Not Just A Fad
Labels Can Be Misleading, Three Things to Look For:
When buying prepackaged products, you need to pay attention to three parts of the label; the Ingredients, the Allergy Information, and finally any sort of Gluten Free certification or the words GLUTEN FREE on the label.
1. The Ingredients:
Look for words that you recognize as real food, for example carrots, beets, potatoes or beef. Make sure those food are gluten free. If you’re not sure, here’s a list of Gluten Free Foods, and here’s a list of the Other Names For Gluten. Occasionally, you’ll run into very vague words like: “Natural Flavors”. These can sometimes be from gluten containing sources, like barley. Some companies, like Kraft Foods, will list any allergens in brackets on their labels, like this: Natural Flavors (wheat), some companies won’t.
2. The Allergy Information:
The allergy information lets you know if the product contains any allergens. If you want more information on the laws governing food allergy labeling check out this handy pamphlet from the USDA.
Made in a facility that may also process dairy, egg, tree nuts, WHEAT, peanuts, soybeans, fish and shellfish.
3. Gluten Free Information:
The example above says Gluten Free on the label. In this case it means that none of the ingredients contain gluten. It does not mean that they guarantee that there’s absolutely no gluten in the product or that the product is Celiac Safe.
Even better than Gluten Free on the label, is an endorsement from the Celiac Disease Foundation, the words, “Processed in a Gluten Free Facility”, or a product from a respected Gluten Free manufacturer like Bob’s Red Mill or Glutino. A good example is Gluten Free Bisquick, shown below:
If you have Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, your Gluten Free product might not be safe for you to eat. To completely avoid gluten, stick with non-processed foods that are naturally gluten free. If you are buying processed foods, (because, hey, they’re so much more convenient, and we don’t all have time or desire to make our soda crackers from scratch, right?) be sure to Check the labels, stick with respected brands, look for products that have been manufactured in gluten free facilities.