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HomeBlogIt's What's Inside That Counts – Tips On How To Read Labels For A Gluten-Free Diet

It's What's Inside That Counts – Tips On How To Read Labels For A Gluten-Free Diet

By: Medix Team
It's What's Inside That Counts – Tips On How To Read Labels For A Gluten-Free Diet

Deciding to follow a gluten-free diet can be a daunting experience and often difficult at first. Whether you have chosen to do it for medical or alternative reasons, knowing how to identify ingredients on product labels is an important factor in maintaining a healthy gluten-free strategy. Here are five tips to help you make smart choices:

  1. "Wheat-free" does not automatically mean that it is gluten-free - Most often a food label bearing "gluten-free" complies with gluten-free guidelines, meaning that it does not contain grains such as wheat or barley and is not a derivative of gluten-containing.
  2. Wheat is not the only source of gluten - Avoid products that contain any of the unmistakable sources of gluten, including but not limited to wheat, barley, rye, bulgur, couscous, spelt, semolina and matzo. Oats are classified as gluten-free however they are often grown alongside wheat therefore can be cross-contaminated. It is advisable to only purchase oats certified as gluten-free as they are not grown in proximity to wheat.
  3. Allergen listing – It is common for packaged food products to list allergens within the ingredients such as milk, eggs, soy, nuts, and wheat. This can be a quick indicator as to what to avoid.
  4. Naturally healthy – Fresh fruit and vegetables are reliably the healthiest and most often the safest food options compared to packaged goods as they are unprocessed, contain no hidden ingredients and are gluten-free. They also hold naturally beneficial nutrients for the body. A balanced diet of whole, fresh foods offers great value beyond the absence of gluten.
  5. Hidden dangers – Medications prescribed over-the-counter may contain gluten, so it is important that you mention your dietary needs to your doctor and pharmacist. It is also important to take note of make-ups, toothpastes, soaps, shampoos and moisturising creams as many contain wheat or oats. Although gluten is not absorbed into the skin directly, oral contact may be problematic.

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