When you are following a gluten-free diet it can often be quite time consuming and frustrating to constantly have to read food labels to avoid gluten. This can be made all the more frustrating by complicated labels that simply are not clear as to whether the product in question contains gluten or not.
Knowing how to recognise gluten when food labels are not simple can help to relieve the burden of following a strict gluten-free diet. It can take time to get the hang of this, but once you have it figured out then it will become second nature!
The most obvious things to look out for are wheat, barley and rye - all three of these things are big no-no’s for those who are deliberately avoiding gluten.
The following products might not be immediately recognisable as having gluten present but should also be avoided:
There are certain food products that are likely to be possible sources of gluten - but not always! For this reason it is always worth double checking the ingredients on the following products:
Additionally, certain medications can also be surprising sources of gluten and it is always advisable to check with your pharmacist!
If you are in doubt as to whether a food product that you are eating contains gluten then it is always okay to simply call the manufacturer. In addition to asking if the product in question is free-from gluten, you can also find out what steps the company takes to avoid cross contamination.
When you begin buying gluten-free foods you will notice that they can be more expensive than standard food products. For this reason it is great to know which foods are naturally free-from gluten so that you can aim to include them in your diet instead. It is also a good idea to shop around for bargains and look out for special offers and discounts.
A gluten-free diet is generally inclusive of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, rice and some other grains! You will by no means have to stick to a seriously restrictive diet simply because you have eradicated gluten from your life.
If you suffer from coeliac disease then you will know that gluten can cause your immune system to have a negative reaction, leading to the lining of your gut becoming damaged. This can then lead to headaches, fatigue, diarrhoea and nausea, among other symptoms.
Fortunately for those looking to avoid gluten, food labelling has developed quite a lot over the past few years. Many gluten-free foods now carry the gluten-free label. Whenever you see this label on a product you can be 100% certain that this product does not contain any gluten and is safe for your consumption. You may also see labels that declare the product is suitable for coeliacs, which also naturally means it is fine for you to enjoy this product.
In accordance with the law regarding food labelling, all deliberate ingredients must be present on the ingredients list of a product. Within these guidelines, there are 14 listed allergens used in food manufacturing that must always be listed when they are present. Cereals that contain gluten are on this list and this means that all packaged foods that are sold in the United Kingdom must be labelled as containing gluten when they do. Allergens will usually be printed in bold on an ingredients label, making it easier for you to find.
We hope that this short but informative guide will help you on your journey to easily avoiding gluten. However, if you have any additional questions then please feel free to contact us via our Facebook page for further information and guidance!