An increasing number of people are following a gluten-free diet, whether through choice or an inability to consume gluten.
The human body can react badly to gluten, causing symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, tiredness and headaches. If you experience these symptoms after eating gluten, then it is advised that you avoid consuming it again.
Some of these people who cannot eat gluten suffer from celiac disease. However, this does not mean that all people that struggle with gluten intolerance suffer from this digestion problem, as there can be other causes for an inability to eat foods containing gluten.
What is a gluten-free diet?
A gluten-free diet means avoiding products which contain gluten. Many foods contain gluten, including:
- Anything with the word “wheat” in it, except for buckwheat
- Flour (unless it says gluten-free flour, or is made purely from a non-gluten source, like rice flour)
- Baked goods
- Bread including gluten
- Wheat relatives
- Malt flavouring, syrup or extract (found in most commercial cereals)
- Malt vinegar
- Oats (due to cross-contamination with wheat)
- Brown rice syrup (sometimes made with barley)
- Dextrin (usually made with corn, but sometimes made with wheat; maltodextrin is fine)
- Mono and dyglycerides
- Caramel colour (most likely gluten-free if made in USA)
- Modified food starch or modified starch (if it does not specify what kind of starch)
- Hydrolysed or textured plant or vegetable protein (if it does not specify a plant/vegetable that is gluten-free)
- Vegetable gum (source is unknown, but carob bean gum, locust bean gum, cellulose gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gum aracia and xanthan gum are gluten-free)
- Natural and artificial flavourings
- Seasonings and seasoning mixes
- Lipstick and any other non-food items that are likely to be ingested by accident (babies and kids put hands in mouth), like playdough, lotion, paste, etc.