips
  • Soy milks (some varieties)
  • Soy sauce
  • Tamari sauce
  • Teriyaki sauce

 

 

For more information on all things gluten including Celiac Disease, gluten free grocery shopping, label regulations and gluten free nutrition, check out the following list of blogs:

 

All About Gluten: Your Questions Answered

New FDA Ruling Making Waves in Gluten Free Community

Eating Healthfully When Gluten Free

Navigating the Gluten Free Aisle: A Guide to GF Shopping

 

 

 


[i] Case, Shelley. Gluten-free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Regina: Case Nutrition Consulting, 2002. Print.

[ii] Thompson, Tricia. The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide. McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.

 

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