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CheriL.

"Enzymes" In Shredded Cheeses, Safe?

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I'm only a few months into gluten-free living. I've got my "unsafe food list" and it lists "enzymes." I buy shredded cheeses alot, put it on salads etc, and I've noticed that they all list "enzymes." Is this gluten? I ate some salsa two days ago that has vinegar and I'm guess that this was a bad decision (I didn't look til yesterday when my tummy was a mess.) Then I put shredded cheese on my salad last night and my tummy is yucky today too. Not sure if I'm still suffering from vinegar "poisoning" or if it's the cheese, or if I have a tummy bug...I've hit a rather frustrated time in the learning curve! Really missing my baked goods :^( Anyway, can someone help me out with this enzyme thing? Thanks

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Vinegar is fine unless it is malt vinegar. Enzymes in cheese are gluten free.

Here is some info that may make label reading a bit easier...good luck:

Unsafe ingredients: http://www.celiac.co...ents/Page1.html

Safe ingredients: http://www.celiac.co...ents/Page1.html

A list of companies that has a clear gluten policy. If you don't see "wheat, rye, barley, barley malt, oats" on the labels, its not there, or hidden in "flavors, starches, etc." http://www.glutenfre...lists/index.htm and http://glutenfreeins...ct_updates.html This makes shopping MUCH easier.

FDA foods are required to list wheat - it cannot be hidden.

Rule #1: Never eat anything without reading the label first.

Rule #2: Consistently check labels, even of your favorite products, as product formulations can change.

Rule #3: If you are unsure of an ingredient, or the company's policy on labeling, call the phone number on the back of the product or email the company.

Great info to get you started: http://www.gluten.net/publications.php

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Do they always tell you what kind of vinegar is used? Sorry if this is a dumb question, I'm a little overwhelmed by all these "mystery ingredients." Is distilled vinegar bad? I feel so much like I'm having a gluten reaction but I'm having a hard time putting my finger on where it came from. I was sure it must be the vinegar, then started wondering about the cheese. GRRR! This is madening sometimes.

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All vinegar except malt vinegar is gluten-free. Malt vinegar is always labeled as just that, "malt vinegar." Distilled vinegar is always gluten-free.

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This is the first time I've felt this bad since stopped eating gluten, maybe I'm actually sick!

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I don't know about the enzymes on shredded cheese, but I don't like it because I think it has a flavor and a texture. I always shred my own... tastes way better!

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I see two possiblities:

1. Dairy products might be the problem. You get so much and your body can't handle it yet. Maybe stay off dairy a few months before adding it back into your diet.

2. Nightshade products since you also reacted to the meal with the salsa.

You could try a food/symptoms journal for awhile to see if you can track a pattern. Everone's body can react to different. I react to some brands of white distilled vinegar.

What brand of shredded cheese did you use?

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Sargento grated parm was the first to make me wonder. Had it on tuna salad three times in a week before I figured out I felt awful each time. Most recently have had store brand grated mexican blend. Not the kind with spices but with three or four different cheeses. Have had grated mozz without trouble (at least I think! I've felt bad for so long it's still doesn't always occur to me somethings going wrong until I get Really sick.)

I'm not a major dairy girl, don't drink milk but do eat yoghurt and occasionally sprinkle cheese on the salad (actually doing this much more lately for some reason.) This week got a little crazy, sour cream a few days in a row, made oatmeal with milk (which I never do), and my usual cream in the coffee. I've really been missing much bakery "crutch" lately. I have to say, I don't think a day passed without muffins, whoopie pies, carrot cake, regular cake, or some other goodies! I'm really down about it right now. Maybe I'm trying to fill the void with other extras like cheese and sour cream.

So you think maybe I should try life without dairy for a time?

I'm also wondering about "cross contamination." Seriously, this concept is almost too much to deal with in my frame of mind. My neighbor uses separate utensils and bake ware. Am I really going to have to be this extreme? How do you find out just how far you have to take it? I mean, I'm using gluten free marinade but my husband grills it on the same grill, along with his marinade, and we've broiled haddock on the same pan, mine with gluten free bread crumbs, his with crumbled crackers, and we've baked pork chops on the same pan, mine with the gluten free crumbs, his with Shake-n-Bake. Am I being a naive little "newbie?" How will I know how gluten free is gluten free enough? I really am pretty new to this so I hope I don't sound like a complete idiot. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

I'm not diagnosed celiacs. None of my Drs took my questions about diarrhea seriously even when I admitted to having gut issues for years. I've been tested for thyroid problems (couldn't find a problem although one chiropractor said that looking at me he could see my thyroid was enlarged), I've been told I have vitamin deficiency (of course no one can figure out why), they just keep telling me to take vitamins and eat more fiber. Of course the vitamins probably had gluten and fiber for me meant whole grains (gluten-gluten&more gluten), so I just kept getting sicker. It was celiacs that suggested I try not eating gluten and see what happens. I felt better the same day I stopped eating gluten and have felt sick everytime I've tried to convince myself it's a coincidence and have tried to eat something with gluten. I can't afford any more Dr bills right now, it's been a bad year. Is there really any point in being tested if not eating the stuff makes me feel so much better? It's probably a liability to answer me with anything but get tested but I'm putting it out there anyway.

Sorry for the long post and thanks so much for the support and suggestions.

Cheri

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made oatmeal

Is the email certified gluten free? Regular mainstream brands of oats are not safe for those with a gluten problem.

and we've broiled haddock on the same pan, mine with gluten free bread crumbs, his with crumbled crackers, and we've baked pork chops on the same pan, mine with the gluten free crumbs, his with Shake-n-Bake.

I wouldn't be comfortable doing that.

Its a tough learning curve and you are doing great....hang in there.

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Thankfully I did read about oats and bought Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats. I am so grateful that we live somewhere that all the local grocery stores carry a fair stock of gluten free items.

Ok, I'm wondering what you would suggest about grilling? We grill year round, infact my husband snow blows the grill area before the driveway!!! I can easily bake my meats on a separate dish/broil on a separate pan. Is it common for celiac sufferers to keep separate cook ware and utensils? That seems costly and I would have to reorganize my kitchen to make room. Obviously if I have to I will, I don't want to be sick anymore. I went back and forth thinking I glutened myself or maybe I had an illness. I really think I did gluten myself and it really seemed to start with that salsa. Soon after eating chips and salsa the bloating and stomach pain, feeling yucky all night, and nausea and diarhea all the next day. Seems like a pretty severe case but I felt fine the very next day and actually on and off the day I was sick. Are tortilla chips a bad thing? I checked the ingredient list and it looked ok that was why I wondered about the vinegar in the salsa.

Thanks for the supportive comment. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. Last night I was cooking dinner for the kids and popped a piece of spaghetti in my mouth. I ran to the sink spitting like a crazy person! I never realized how often I put food into my mouth without thinking about it until I had to start paying attention! Jeez, I'd probably weigh 500 pounds if it wasn't for the fact that everything has "passed right through" until pretty recently.

Have a great day.

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Keep in mind some Celiacs can't tolerate even gluten-free oats, too. You may still just be sensitive to some foods that are gluten free because you haven't healed yet. What brand/type of salsa was it?

Our grill was gluten free to start with, so we grill all gluten free food normally, and anything with gluten gets cooked on the grill on foil/in a separate pan. When we use others' grill, esp if they are grilling something that isn't gluten free, we grill it on foil. You could probably clean your grates well enough and be fine.

Chips *should* be fine.

You may want to consider, at least for now, switching to gluten free noodles for everyone, so that you can "help" yourself by reducing accidents.

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CheriL -

This is just my experience, but some foods are "dusted" with flour to keep them separate, and my understanding is that they do not have to be listed as an ingredient because they are not "in" the food...things like chocolates, etc. - but I also get sick when I eat pre-shredded cheese, and it has a funny coating, so personally I think it's very likely they could be dusted with flour too. (again, just my opinion)

As a mom with two children who have started showing signs of gluten intolerance (they are 12 and 8)...I can honestly say, you would be better off to make your entire family gluten free. I know, it's expensive and more time consuming, but you will save yourself a lot of grief by not having separate this and that, and your family will be healthier to boot. I've done both, and that's why I ended up back at the doc this year - me sick and my daughter with head to toe rashes.

I have found a great replacement flour called "Jules Gluten Free", and you can get it at www.julesglutenfree.com She has recipes, a newsletter, and downloadable cookbooks. The flour comes in 5lb bags and you use it cup for cup as regular flour. (and you can get a free sample I believe from her website) We have made breads, cookies, cakes, garlic breadsticks, cornbread, tortillas, muffins, pie crust and pizza crust with it - ALL good. The recipes are usually more liquidy and sticky to work with, but the end result is as "normal" as I have found. It is more expensive, of course, but we have learned to use baked goods as treats and accompaniments.

There are some excellent gluten free pastas and other mixes, honestly, even our guests can't tell the difference!

It's just my two cents, and I've had a hard time wrapping my brain around the whole "do I have do to ALL of these things, always??? forever???" questions....but the answer is "yes", if you want to get better and have a long, healthy life, yes. It's very time consuming and can be overwhelming in the beginning, but it gets easier.

Hope this helps a little.

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If you are concerned about "hidden" sutff in the cheese, I suggest you buy Kraft products. They won't hide gluten.

If something is used to keep cheese from sticking, I have only ever seen cellulose powder, which is gluten-free, but Kraft just puts cheese in the package.

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Generally speaking, food simply is not "dusted" with flour. In fact, it's so extremely rare I'd almost put it in the celiac urban myth category. If it is dusted with flour, the wheat would indeed have to be listed.

Whether or not to make the the whole house go gluten-free is your choice, but if I had tried that I'm pretty sure I'd be divorced and my son wouldn't be speaking to me.

richard

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Whether or not to make the the whole house go gluten-free is your choice, but if I had tried that I'm pretty sure I'd be divorced and my son wouldn't be speaking to me.

richard

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It's a huge change, that's for sure.  My son and I were just diagnosed a few weeks ago, and my husband has agreed to go gluten free as well in order to make the changes in our household more manageable.

Everything in the kitchen that was used to prepare foods with gluten now has to be replaced. I don't want to take any chances, and feel that now that we have the opportunity for my son to finally (after 16 years of trying to find out what was wrong with him) thrive.  So, I'm not interested in him being glutened in any way, and in order to make absolutely certain, I'm having a yard sale to sell our kitchen ware, blenders, mixers, toaster, utensils, pans, etc.

It sounds absolutely crazy unless you take a good look at what happens when celiac goes untreated.  Even if we don't have intense reactions to the food, what it's doing internally is not pretty.  I want him to have a good life, not one riddled with cancers and autoimmune diseases.  I already have four diseases because my celiac was undiagnosed.  

So in response to whether to keep your food off the contaminated grill, etc, I wouldn't go near it with a ten foot pole.

Separate food preparation areas, stickers or labels with your own food prep untensils and cookware in your own cabinet.  Don't share the peanut butter with anyone double dipping, etc.

Once you have a system down, it gets simpler.  It's the huge transition in the beginning that is miserable and difficult, chaotic, and challenging.

Sending you lots of strength and fortitude.  Thank heavens for this website!

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