Being gluten-intolerant or sensitive to gluten means that your body is basically going to go into conniptions every time you get some gluten in you. It’s important that you’re careful with your food intake, but gluten isn’t just in the food you eat. “It’s everywhere!”(said in a paranoid voice)
If you’re allergic, intolerant of, or sensitive to gluten, here are a few mistakes you should watch out for:
Double-Dipping — No, dipping your gluten-free tortilla chip into the salsa bowl twice isn’t a problem, but it could be if someone else dipped a gluten-rich chip first. Peanut butter is the worst of the culprits, as most people spread it on their regular bread while dipping the knife repeatedly into the jar. By the time you poor gluten-intolerant person gets to it, it’s filled with glutinous bread crumbs – meaning no peanut butter for you. You might want to get your own personal jar.
Drinking Soup — So, you think soup will make you feel better when you’re sick, eh? Just be careful that it’s not a soup that contains gluten – a surprisingly common occurrence. Campbell’s Chicken Broth is just one example of a soup that’s loaded with gluten, and you’d be amazed how many of the soups in your supermarket will harm you. If you’re going to make soup, use a broth you made yourself, or at least one made from soup stock you’re sure isn’t riddled with gluten.
French Fries — To hear that French fries is off your gluten-free menu may kill you, as it’s one of the few pleasures you still have left. Well, it’s only when you eat them at a local fast food joint, such as McD’s or Burger King. Cross-contamination is very common in these fast food places, as the oil used to cook the fries is often the same oil used to cook the chicken tenders, deep fry the nuggets, and cook just about everything else. Unless you specify that they’re cooked in a separate fryer, don’t be surprised if you end up being “gluten-d”.
Cleaning Your Hands — Sad, but true: hand sanitizer has gluten, as do a number of beauty products. Anything that has wheat germ oil (a huge amount of cosmetics and beauty items do) will be off limits for you, and almost any hand sanitizer at restaurants, banks, and offices will increase your risk of an outbreak. If you must have clean hands, buy your own gluten-free stuff.
Eating Salad — You may ask for your salad to be crouton-free, but that doesn’t mean the ghosts of the croutons won’t still haunt you. Many times, servers will simply pick the croutons off the salad, but the wheat particles are still there to attack your body. For the gluten-intolerant, specify that the salad is prepared without croutons, and mention your “potentially fatal” allergic reaction to even the slightest contact with gluten.
Shampooing Your Hair — It sucks for all the gluten-intolerant, but the regular commercial shampoos are usually loaded with gluten. Those that spend a lot of time at the hairdressers may need to bring their own (if they’re allowed to), or else forgo this great pleasure for their body’s sake.
Adding Flavoring to Coffee -- Not all coffee flavorings have gluten, but many do. Before you add that “Irish Crème” or “Hazelnut” creamer into your cup of Joe, check the ingredients to make sure that it’s wheat and gluten-free – or else prepare to be gluten-d.
Eating Light Dairy — Did you know that “light” dairy products are often loaded with gluten? Full fat dairy is usually natural (there’s no gluten in cow’s milk), but the process of “lightening” it usually involves the addition of some pretty shady ingredients – some of which contain gluten. If you must have dairy – specifically sour cream and yoghurt – always go for the full-fat stuff.