Accidental Gluten Consumption

So how many of us have accidentally consumed a seemingly gluten free food to find out it has hidden gluten? I have been trying really hard lately to stay away from wheat, barley, malt, and rye. I can’t afford to only buy products that have gluten free labels. The companies have to be approved by agencies ensuring that they are certified to boast the seal of gluten free.  I don’t know but I hope that I won’t get sick if something I eat is made in a factory that makes another product containing gluten.

So I am looking for something to eat in my office break room. in the pantry I find Knorr pasta sides as well as rice sides. Well pasta is a no go for obvious reasons. I flip over the rice sides package and read the bold allergy information located after the ingredient list. It says a few things but does not say contains wheat. It does say something about being made in a factory that may process wheat ingredients.

So I cook the “rice” . When I start eating this broccoli cheddar rice I realize that that is not just rice. I am so mad. Now I see that there are little noodles cut to the length of the rice. Oh No! I am going to be sick in a little while. How dare they not label the package better.

I guess it is my fault after looking more closely it says the word pasta on the front of the package. So lesson learned read the entire ingredient list don’t rely on the bold allergy information.

 

 

 

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5 Sources of Hidden Gluten in Your Diet

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September 11, 2012 RSS Feed Print

Tamara Duker FreumanTamara Duker Freuman

Let’s say you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or a wheat allergy. While the prospect of life without wheat was a hard pill to swallow at first, the bright side was that at least—finally—you’d start feeling better. Now it’s been weeks since you tossed out your pretzels, said goodbye to your morning bagel, and bid adieu to those flaky croissants.

So why aren’t you feeling better?

Most likely, there’s still some gluten lurking in your diet somewhere under the radar. If you’ve reviewed all of the usual suspects—salad dressings, condiments, energy bars, restaurant meals—and are still coming up empty, here are a few more places to check for hidden gluten:

Your toaster: It may seem obvious, but when you switched from regular bread to gluten-free bread, did you switch to a brand new toaster as well? If not, your old pop-up toaster has got to go. If you have a toaster oven that can be cleaned and de-crumbed thoroughly, it may be salvageable. But if you’re sharing it with others in the house, be sure to designate the top shelf as gluten-free only. By reserving the top shelf for gluten-free use, you’re preventing the possibility of any wheat-containing crumbs falling onto your food or shelf surface.

The peanut butter jar: If you share living quarters with others, chances are you may also be sharing a jar of peanut butter, sticks of butter, or a tub of cream cheese. This also means your knives are all double-dipping into the same common spreads—and depositing crumbs from your respective breads in their wake. If you can’t maintain separate condiments, you may need to institute a “no double dipping” policy to prevent cross-contamination: only clean knives can enter shared condiment jars, and each person should portion out what they need onto their plate before spreading it onto their food.

Your medicine cabinet: We tend not to think of vitamins, supplements, and medicines as food, so these items often get overlooked when doing a household gluten purge. But almost all pills contain inactive filler ingredients or coatings in addition to their active ingredients, and some of these are wheat derived. Since a pill travels through your digestive tract just like food does, it can easily be a source of gluten exposure. Whereas a common ingredient called “modified food starch” is virtually always corn-derived (gluten-free) when used in food, it’s usually wheat-derived (not gluten-free) when it’s used in medicine. To complicate matters further, many products do not even list inactive ingredients on their labels, making it impossible to assess their safety without more research. More and more pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers have voluntarily begun printing allergen statements on their labels; but when in doubt, ask your pharmacist or call the product’s manufacturer directly to verify whether your brand is gluten-free.

A co-worker’s candy jar: You probably know to avoid chocolate bars with wafers, cookies, or pretzels in them, but perhaps you hadn’t realized that gluten appears in a variety of other candies as well. Licorice (including Twizzlers) contains wheat flour, as do Jordan almonds. Barley malt, which contains gluten, is an ingredient in malt balls (e.g., Whoppers), and some candy bars that use crisped rice pieces, such as Nestle Crunch and 100 Grand bars. In some cases, a candy bar that is gluten-free (e.g., Butterfinger) may have a spin-off version that contains gluten (e.g., Butterfinger Crisp), so it’s important to read labels for each individual product you buy. If you’re a gluten-free Christmas cookie enthusiast, be aware that those decorative, edible, metal balls—called dragées—often contain gluten as well.

The Chinese takeout container: Even if you’re avoiding the obvious flour-containing dishes like lo mein noodles, wonton soup, moo shu pancakes, egg rolls and General Tso’s Chicken, if you’re eating restaurant Chinese food, you’re almost guaranteed to be eating gluten as well. Virtually all Chinese condiments—including soy, oyster, hoisin, and bean sauces, contain wheat. And these ingredients touch almost everything on a Chinese menu. If there’s a group dinner being planned, and Chinese food is under consideration, try steering the festivities to a gluten-free-friendlier venue, such as a Mexican or Indian restaurant. But if its got to be Chinese, seek out a national chain that offers a dedicated gluten-free menu, such as P.F. Chang’s. (I can’t vouch for the healthfulness of their food or the appropriateness of their portion sizes, but at least it will be safe to eat there!) Alternatively, try bringing your own wheat-free tamari to flavor an order of steamed chicken or fish with steamed veggies and rice—and hold the sauce.

If you’re still having symptoms and are stumped as to why, it may be time to visit your dietitian for a second pair of eyes on your diet. Then, check in with your gastroenterologist; she may want to evaluate you for other possible conditions that could be causing you trouble.

Hungry for more? Write to eatandrun@usnews.com with your questions, concerns, and feedback.

Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN, is a NYC-based registered dietitian whose clinical practice specializes in digestive disorders, Celiac Disease, and food intolerances. Her personal blog,www.tamaraduker.com, focuses on healthy eating and gluten-free living.

Tags:
celiac disease, 
food allergies, 
gluten, 
exercise and fitness,
health, 
diet and nutrition, 
digestive disorders

New Grains Bakery

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New Grains Bakery is a Gluten Free only bakery. I had the opportunity to tour through the bakery. The owners, Nicole and Tim welcomed me to their home.  They showed me how just a few employees and the family can produce delicious breads, cookies, and flour mixes to be sold in grocery stores in nine states.  The company is definitely a labor of love. Tim suffers from the full-blown auto immune disease, Celiac Sprue. Tim also had a very long frustrating battle to find out what was really wrong with him.

After meeting Tim and Nicole I know that they are not in the business to make money. I know they work really hard to make a product that any one would eat because it tastes so good. They also try to keep costs down for the customer. One way they keep costs down is by grinding their own flours. As we all know specialty ingredients like xanthan gum can make gluten-free products much more costly than wheat based products.

The company is fairly new and is working to get the product out to more people. If you don’t see it in your store ask them to get it. You can also order online at http://newgrains.com/index.php .

Everything that I have tried I love. It doesn’t seem like I am being punished, which is how I feel  when I taste what some gluten-free brands have to offer. I am new to the GF world I can still remember how cookies and breads should taste. I went to school for Culinary Arts I am a bit of a food snob, but I would be proud to recommend any and all New  Grains Bakery products.

I have tried the sour dough bread and I made it into a grilled turkey and swiss sandwich on my George Foreman grill. I was just so happy I could eat a sandwich. I have tried the pink cookie with sprinkles and even my boyfriend who is not celiac begs me for a bite.
I love the Marvelous Multigrain Bread for tuna sandwiches and pb&j. This bread is great for toast and eggs for breakfast as well as toasted with butter and jam. Nicole told me that I should separate the bread into sandwich bags and freeze them so I could use a little at a time since I am the only one eating it. Since this bread doesn’t have preservatives it can get hard if not cared for. I took her advice and froze bags of 3 slices then i just defrost it in the fridge and eat it the next day and it tastes fresh.

New Grains Bakery has flour mixes as well. The all-purpose flor can substitute any wheat flour in a regular recipe. This makes things a lot easier and I have found that these items taste better than those I have tried to make from GF cook books.  I buy Newgrains products at Macey’s in Orem on the corner of State Street and 800 North. They have a New Grains Bakery display in the bakery (not the freezer).

I just love it and i know that when you get the chance you will love it too!!!!!