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Gluten levels in foods

Gluten is present in:

Wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, unripe spelt grains, einkorn wheat, emmer

The following foods thus contain gluten:

Flour, wholemeal, semolina, bran, germinated seeds from the types of grains mentioned above, bread and bread rolls, cookies, pastries, cakes, biscuits, breadcrumbs, couscous, seitan (=pure wheat gluten!), pasta such as noodles, tortellini or filled pasta cases.

Oats do not naturally contain any gluten (gliadin), according to most recent research, but it is nearly always contaminated with gluten due to its processing involving harvesters, mills, filling stations and other technical equipment that also process other products containing gluten.

amaranthNo gluten (or very little) is present in:

Corn (maize), rice, so-called wild rice (is a flower seed), buckwheat, millet, amaranth (illustrated left) and quinoa.

Other products that are gluten-free are milk, butter and dairy products in their natural state (natural yoghurt, cream, semi-hard cheese and soft cheese (as long as they have not been blended with other foods!), oil (margarine), meat, fish, egg, fruits and vegetables (including potatoes and pulses or legumes).

Be careful with any diet- and low-calorie products!  They often have substituted sugars in them that contain gluten!

Since November 2005 it is a legal requirement (within the European Union) to indicate if a product might contain gluten, which means you can easily spot on the ingredients list or the label whether this is the case or not.

USA: Requirements for proper labeling are being formulated by the USDA.

In the United Kingdom, only cereals currently need to be labelled, while labeling of other products is voluntary.(3)

The national coeliac societies and charities oversee the licensing of the “Crossed Grain” symbol, which signifies whether a product is gluten-free. Some manufactures will mark the product as “suitable for coeliacs”, “suitable for a gluten-free diet”, or similar. If you can find the “Crossed Grain” symbol on the package then it is reasonable to assume that this product is gluten free!

The table below can help you put together your individual diet:

  gluten-free not gluten-free
Grains   Corn (maize), rice, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa   Wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, unripe spelt grains, einkorn wheat, emmer
Vegetables   All fresh, frozen and dried types of vegetables.
Potatoes, and potato flour, sweet potatoes, tapioca, beans, peas, lentils, soya beans, edible chestnuts
  Vegetables in cans or in ready meals are not tolerated if they contain certain emulsifiers, preservatives, thickening agents, stabilisers or starch!
"Nuts" and seeds   Hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds , sesame seeds, poppy seeds, linseed (flaxseed), coconut    
Fruits   All fresh, frozen and dried fruit types   Attention! Fruit fillings tend to contain thickening agents and starch
Eggs   Both yoke and white    
Dairy products   Milk, quark, natural yoghurt, cream, mature cheese, kefir, soured milk, whey   Several types of cheese contain thickening agents. Read the list of ingredients!
Meat   All types of meat, poultry and game, cooked and cured ham   Sausage products and cold meats are often not gluten-free. Read the list of ingredients!
Fish and shell fish   Fresh or smoked   Fish products, preserved fish, fish in batter. Bread crumbs contain gluten!
Fats and Oils   Corn oil, rape oil (canola oil), olive oil, sunflower oil, butter, lard, peanut butter   Margarine and vegetable oils need to be checked for unsuitable additives.
Beverages   Fruit teas and infusions, herbal teas and infusions, juices, freshly brewed coffee   Instant coffee, granulated coffee, ready-made coffee or cocoa (e.g. from drinks machines), beer, malt drinks
Other foods   Honey, tofu, soya milk, pure herbs (parsley, chives, mint, ...) edible chestnuts   Seitan (wheat gluten)

 

Sources include:
1) Deutsche Zöliakie Gesellschaft e.V.
2) Vogelsang,H.; Edlinger, E.; Terler, E.; "Zöliakie - Erkrankung des Dünndarms mit hoher Dunkelziffer", in Arzt+Patient, Oktober 2009
3) "Guidance Notes on the Food Labelling (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2004"

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The information provided on the Food Intolerance Network website is no substitute for a visit to a registered dietician, nutritionist or a doctor. The information that you will find here may not be used as a substitute for professional advice and treatment by a medical professional or approved and registered dieticians. The content of the Food Intolerance Network website may not be used as a basis or means for any form of self-diagnosis.

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