It’s a common gluten free dilemma…you’re at the store and you are trying to determine if the jar of honey roasted peanuts you are about to purchase is gluten free. Some may not even think twice about the gluten free status of the peanuts but gluten is one sneaky s.o.b.! Which is why it’s so crucial to check packaging labels and understand what it is you are eating. Don’t worry though, with these 4 fool proof tips you can avoid gluten like a pro:
- The first and most obvious way to tell if a product is gluten free is to look for a Certified Gluten Free Label. There are several independent organizations that provide gluten free product labeling such as the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) that is associated with the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). If a product claims to be gluten-free on the package, then it is most likely safe. Some brands mark their goods as gluten free but for whatever reason do not seek independent certification.Gluten free labeled products still have to meet the gluten free labeling requirements of the FDA- the risk you run is that some meet these requirements better than others.
- Check the ingredients list. Review the ingredients listing to look for the most obvious gluten culprits i.e. wheat, barley, malt, rye and oats (unless labeled certified gluten-free).
- Check the allergen listing. Some packaging shows a list of common allergens found in a specific product. These allergen listings might read “Packaged in a facility or on equipment that also handles wheat, soy, egg, tree nuts or milk.”
- Look out for Gluten’s alter egos. What do the terms Fried, Coated, Battered, Crispy, Crusted, Glazed and Drudged all have in common? They are all code words for “there is gluten all over this mess.” Seeing these words on a menu of packaged food is enough make experienced Celiac and gluten intolerance sufferers run for the gluten-free hills.
If there is a product you are still unsure about, don’t be shy, contact the manufacturer directly.