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Gluten 101: What exactly is gluten?

September 17, 2009

What exactly is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as: wheat, rye, spelt, barley, semolina, durum, kamut, triticale, farro and bulgur wheat. Oats are questionable because they are often processed in a facility that contains gluten, otherwise known as cross-contamination. It would be best to purchase certified gluten-free oatmeal, such as Bob’s Red Mill.
If I could describe gluten in one word, it would be sneaky! Gluten is hidden in many processed foods. Hidden sources of gluten can be found in the following items:

• Soy sauce
• Cured meats
• Canned soups
• Malt flavorings
• Beer (unless it says specifically gluten-free)
• Meats cooked in beer
• Gravy
• Flavored coffees
• Chocolate
• Flavored liquor
• Spice blends (ex: some curry spice blends)
• Cheese
• Herbal teas (some contain barley)
• Frozen desserts and ice cream
• Teriyaki sauce
• Marinades
• Salad dressings
• And many more…

I recommend becoming a gluten investigator. Learn how to spot the hidden sources of gluten on food labels and restaurant menus. Never be afraid to ask questions to your grocery store employee, waiter, chef or even the manufacturing company.

***For more information and articles you may always visit my Examiner page (The Austin Gluten Free Examiner)

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