No popular authors found.
Ads by Google:

Categories

No categories found.


Get Celiac.com's E-Newsletter




Ads by Google:



Follow / Share


  FOLLOW US:
Twitter Facebook Google Plus Pinterest RSS Podcast Email  Get Email Alerts

SHARE:

Popular Articles

No popular articles found.
Celiac.com Sponsors:

Gluten Warning Signs on Packaging

Celiac.com 03/06/2013 - The hallmark of a healthy gluten-free diet is a grocery cart filled with mostly unprocessed, single-ingredient foods such as fresh produce, nuts, and meat. This is the easiest way to avoid gluten, as well as the healthiest way to eat. When you do venture into the central aisles of the grocery store, look for gluten warning signs on packaging to help you identify foods that contain gluten.

Photo: CC--Andrea_NguyenLooking for those warning signs is more important than ever because companies are catching on to the growing popularity of gluten-free diets and many are labeling their products gluten-free. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not regulate how or when the designation of gluten-free can be added to food labels. This clouds the decision-making process for people with gluten intolerance that rely on gluten warning signs on packaging to guide them. Without USDA regulation, even products labeled gluten-free may still be processed on equipment that also processes gluten. While this is not a problem for people eating gluten-free as a dietary choice, it can cause issues for people who are gluten intolerant.

Ingredient Keywords

Look for warning signs at three places on the ingredient label. The first is underneath the ingredients list, where common allergens such as soy and milk are listed in bold. If wheat is listed there, the product contains gluten.

The second place to look is the ingredients list itself. The following words may be signs of gluten due to its nature or to cross-contamination:

Ads by Google:

  • Wheat
  • Malt
  • Wheat starch
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Soy sauce (made with wheat)

Even seemingly innocuous products may still contain gluten, so it's important to look at all product labels. For example, yogurt and other dairy products sometimes have gluten-containing thickening agents, many sauces and soups contain gluten, and beer is made with barley hops. 

The third place to look for gluten warning signs on packaging is at the bottom of the ingredients list. In bold, the packaging will declare whether or not the food was processed on equipment that also processes common allergens, including wheat. Cross-contamination can still cause flare-ups, so these foods should be avoided.

Safest Foods

The best way to avoid gluten is to stick to unprocessed, fresh produce and meat. With grains and processed foods, the best way to stay safe generally is to opt for minimally processed foods with few ingredients, or specialized foods. Strategies for gluten-free shopping include: 

  • Foods in the health aisle or in a natural food store are most often accurately marked as gluten-free.
  • Cook what you can at home and take the mystery out of ingredients. Gluten-free bread, for example, can be made at home using the flour of your choice.
  • Do research before shopping - it can save you time and trouble in the long run.

While reading food labels may seem intimidating at first, after a few shopping trips, you will be a pro at identifying problem foods and cooking gluten-free, while still eating a healthy range of foods.

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).





Spread The Word







Related Articles



7 Responses:

 
Sue
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
07 Mar 2013 6:32:23 PM PDT
I have found nuts and seeds to be contaminated with gluten. I react to nuts and seeds even when they state they are only processed with other tree nuts. I don't think nuts should be recommended on a gluten-free diet unless they are ordered specially from a gluten-free distributor.

 
LeeAnne
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
12 Mar 2013 7:32:52 AM PDT
I have found too that pumpkin seeds that are processed in a facility that produces wheat is off limits for me.

 
Kay
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
11 Mar 2013 8:56:48 AM PDT
My only "argument" with anything stated in the article, is that sometimes those notices declaring the item was processed on the same equipment as (you name it) appears to me to be a blanket covering for the company against lawsuits, rather than an actual statement of fact.

I have celiac disease, so I can't handle cross-contamination, but I don't summarily eliminate a product from my diet because of that warning. Rather, I consider the product itself, the company, and even past experience with similar products. Can't say it's a sure-fire answer, but it has worked for me.

 
LeeAnne
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
12 Mar 2013 7:37:41 AM PDT
Any product manufactured in a facility containing wheat must be cross contaiminated with wheat. It is common sense that the product is more than likely to be laced with wheat.

 
Beverly
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
11 Mar 2013 5:19:43 PM PDT
I read labels and if I goof, I will take an unopened package back to the store. What is in a product changes from time to tome, so buyer beware!

 
Diana
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
12 Mar 2013 10:54:41 PM PDT
Because of the issue of cross-contamination on nuts, I have been rinsing raw nuts before eating them. Sometimes I will then roast them myself because of the added peanut oil which I can't have that is on most roasted nuts.

 
Christin Meer
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
16 Jun 2014 2:58:24 PM PDT
We need a celiac safe label on products. It would make life a lot easier




Rate this article and leave a comment:
Rating: * Poor Excellent
Your Name *: Email (private) *:




In Celiac.com's Forum Now:

All Activity
Celiac.com Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Forum - All Activity

Hi wondering if someone could help. my daughter has mildly raised TTG levels and the gliadine levels, she has one Coeliacs gene, but her biopsy came back negative. We have kept her off gluten (and low dairy) for nearly a year to see if her symptoms improved. They haven't. But I don't know if they are related to gluten specifically. Just wondering if anyone has other suggestions that may be going on with her. Her symptoms are: - Short stature, she's nearly 9 and my 6 year old boy is nearly bigger than her - bumps on back of her arms - urine leaking and occasional soiled pants, which could be from constipation she has at time's - sticking out stomach - dry patchy rashes on her face - joint pain sporadically - vomits every 6 weeks, but hasn't had gluten and seems to be no food connection - reoccurring thrush She had gluten last night at a party and was fine today. I'm a bit lost and not sure where else to turn. Thanks for any help.

We have gone gluten free, our whole house, as of a month ago. It was pretty seamless since I had been gluten-free for 5 months last year. I have found many good recipes, and my picky husband and one of my boys who is also a picky eater, even prefer many gluten-free recipes to the regular ones. My husband did see my point about the size of the gluten protein means nothing. Its a gluten protein period, that's what you are avoiding. It doesn't matter if its hiding in the scratch of your baking sheet and you can't see it. You can't see the wind, but it's still there. I hear you on the anemia. I've been anemic for several years, I just thought it as because I was getting a little older. Has your anemia gone away or do you still have problems with it?

Ennis, it is made out of metal, coated with plastic I think. You have such a hard time, my heart really hurts for you. But you are such a support to those on this board, and a great teacher for those of us who are new.

Thanks everyone! I think its hard for people to fully accept because they cant see the damage it does every time you get glutened. It's invisible. Im glad to know I wasnt being paranoid. I sure was when I was first diagnosed. I laugh at myself now, but its a pretty steep learning curve.

FYI......anxiety is a common symptom with celiac disease and NCGI. It seems to resolve on a gluten-free diet. ?