5 Surprising sources of gluten
ChocolateGluten can be used as an emulsifier or thickener.
PicklesSome are made with malt vinegar, which is made from the grain barley.
Soy SauceMost brands are wheat-based.
Hot dogsIngredient labels sometimes list gluten under names like “modified food starch”.
Salad DressingsSome salad dressings use gluten-containing ingredients as a thickener.
Gluten is a protein found in whole-grain products that give breads and pastas their texture and chewiness. But it can also cause painful cramps, bloating, and diarrhea for people who suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Although both conditions share similar symptoms, they have different causes.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an acute inflammatory response in the small intestine when even a small amount of gluten is ingested. Affecting 1 percent of the Canadian population, it damages the intestinal surface, compromising its ability to absorb nutrients. Anemia (low iron), osteoporosis, and being low on protein are common concerns. In this case, gluten must be completely eliminated from the diet.
A gluten intolerance or sensitivity, on the other hand, causes no damage to the intestine. So small amounts of gluten can be tolerated.
When you have celiac disease, adjusting to a gluten-free diet can be very challenging. In addition to eliminating gluten, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting enough iron and calcium to avoid nutritional deficiencies. The Canadian Celiac Association’s website contains links to recipes, articles, and resources on living gluten-free.
Here are some ways to manage a gluten-free diet:
- Avoid all products containing wheat, rye, and barley (e.g. breads and pastas).
- Increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Read food labels carefully and avoid foods with dextrin, emulsifiers, corn starch, and modified wheat starch.
- Try some of our gluten-free recipes made with Ensure® such as our ginger carrot soup and berry smoothie.
Remember — While some bowel symptoms are understandably embarrassing to talk about, don’t shy away from telling your doctor about them if they go on for too long. You should see your doctor if you are losing weight, seeing blood in your stools, or have trouble eating or swallowing.