If you are like me and have to watch that you totally avoid gluten products, then this might be something you should read. (Please keep in mind I am not in the medical field and do not propose you do anything I mention unless you check with your own medical team first.)
I am not Celiac but have a serious intolerance of gluten and all gluten products. So when I go out to a restaurant and ask the server if there are any “wheat products or gluten” in a particular item, they usually have to go to the kitchen and check. If you are Celiac – RUN!
Well, that still might not be enough!
I was recently watching an episode of The Doctors, and they mentioned they did some research on restaurants that claim to have a “Gluten Free” menu, but when The Doctors checked it out, they found that they ALL had gluten “cross-contamination” going on with their so called “Gluten Free” menu items.
This is not acceptable and you and I need to be very aware of this problem.
The only way a restaurant is totally Gluten Free is if they only cook/bake and serve a totally Gluten Free menu. Why, because Gluten is a protein and no amount of washing, or cleaning will get rid of the gluten on utensils, cookers, pots and pans, or ovens. The only way you can be sure you are going to get a totally gluten free finished product is if it is prepared with utensils, pots and pans, ovens, cookers, and/or toasters that are dedicated to Gluten Free cooking/baking. If they use the same equipment to make your “Gluten Free” meal as their regular menu, then they have cross-contaminated it and you will be “Glutened” plain and simple.
What foods have gluten in them? Other than the obvious – all forms of wheat, bread, crackers, pasta, and cereals. Some you would be very surprised to know – breakfast foods like pancakes, waffles, bagels, rye bread, french toast, biscuits and crepes; imitation crab (pollock is made with flour); brewers yeast; anything malt – malted vinegar, malted milk, milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, and malt flavoring; sauces and gravy; breadcrumbs; beer; many forms of liquor including vodka; potato chips; candy and candy bars; energy bars and granola bars; french fries; most meat substitutes; soy sauce; pre-seasoned meats; soups and stews – flour used to thicken; self-basting poultry; brown rice syrup; cheesecake filling; eggs served in a restaurant (they may use pancake mix in scrambled and omelettes), eggs themselves are naturally gluten free. You also have to watch your medications as they may also have gluten content, so make sure you check with your pharmacist. So there you have it – at least a partial list, but somewhat scary when you think you are watching out for gluten. It presents itself in many forms, so once again, please read your labels when shopping and be aware of the possibilities when eating out.
Unless an establishment says they are totally “Gluten Free”, which means they do not make anything that contains gluten in any form, you will have to be very cautious.
If you are gluten intolerant, and you are glutened, you will likely have either the same reaction as if you were glutened (gas, bloating, stomach upset, headache, or pain somewhere else in your body), or a slightly less reaction, but you will react. That’s why when I’ve been out for dinner and I come home feeling the way I would if I had eaten glutenous foods (mine is an allergic reaction), I now know why, and you will too.
Have a fantastic day and week ahead.