FAQ-Is This Gluten Free

When starting a wheat free diet you’ll have hundreds of questions, I know I did.
In the beginning when I finally accepted that I might have an allergy to wheat I wanted to know all about the different types of wheat and gluten allergies. Then when I decided to give a wheat free lifestyle a try I had to figure out what I could and couldn’t eat.
I used books, magazines and the internet to answer the questions I had. Luckily for you I’m going to put all the answers I find here, so all you have to do is visit this site.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in many grains, most prominently wheat. It is what gives dough its sticky fibers, or some would say it is the glue that holds dough together. As a matter of fact the term gluten actually means glue in Latin.

Gluten is what gives bread it’s great chewy texture and pizza dough and tortillas the ability to hold together when stretched very thin.

Gluten is also a protein that a small but growing segment of the population is allergic to.  The growth in wheat intolerance and celiac diagnosis may be due to an increased public awareness of gluten and its effect on the human body, or there are some who believe that the genetic manipulation of wheat over the past century has changed wheat enough that are bodies can no longer tolerate it.

What Grains Contain Gluten?

Gluten is found in all grains, but the gluten in some grains like corn and rice do not affect those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. It is the gluten in wheat, or some of the grains in the wheat family that adversely affect many.

When it comes to gluten allergies wheat seem to garner most of the attention, that’s because wheat is everywhere and in almost everything. Wheat is what much of our daily diet is made ofOur in my case almost all of my diet, it’s cheap compared to other food sources, and the governments been pushing it as the base of our food pyramid for years. But wheat is not the only source of gluten; here are some other grains to avoid.

Rye – a grain similar to wheat but with a spicier flavor. It has a slightly lower gluten content than wheat but it’s still unacceptable for someone with gluten intolerance.

Barley – is consumed less in it natural form than it is through the many byproducts it produces. Barley is often malted and then used as an ingredient in many foods and alcoholic beverages.

Spelt – is considered a healthier member of the wheat family because it branched off from wheat before it went through its decades of genetic altering. By healthier I mean contains more nutrients not safer to those with wheat intolerance.

Kamet – is another ancient variety of wheat like spelt.

Tritcale – is a cross bread of wheat and rye, it contains gluten and should be avoided. This shouldn’t be hard to do as it’s very uncommon.

Oats – oats are the “Y” of the vowel world, much like A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y, oats do not contain gluten, but you still can’t eat them, except sometimes. What?

Oats suffer a big time guilt by association, they don’t have any gluten but the fields they grow in do. Oat fields may be contaminated with gluten containing plants; also oats are processed in factories that process wheat and other gluten containing grains. But if you look you can find certified gluten free oats.

Does Rice Have Gluten?

Does Rice have Gluten?

No, rice does not contain gluten, and all rice in its natural state is gluten free. This goes for white, brown, black, long grain, and even sticky rice. Sticky rice confuses some people because it is sometimes called glutinous rice, but this is due to the fact that it is very sticky (gluten actually means glue in Latin) not because it contains gluten.

Beware wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing

Although rice does not contain gluten you still have to keep your guard up. Many prepared rice dishes use wheat as a thickening agent, or use malt to sweeten their meals.

Also rice may be processed at a plant that also processes wheat. Therefore it can be cross contaminated.

So it’s best to buy rice dishes labeled gluten free. You can also contact a company through their website if one of your favorite dishes doesn’t say gluten free.

Is Wild Rice Gluten Free

Wild rice is gluten free, but it’s not rice. It has many similarities to rice but it actually comes from a different family of plant. Wild rice is a super nutritious food and would make a great addition to a wheat free diet. It has more protein than Quinoa and is a great source of vitamin B, Niacin, folate, magnesium, thiamin, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese and more. But many wild rice dishes are mixes so read the box carefully.

Time to state the obvious

This may seem a little silly but I feel I should put it in here, Rice a Roni is not gluten free. The roni in Rice-a-Roni is short for macaroni and therefore contains wheat.

Why is the Gluten Free Bread Frozen?

There are two reasons why most supermarkets keep their gluten free breads in the freezer. First gluten free breads don’t sell as fast as regular breads, and second they tend to get stale faster.

Retrogradation

Retro-who-da-whata? Retrogradation is the technical name for the process that is taking place as bread turns stale.

How does this happen?

Starches breakdown during baking and give bread it’s gooey moist texture, but as bread sits on the shelf the moisture in the bread along with the starch form crunchy crystalline structures that make a bread hard and dry, or stale.

Gluten free breads are made with more starches and moisture this makes them more susceptible to retrogradation or as it is commonly known “going stale”.  Freezing the bread slows this process and keeps the bread fresh longer.

Gluten Free Bread Tip

Breads made without wheat always taste either stale or mushy to me, so toast it before you eat it and it will taste much better.

Are Campbell's Go Soups Gluten Free?

Are Campbell’s Go Soups Gluten Free? Since I eat three meals a day at work I am always looking for a new food that’s easy to reheat in a microwave. I always wander the soup aisle looking for a gluten free can to keep on hand, but I’ve only found a few cans none of which thrilled me enough to try them. Today I spotted a new line of soups from Campbell’s that caught my eye, Campbell’s Go Soups. These soups come in a microwavable foil pouch, making them a new bring to work meal option.

So are they Gluten Free No, they are not. I was hoping they would be, since they were a brand new product line, and so many new gluten free products are coming out every day.

No Soup for You While visiting Campbell’s website trying find out if I could eat Go soups I found this PDF of Campbell’s Gluten Free Products. They don’t list any soups but they do have quite a few sauces and juices, check it out.

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