I thought this would be an important post to make because I have been unintentionally glutened twice in the past month, which is not good at all! Thankfully it must not have been much because I am still eating and not feeling too terrible.
When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I was lucky that I had my dad to teach me about reading food labels. He also has celiac disease, so he had already been avoiding gluten for a while by the time I needed to.
For those of you who don’t have any family knowledge or just want a refresher, I came up with this list. 🙂
The easiest way to guarantee that the food you are eating is gluten free is to eat fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and organic meats or fish. If you don’t want to follow those guidelines forever, you must make sure that anything in a can, box, bag, or package is 100% gluten-free.
Before you buy a processed product, you should check these things:
Is there a gluten-free label on the package?
- If there is, check the nutrition facts for warning labels about cross contamination. Sometimes companies are within the gluten-free ranges, but they still process gluten containing foods on the same machines. For celiac patients, these foods aren’t safe.
- If there are no warning labels, you’re good to go. 🙂
If the package is not labelled gluten-free:
- Check the nutrition facts for warning labels about cross contamination.
- Check the ingredients for any gluten derivatives.
If you find a non-labelled gluten-free product, it is a good idea to email the company for more information before assuming that it is safe. I recently started purchasing a generic brand of organic foods because there were no warning labels and had safe ingredients. Just to be safe, I emailed the company, and I found that none of their products are guaranteed to be safe for celiac patients. For me, it’s not worth the risk.
I did, however, find a coconut milk brand that is safe, despite the lack of gluten free labelling.
The company doesn’t use any gluten containing ingredients in any of their products, so their canned milk is perfectly fine to use! Companies are usually very responsive with things like this, so it is definitely worth the wait.
It is truly better to err on the side of caution and pass on any food that you are unsure of. The less gluten you are exposed to, the more your intestines can heal, and the better you will feel.
You will make mistakes every once in a while, but remember that it will always pass. Things will get better, and you will learn more in the process!
I hope this helped some celiac newbies, and I hope it will help keep you feeling well.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions! 🙂