Devan McGuinness: Life (Un)Restricted


10 Hidden Sources of Gluten

It may be hiding where you least expect it

1) Pet food

When it comes to removing the offending food allergen from our diet, we often take a lot of time looking at our diet, but what about your pets? Most pet foods that you can buy contain some form of gluten in it so you either need to find a grain-free variety or be extra careful in how you feed them.

2) Lipstick

It's one of those make-up products that is likely going to end up in your mouth at some point. Licking your lips and eating will transfer the lipstick ingredients into your digestive system and one of those ingredients could be gluten (typically wheat or barley). You need to be sure to check the ingredients on the package and know those tricky scientific names for gluten. 

3) Hand lotion

If you have an insensitivity to gluten when ingested and not just topically, you may be able to get away with this product, but be wary. Hand lotions can contain a lot of ingredients and one often found is wheat—making it unsafe for those with celiac disease or gluten allergy.

4) Glue

Typically those commercial glue sticks are going to be fine, but when it comes to household glue products, you need to be careful. Those most envelope glues are derived from corn, they do have the potential to contain wheat (and they don't come with an ingredients list) as does wallpaper glue and gluten can even be found in tile grout. While you're likely not going to eat these products, they can be inhaled or ingested in a secondary way. 

5) Chips

While potato chips are made from — well, potato — the seasoning is not all the same so you need to be extra careful. Some flavorings contain gluten in their ingredients and others may not. Another word of caution — just because one brand of chips doesn't contain gluten, doesn't mean any brand of the same flavor is safe so read those labels!

6) French fries

If you're a big fan of French fries, you'll want to make sure you're eating safely! There are a lot of fries that contain a gluten-based light breading to give them an extra crisp when they're fried up. Also, if you're getting your fries from a restaurant, you will want to make sure they're not fried in the same oil as other gluten-containing products like onion rings because your food will be cross-contaminated. 

7) Your peanut butter jar

While typically peanut butter is gluten-free, there is a huge risk of gluten contamination with your peanut butter jar. If you're making a sandwich with peanut butter and using gluten bread, than placing the knife right back in the container — you've just put gluten into all of the peanut butter. You need to make sure that your being safe, so always have separate containers!

8) Shampoo and conditioners

I was surprised when I realized that not all shampoos and conditioners were made equal. Many of the higher-end salon products that I have checked out contain wheat and/or barley and when it comes to having celiac disease or gluten allergy, they're just not safe. 

9) Nail polish strengthening formula

If you're looking for a nail polish to strengthen your manicure while strengthening your nails, there are products available to do just that. The problem is, some of those properties that make your nails strong, contain wheat or other sources of gluten. I am not sure if, when dried, if it will transfer any gluten properties, but you can't be too safe.

10) Vegan meat substitutes

If you're looking to go vegetarian, many of the meat substitutes that are soy-based also contain gluten. You need to make sure that you're reading the labels and checking if it's safe for you to eat — being free from one ingredient doesn't mean it's safe for everyone. 

Photo credit: adapted from Dag Endresen/Flickr