Below are some foods and the potential problems involved with them:. Salads: The possibility of contamination lies in the cleanliness of the boards used to chop ingredients and the addition of croutons or salad dressings containing unsafe ingredients. Ask for dressing to be served on the side.
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No croutons or other bread products. Salad Dressings and Marinades: Salad dressings and marinades may contain thickeners or other unsafe ingredients. Soups and Sauces: Soup bases are often used as a foundation for soups and sauces. Bases contain ingredients comparable to bouillon or broth, i. It is safest to avoid sauces. Canned sauces are also used in some restaurants, so you may be able to check the ingredient listing. Soup base will sometimes appear in sauces.
Au jus may come from a can or mix and contain unidentified hydrolyzed vegetable protein HVP. Seasonings are often used in preparing meats; their ingredients should be verified. Self-basting turkeys and imitation bacon bits may contain HVP or textured vegetable protein TVP and need to be checked for safety before using.
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Fried Foods: The oil used to deep-fry foods may be used for both breaded and non-breaded items, in which case they should be avoided. In large restaurants where French fries are cooked in separate fryers, there is less chance of contamination. Rice, Starches, and Hash Browns: Many hash browns are frozen and pre-packaged with starch added. Ask what other ingredients have been added during cooking. Many rice pilafs may have seasonings or added ingredients that you may need to avoid. Plain steamed or baked rice cooked in water is a good choice. Dairy Products: Non-dairy products are sometimes used instead of dairy products in restaurants.
Verify that the ingredients in any non-dairy substitutes are okay. Find out whether breaded or gluten-containing foods have been cooked on the surface beforehand.
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Therefore, regardless of your reasons for following a gluten-free diet, it's important to know how it can affect your overall nutritional needs. Your doctor or a dietitian can help you make appropriate dietary choices to maintain a well-balanced diet. The gluten-free diet is essential for managing the signs and symptoms of some medical conditions:. Claims about the general health benefits of a gluten-free diet are the motivation for other people to avoid wheat and other grains with gluten. Very little clinical research has been conducted, however, about the benefits of the diet for people who do not have a gluten-related medical condition.
Following a gluten-free diet requires paying careful attention to both the ingredients of foods and their nutritional content. While oats are naturally gluten-free, they may be contaminated during production with wheat, barley or rye. Oats and oat products labeled gluten-free have not been cross-contaminated.
Some people with celiac disease, however, cannot tolerate the gluten-free labeled oats.
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Wheat terms to know There are different varieties of wheat, all of which contain wheat gluten:. Wheat flours have different names based on how the wheat is milled or the flour is processed. All of the following flours have gluten:. When you are buying processed foods, you need to read labels to determine if they contain gluten. Foods that contain wheat, barley, rye or triticale — or an ingredient derived from them — must be labeled with the name of the grain in the label's content list. Foods that are labeled gluten-free, according to the Food and Drug Administration rules, must have fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten.
Foods with these labels may include:. Alcoholic beverages made from naturally gluten-free ingredients, such as grapes or juniper berries, can be labeled gluten-free. An alcoholic beverage made from a gluten-containing grain can carry a label stating the beverage was "processed," "treated" or "crafted" to remove gluten.
However, the label must state that gluten content cannot be determined and the beverage may contain some gluten. In addition to foods in which wheat, barley or rye are likely ingredients, these grains are standard ingredients in a number of other products. Also, wheat or wheat gluten is added as a thickening or binding agent, flavoring, or coloring.
It's important to read labels of processed foods to determine if they contain wheat, as well as barley and rye. In general, avoid the following foods unless they're labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:. Prescription and over-the-counter medications may use wheat gluten as a binding agent.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacists about the drugs you're taking. Dietary supplements that contain wheat gluten must have "wheat" stated on the label. For people with celiac disease, in particular, it's important to avoid exposure to gluten.
The following tips can help you prevent cross-contamination in your own food preparations at home and avoid gluten-containing food when you eat out:. Keeping a strict gluten-free diet is a lifelong necessity for people with celiac disease. Following the diet and avoiding cross-contamination results in fewer symptoms and complications of the disease. For some people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the condition may not be lifelong. Some research suggests that you may follow the diet for a certain period, such as one or two years, and then retest your sensitivity to gluten.
For other people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the diet may be a lifelong treatment. Few clinical studies have looked at the benefits of the diet among the general population — people without celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
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There is not enough clinical evidence to determine the accuracy of the following claims about the diet's results:. The foods not included in a gluten-free diet provide important vitamins and other nutrients. For example, whole-grain breads and other products are natural or enriched sources of the following:. Therefore, following a gluten-free diet will likely change your nutrient intake. Some gluten-free breads and cereals have significantly varied nutrient levels than the products they are replacing.
Some gluten-free foods also have higher fat and sugar contents than the gluten-containing food being replaced. It's important to read labels, not only for gluten content but also for overall nutrient levels, salt, calories from fats and calories from sugars. You can talk to your doctor or dietitian about foods that would provide healthy, nutrient-rich alternatives. The costs of prepared gluten-free foods are generally higher than the cost of the foods being replaced. The expense of following a gluten-free diet can be substantial, especially if your diet includes foods that aren't naturally gluten-free.