10 Hidden Sources of Gluten
April 1st, 2013
Whether you are new to the world of gluten sensitivities, or you’ve been gluten-free for years, it is important to watch out for hidden sources of gluten. Gluten causes inflammation and damage to the intestines, so by eliminating opportunities of gluten contimation you may reduce your risk of inflammation and the unwanted symptoms of getting “glutened.” To arm you with the resources for a healthy and happy lifestyle, here is a list of the 10 places gluten could be hiding.
10 Hidden Sources of Gluten
1. Medications, Supplements, and Herbal Formulas
Gluten can be found in medication, supplements and herbal formulas if they contain ingredients such as hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, Triticum lipids, malt extract, or sodium laurolyl (an amino acid from oat).1 Many oral capsules also contain fillers, absorbents, protectants, binders, and lubricators such as dextrin or a starch, which can come from corn or wheat. Luckily, there are several websites such as this one that will list medications and supplements that are gluten-free. In addition to the websites listing gluten-free medications, supplements, and herbal formulas, you can trust that my supplements, all of which are gluten-free, are held to the highest standard, and we are always happy to help you navigate the world of gluten-free supplements so that you can protect your health.`
2. Playdough and Paint
The brightly colored fake dough that children play with is not as harmless as you may think. Primary ingredients of the brand-name products include flour, water, salt, borax, and mineral oil. They even smell like malted, yeasty bread dough! Playdoughs are even more concerning because if a child who is sensitive to gluten or has a gluten allergy touches play dough, they’re also more likely to digest it by moving their fingers to their mouths, nose, or eyes.
Paints are also known to contain ingredients such as wheat and oats (not to mention dyes!), and I know I’m not alone in the knowledge that paint rarely stays between the paintbrush and the canvas. Avoid store-bought play dough and paint, and find recipes online to miss all the gluten, without missing all the fun.
3. Stamps and Envelopes
Despite claims that envelopes and stamps have gluten-free adhesives (instead made with a corn-derived glue), there is still the possibility of contamination. When it comes to stamps and envelopes, it’s best to handle them with caution. Never use your tongue to wet the adhesive material on envelopes. Use a damp sponge or towel instead, and wash your hands afterward. Better safe than glutened!
4. Body and Beauty products
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body because your skin absorbs many toxins and gluten—it’s your biggest organ! Beauty products are full of questionable ingredients such as dyes, parabens, and phthalates. Now you also have to keep your eyes peeled for ingredients containing gluten. Shampoo, toothpaste, lipsticks, lotion, and soap are some of the most common offenders with ingredients such as wheat germ, avenue sativa, and tritium aestivum. Navigating the maze of beauty products is hard enough without gluten sensitivity. To keep my life simpler, I stick with brands I trust. Beautycounter is a clean-beauty brand that is toxin-free, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.
Avoiding candy is a no-brainer when you want to reverse an autoimmune condition so it may come as no surprise that there could be another inflammatory component to sugar-laden sweets. A familiar bear-shaped candy contains glucose syrup and dextrose, both derived from “wheat or corn.” I wouldn’t risk it. Would you? If you do reach for a store-bought sugar-bomb—which I do NOT recommend—make sure you’re reading the ingredients. There are a few vibrant, red, gummy twists that list “enriched wheat flour” as an ingredient. Do yourself a favor and try a homemade gummy to ensure that you know what is going in your body.
6. Sauces and Condiments
If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you should be aware of the sauces that can be disastrous to your gut health. Gluten is in many tomato-based sauces and dressings. Once again, I recommend sticking with a homemade version of your favorite sauce. If you’re crunched for time (or looking for a convenient way to add some flavor to your meal), opt for a brand that is clearly gluten-free, and even then read the ingredients.
Avoid any kind of soy sauce altogether. Not only does it have the word “soy” in the name, but soy sauce is also about 40% wheat-derived ingredients. Stick to coconut aminos to season your Asian dishes.
7. Lunch Meat, Crab, and Vegan ‘Meat’
I cannot recommend unprocessed, real, whole foods enough, and meat is no exception. Cheap deli meats, imitation crab, and vegan ‘meat’ have all been known to contain “wheat gluten” on their list of ingredients. Nourish your body with organic, grass-fed red meat, pasture-raised poultry, and wild-caught fish and shellfish. You can make a delicious sandwich or get a grain-free sushi roll, without the risk of contaminating your body with gluten and other additives.
It’s common knowledge that beer is made with gluten, but did you know that distilled liquor such as vodka can also be made from wheat? If you feel like you absolutely have to drink alcohol, try a mixed drink with tequila, or a vodka you know was made from potato.
9. Scrambled Eggs
You may not even suspect that your scrambled eggs have a sneaky ingredient in them. Some restaurants add pancake batter to make their scrambled eggs fluffier, and if you can believe it, there are even establishments that buy a packaged egg-product already containing batter.
Going out to eat is tricky enough with a gluten-sensitivity, and now, not even scrambled eggs may be safe. Speak with your server or the cook about what the ingredients are from everything in eggs to the marinade for chicken breast. Always ask questions if you’re dining out, and never be afraid to call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure that there are gluten-free options available.
10. Mashed Potatoes
Even the most sacred comfort food can wreak havoc on your gut health. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to check the ingredients. Whether you’re having dinner at a friend’s house and they’ve made a beautiful bowl of fluffy, mashed potatoes, or you are pulling a boxed-food off the shelf, be aware the mashed potatoes can have added ingredients such as flour or wheat starch to give them a cloud-like texture, or to work as a binder or preservative.
Never be afraid to ask questions about what you’re putting in an on your body. You have the power to make a huge difference to the health of your family, friends, and to own self. You can find more information about the ingredients that gluten hides behind here so that you can stay informed and prevent any chance of getting glutened.
More On Gluten
We want to empower you to discover how gluten affects your body and how to thrive without this inflammatory food in your diet. You can take our Guide to Gluten eCourse and get an outline for a proven method that will help you determine your body’s reaction to gluten, and provide an amazing number of resources including worksheets, shopping guides, and checklists that you can complete in the comfort of your home. The more worksheets and checklists you complete, the more helpful and effective this eCourse will be for you. With this 4-hour eCourse you can get a detailed understanding of gluten, AND understand the tools you need to enjoy a gluten-free lifestyle. The course discusses gluten and its effect on the gut, and how to test for gluten sensitivity and treatment options. Additionally, this eCourse provides you with the BEST information about how to avoid gluten and all of its hidden sources.
The Myers Way Guide to Gluten eCourse includes:
- 4 hours of information and worksheets
- Gluten-containing foods list
- Signs you have a gluten sensitivity
- How to test for gluten sensitivity
- Gluten sensitivity risk factors
- Symptom tracker
- Gluten-free grocery list
- Gluten-free travel tips
After participating in our Guide to Gluten eCourse you will find out how incredible it feels to take back your health one gluten-free step at a time. Plus, you can still enjoy delicious and healthy gluten-free options available in the stores and restaurants and discover a wealth of gluten-free and dairy-free recipes available on my free blog and in the Autoimmune Solution Cookbook.