How To Find The Hidden Gluten In Foods

A surprising number of people don’t tolerate gluten. Milder symptoms include gas and indigestion. More serious ones include intestinal bleeding and celiac disease.

The milder symptoms mostly show up after eating bread, pasta or anything made from flour. And since gluten also exists in most grains, avoiding these obvious sources may not solve the problem.

Gluten (“glue-ten”) is the protein in grains that makes most baked goods stick together. You find it primarily in four grains, easily remembered using the acronym, “BROW,” short for barley, rye, oats, and wheat. However, recent information shows that all grains have at least a little gluten. Think, ‘sticky rice.’

That should make it easy to spot. Just avoid grains, right?

Unfortunately for those who don’t tolerate it well, gluten hides under a variety of other names. These less obvious names can fool you. But don’t despair, by reading the ingredients of packages you can discover these hidden sources.

Here are some of the names that tell you there is gluten in what you eat. This list comes from the Celiac Disease Foundation:

  • Modified food starch.
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP).
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP).
  • Texturized vegetable protein (TVP).
  • Malt and other natural flavorings.
  • Vegetable-source imitation meats and seafood.
  • Any other unidentified starch.
  • Binders, fillers, excipients, extenders.

The last item on this list includes those dietary supplements and medications that use binders and fillers to hold them together. That’s one reason you sometimes see, “no binders or fillers” on supplement containers.

You should also review the ingredient list of vinegars and alcohols before you use them. For example, malt vinegars, have gluten in them because they are made from grain and they’re not distilled. And most soy sauce contains wheat.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Dr. Bruce

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