“Gluten” has become a notorious term in recent years, with many people avoiding gluten for health and dietary reasons. Still, many people are unaware of what exactly gluten is and whether or not they should avoid it. Gluten is a combination of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin, and is typically found in wheat, barley, and rye. These natural grains are used to make bread, beer, rice, pasta, and a number of other foods. They are also used to manufacture other foods, like ketchup and ice cream, and will often not appear on an ingredients label. While gluten isn’t necessarily bad for you, many people suffer from gluten intolerance.
Those with a gluten intolerance can experience severe stomach pains and digestive issues. A gluten intolerance can also lead to more serious autoimmune diseases, including celiac and Crohn’s disease. Because gluten is ever present in many of the foods we love, dining out can be difficult for those with gluten intolerance. Whether you’re suffering from symptoms or just want to try going gluten-free, here are five high gluten foods to avoid.
1. Soy Sauce
People with gluten sensitivity should probably avoid Asian cuisine altogether, since many dishes are breaded or made with rice and grains. However, if you do find yourself at a sushi joint, avoid using soy sauce. Not only is it extremely high in sodium, many brands often contain wheat and won’t mention it on the label. Opt for tamari sauce, which is healthier and wheat-free.
2. Salad Dressing
Creamy salad dressings, like Ranch or French, are loaded with calories and shouldn’t be used often anyway. But some of the oil-based dressings are often made with gluten as well. If you’re not sure, stick to distilled vinegar (malt vinegar is NOT gluten free) and olive oil.
3. Processed Meats
Many manufacturers use wheat to prepare their meats because it’s cheaper and can be easily covered up with seasoning. Many deli meats, like bologna, liverwurst, salami, sausage, and even burger patties are extremely high in gluten and should be avoided altogether. However, you can pick up gluten free cold cuts with a wheat substitute.
4. Creamy Soups
Heavy cream soups are delicious, but are often made with flour and dairy. If you’re in the mood to warm up with a bowl, opt for a lighter broth.
Many people use ketchup generously, but don’t realize that it is sometimes made with gluten. Luckily, Heinz ketchup is gluten free, so be sure to look for their label the next time you need some.