When you’ve got something as serious as a food allergy or celiac disease, reading food labels becomes second-nature. When you’re first diagnosed with a food allergy or Celiac disease, the learning curve is quite high while you learn the basics over what you can and can no longer have in your diet.
As the time passes and living with your food restrictions becomes more second-nature, you will find that you read the labels quicker, picking out the offending ingredients. The problem is, when it comes to serious restrictions — you should always read the food labels.
Always check the label
When living with celiac disease, you need to take serious care when it comes to choosing what to put in your body. If you’re eating something that is not prepared by yourself with naturally gluten-free ingredients, you should always double check the ingredients list before you purchase (or eat). Even if the product was safe before, they could change the recipe and that’s not unheard of.
Don’t eat without a label
Also, never eat something prepared that does not have a label on it. Unless it came straight from nature (like fresh fruit and vegetables) and is naturally gluten free. I always say, when in doubt do without. I am still working on this when it comes to eating elsewhere (like if a friend goes and prepares food, I still have that “don’t want to feel rude” attitude, which is not good). If you want to eat at a restaurant and want to check into some of the ingredients to see if it’s safe — ask to see their ingredient binder. If they don’t have one or the chef can not answer simple questions — find somewhere else.
It may look the same, but not be the same
There are many products that look the same that are made of totally different ingredients. One may be safe for the gluten free diet and the other may contain serious gluten. One example is Canadian Smarties vs M&M’s — they both look very similar and you could assume they have the same ingredients, but you would be wrong. The regular chocolate M&M’s contains gluten-free ingredients while the Smarties has wheat listed in the ingredients, making it not safe. There are many BBQ sauces that are gluten free and other brands that are not — so always, always check.
It’s more than just food
You can’t just read food labels, but other products may contain gluten that are not safe when you have celiac disease. Shampoo and conditioner, moisturizer and lipsticks can all contain gluten. It’s important to learn the scientific names for gluten so you can double check that what you’re about to use is safe — if there is any chance of the product entering your mouth.
Some people may wonder why you need to be so strict, they assume that surely it can’t be that bad, but taking care of your health and insuring minimum gluten contamination can mean the difference between being sick and being healthy. It’s not a step you really want to skip on — ever.Share This Post: Tweet