Avoiding Gluten and Grains:
Celiac disease (CD) is a condition in which gluten reduces the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients. Gluten is a typical component of several grains. As a primary ingredient of flour, gluten delivers protein and gives bread a higher rise. The four primary sources of gluten, barley, rye, oat and wheat, can be remembered by the mnemonic “BROW”. Avoid these if you’re gluten sensitive.
But gluten is often hidden in foods such as soups, soy sauce, low-fat or non-fat products, and even in candy so a list of every gluten product is very long. The best way to steer clear of gluten (besides avoiding BROW) is to know what phrases and terminology to look for on ingredient panels.
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF), ingredients that may tip off hidden gluten content include:
- Unidentified starch
- Modified food starch
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
- Texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
- Malt and other natural flavorings
- Binders, fillers, excipients, extenders
Note that the last item on that list would include certain dietary supplements and medications that use binders and fillers. This is one of the reasons you sometimes see the statement “no binders or fillers” printed on supplement containers.
The CDF also notes that the contents of vinegars and alcohols should be scrutinized before use. Malt vinegars, for instance, contain gluten because they’re not distilled.
“About Celiac Disease” Celiac Disease Foundation, www.celiac.org