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If It Doesn't Say In Contains Gluten Does This Mean Its Definitely Gluten Free
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I have just started my gluten free diet which I am finding okay but I am confused! So the food labels normally state if it contains gluten, if it doesn't say it contains gluten or wheat on the label then is this 100% gluten free? As someone told me they do a pataks curry sauce which doesn't contain gluten BUT I looked at all the labels on pataks range and none of them say they contain gluten. I hope this makes sense, I'm just really confused on how to know if they contain gluten for sure.

If you can help me that would be great!

Thank you!

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This is a decision every celiac confronts. Are they going to eat only those processed foods that make the gluten free claim, or are they going to read the ingredients list and if they find no gluten listed, will they buy it? I personally eat several processed foods that do not claim to be gluten free, but I am not very high up the sensitivity scale. You rather have to learn from experience how sensitive you are and what you can and cannot tolerate. Along the way you may even find another food sensitivity you were not aware of, but I hope not. If there is wheat in a product sold in the U.S. it must be clearly stated on the label. The same is not true for rye or barley. If you see malt it may or not specify whether it is from barley or corn. This is where you get on your cellphone and call the manufacturer and ask.

Likewise, you will have to discover, when you see that a product is made in a shared facility, or even on a shared line (which is thoroughly cleansed between runs), whether or not you are sensitive to this. Some are, some aren't. Many people on here will eat only products made in a dedicated facility. So there may be a glutening or two in store for you along the way until lyou determine your own level. :)

Also, if you do react to a product, do keep in mind that it might not be the gluten you are reacting to. Many of us discover after eliminating gluten that we have other intolerances. It is often suggested to keep a food and symptom diary so you can track down reactions. This is most useful if you don't add a whole bunch of new foods all at once.

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I just want to clarify that you won't see the term "gluten" listed as an ingredient. You need to look for "wheat", "rye", "barley", and "oats". Those are the biggies, but other terms can be used such as "malt" which is commonly derived from barley.

There is a FAQ section here that addresses safe/unsafe ingredients:

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/forum-5/announcement-3-frequently-asked-questions-about-celiac-disease/

There are many mainstream products that are free from gluten ingredients but are not labeled as gluten-free. My daughter enjoys many of them. In the beginning of the diet, it is best to go with as simple of a whole foods diet that you can manage (I know, sometimes you've got to treat yourself). You'll have good days and bad days as your gut heals and it may not have anything to do with what you ate. If you try something that doesn't settle well with you, eliminate it for a while. Let your gut have some more healing time and try it later down the road.

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when my first son went gluten-free we had to avoid everything that didn't specifically say gluten free. After he has healed we have found many things to add-even some with a manufactured in a facility with wheat labels. I would avoid for awhile and let yourself heal and then do some trail and error from there.

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Unfortunately even if things say gluten free they aren't necessarily safe. Amy's brand is the first one that comes to mind. Ugh makes me want to barf just remembering those disasters, mine as well as the whole bunch of other people I know who have gotten sick from it. You also have to be cautious of CC, and some companies such as Food For life which I JUST learned have bad practices also, they'll say gluten free when they actually aren't, which is terrible! It depends on how sensitive you are though, but it's always good to research what you are eating and look it up to make sure it's safe. I always type the item in the search bar of this forum and read the posts and stuff to make sure other people have not had bad experiences with it.

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Trader Joe's is the one that irked me early on. Their "no gluten ingreidents" label is some of THE most misleading labeling I've ever seen. Just because it doesn't have ingredients that contain gluten does NOT mean it is free from cross-contamination (especially with things like cornmeal). After a reaction from their PLAIN potato chips, I was really angry. Got me so mad I pretty much stopped shopping there and what little I buy is NOT their store brand name products.

When I shop, I look at the entire range of products that are available from a company, including the ingredients, packaging, etc. If it looks like anything else with wheat may have been processed on the same line as something wheat (which is why I look at packaging... anything else in the same packaging was probably processed on the same lines) I'll usually put off the purchase until I can find out more, because I am highly sensative and will react to a lot of things other people may not react to (like Van's waffles).

If you don't have to be that cautious, be happy. But sadly, you can either be that cautious from the start, or go through some trial and error.

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