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Gluten Free gave me new things to look for. What have you found?

Posted by on Jul. 25, 2008 at 9:03 PM
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   We have all learned things the hard way Natalie blogs her's and her great finds.  I've even learned a few.  I never thought to check my hair products or makeup..makes me feel stupid, but I think I will always be learning. 

10 Silly Mistakes I Have Made on the Gluten Free Diet 

 by Natalie Naramor

   I  often get emails from new celiacs praising me about how perfect I seem at living gluten-free. Ha! The truth is it takes a little bit of planning and work to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle despite the fact that I have gotten better at working through the challenges. So since it is Friday, I decided to post a few dumb mistakes I have made on the gluten-free diet that have left me in hives or otherwise uncomfortable. Doh!

  10. Fries at a fast food restaurant- French fries at a fast food restaurant are not a good plan. It doesn't matter if McDonald's french fries are or are not fried in oil derived from wheat... If you order fries from a place that makes fried food you will eventually end up with a cross-contamination issue. It also gets tiresome asking restaurant employees to make sure things are cooked in a separate fryer. And so I have had the craving for french fries (especially as a crying hungry pregnant woman) and gotten burned for it. It may turn out that you don't "get gluten-ed" today, but chances are you will eventually if you eat french fries at a fast food restaurant. Do as I say, not as I do...

  9. Peanut Butter Jar- Sad but true. I have been "gluten-ed" by this rather simple error. I have heard some people on the gluten free diet say that they institute a "don't double dip" rule with a single peanut butter jar. This makes me laugh really hard. The last thing I want to do is nag about double dipping to my husband and children. Two peanut butter jars really didn't work for us either, so now we use the homemade gluten-free bread that I make which makes everyone happy.

  8. Chicken Broth- Campbell's Chicken Broth is definitely, without a question, NOT gluten-free. My mother-in-law (whom I love dearly) made me a chicken tortilla soup and I ended up with really, really bad hives. She still has not forgiven herself for this, but I wish she would because I was never upset! It was a really easy mistake! Now we go over every ingredient together. My advice is to make your own chicken broth or buy one you trust like the gluten-free brand, Pacific Foods.

  7. Hand Sanitizer- I admit that the "gluten in beauty products" thing eluded me at first. This is probably the area that I make the most silly mistakes. My first (not last) experience was with hand sanitizer. It pretty much scalded my hands. So FYI, pretty much everything at Bath and Body Works has wheat germ oil in it. We all need to form a coalition against giving people this stuff as gifts. Just my two cents.

  6. Phantom Croutons on My Salad- To all the waiters and other restaurant staff (who still manage to sleep at night) who simply toss my croutons off my salad after being told that I have celiac disease and a wheat allergy, beware!

  5. Vitamins- Working with your doctor on the right vitamin to take can be tricky. It is best to be proactive and talk with your doctor, the pharmacist, and the vitamin manufacturer to make sure the product you are taking is gluten free. This is a mistake I made when I was newly pregnant with my first son (scary!) but luckily I threw most of those vitamins right back up again.

  4 . Flavored Coffee- Most coffee is naturally gluten free! That is good news for me. I have been "gluten-ed" by some flavorings and flavored coffees, so coffee lovers beware of these hidden glutens. And no one should go near instant coffee because it isn't the real thing, but watch those brands if you are making a recipe that calls for it.

  3. Sour Cream- I hate it when I accidentally bring home the light sour cream instead of the full fat sour cream. I have been hurt by the light sour cream, so if you are still eating dairy, make sure you bring the right kind of sour cream home. Most sour cream is gluten-free, but some brands of full fat/light sour cream are not. Restaurant sour cream is the worst. On the Border's sour cream is not gluten-free (last I checked) and I had to send my food back because they automatically put it on my salad even though I asked for the salad off the gluten free menu. Be very specific even when ordering from a gf menu!

  2. Shampoo- I used to get my hair cut at an Aveda salon, but had to change when the products bothered me. Since the potion for these shampoos changes all the time, you may want to just wash your hair before you go. Most salons have rules against bringing your own products in, but you may get away with it in a smaller, local place. Shampoo may not bother everybody, but if you are taking a shower there is a chance the shampoo might wind up in your mouth (gross!).

  1. Cadbury Cream Eggs- This is my dumbest and most recent mistake. I am kinda embarrassed to admit this craving, but these things were my favorite Easter candy as a kid. Anyway, I really thought these things were gluten-free, but it turns out that they are not! I forgot to check the label, and ingested one of these cream egg things. I read the label after eating my old favorite Easter candy (rookie mistake!) and ‘wheat' was written as clear as day on the label. Yuck! I swear these things were gluten-free before in the U.S. (I could be wrong) but clearly they aren't now. Things change, so make sure you read the labels everytime.

   UPDATE: Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked just wrote to tell me that someone on the listserve wrote to say that those Cadbury eggs do have ‘wheat' on the label, but they are in fact still gluten free. Apparently, the ‘wheat' is the starter for the glucose syrup and the end result renders them gluten free- sort of like the distillation process and vinegar. So, I am not sure what to tell you about those Cadbury eggs. Maybe I will avoid them because they are bad for the waistline. I am not sure I can get over the ‘wheat' on the label.

  DISCLAIMER**** I call these 'silly' mistakes, but they are serious mistakes for anyone on the gluten free diet with celiac disease and/or food allergies. I call them 'silly' because I should have known better and to illustrate how these mistakes sneak up on you even after you have been on the gluten-free diet for years. ******

  There is so much information there.  You need to check out this site!


by on Jul. 25, 2008 at 9:03 PM
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by New Member on Aug. 22, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Thanks for listing your "silly" mistakes - they aren't!  They are very enlightening, especially for me, as I have recently been officially diagnosed with Celiac's.  I had actually asked my Dr. about 4 years ago if it was possible that I had this and he said "No, no, you are just stressed out from working in Silicon Valley, yadda yadda..."  Well guess what!  I was doing great on my gluten-free diet (as opposed to barfing 3 times a day, IBS, etc. and getting down to 75 pounds on the verge of a heart attack) then it all started up again.  Thanks to these kinds of posts, I figured out it was:  my lipgloss!  Thanks, Revlon!

Also, for years after having my baby, by Sunday nights, I would be really sick.  Turns out, it was the anti-bacterial soap that I was using!  Thanks to your post, I realize now that it actually must have contained some form of gluten.  (Because I had the baby with me non-stop from Friday night to Monday morning, I was constantly washing my hands with that soap, hence being sick by Sunday.)

Thanks for these kind of posts.  It makes us explore avenues that we haven't suspected before.



by Group Admin on Jan. 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM

  I wanted to add the labeling information here.  Nowhere does the FDA cover makeup, lotions, medications (yes medications.  I have my pharmacy on the look out for medications that are not safe for me, but they have to call the companies to be sure on some and believe it or not the drug companies have trouble coming up with the information we need.)

As you say they truly are not silly mistakes as the disclaimer shows:

 DISCLAIMER**** I call these 'silly' mistakes, but they are serious mistakes for anyone on the gluten free diet with celiac disease and/or food allergies.

  If you look at the site  you will see that the Government and FDA are making a partial attempt at having GF labels on products.  I wish I could say that it was enough.


Label Reading

FDA Update

As of July 2008

FDA will be publishing a final rule to define the food labeling term "gluten-free" sometime after it solicits and considers the public comments it receives on the agency's safety assessment report on gluten exposure in individuals who have celiac disease. FDA's intent to conduct this safety assessment was mentioned in the preamble of the proposed rule.

A Federal Register notice is expected to be published this summer to announce the availability of FDA's draft safety assessment report.

Because of this intermediate step, it is premature to estimate when the final rule will be published. However, interested individuals may wish to periodically check FDA's website for updates on the safety assessment report and the final rule.

FDA Proposes to Define the Term "Gluten-Free" for Voluntary Use in Food Labeling


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, Docket No. 2005N-0279, titled "Food-Labeling: Gluten Free Labeling of Foods" (72 FR 2795). Included in the proposed rule is a definition established by the FDA for the term "gluten-free" for voluntary use in the labeling of foods. A definition for the term "gluten-free" would assist those who have celiac disease (also know as celiac spue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy) and their caregivers to more easily identify packaged foods that are safe for persons with celiac disease to eat. Celiac disease occurs in genetically susceptible individuals and causes damage to their small intestine when they consume gluten found in "prohibited grains." Celiac disease has no cure, but avoiding the consumption of gluten can resolve its symptoms, mitigate and possibly reverse damage, and reduce associated health risks. This proposed rule has been prepared in response to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, Title II of Public Law 108-282, enacted on August 2, 2004, which directs the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to propose, and later make final, a rule that defines and permits the use of the food labeling term "gluten-free."

FDA is proposing to define the food labeling term "gluten-free" to mean that a food bearing this claim does not contain any of the following:

  • an ingredient that is a "prohibited grain," which refers to any species of wheat (e.g., durum wheat, spelt wheat, or kamut), rye, barley or their crossbred hybrids;
  • an ingredient (e.g., wheat flour) that is derived from a "prohibited grain" and that has not been processed to remove gluten;
  • an ingredient (e.g., wheat starch) that is derived from a "prohibited grain" that has been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 micrograms or more gluten per gram of food,
  • or 20 micrograms or more gluten per gram of food.

A food that bears the claim "gluten-free" or a similar claim (e.g. "free of gluten," "without gluten," "no gluten") in its labeling and fails to meet the conditions specified in the proposed definition of "gluten-free" would be deemed misbranded.

Currently, there is no Federal regulation that defines the term "gluten-free" used in the labeling of foods. Based upon comments FDA received during its public meeting on "gluten-free" food labeling held in August 2005 and other information available to the Agency, there is no universal understanding among U.S. food manufacturers or consumers about the meaning of a food labeled as "gluten-free." FDA believes that establishing a definition for the term "gluten-free" and uniform conditions for its use in the labeling of foods will ensure that persons with celiac disease are not misled and are provided with truthful and accurate information.

The proposed rule has a 90-day public comment period. Interested persons can submit comments electronically or in writing to the Division of Dockets Management, Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, (HFA-305) Rockville, MD 20852

A document titled "Questions and Answers on the Gluten-Free Labeling Proposed Rule" has been prepared by FDA and is available online.


Celiac Disease Foundation is a proud member of the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) and we congratulate the FDA on this week’s release of its proposed rule on gluten-free labeling. This proposal was required as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which the ACDA strongly supported. CDF worked closely with the American Celiac Disease Alliance and provided background information and collaborated with the FDA on this measure.

CDF and the American Celiac Disease Alliance look forward to reviewing the proposed rules and providing our comments to the FDA.


by Member on Mar. 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM
Even though this post is a few years old it still was enlightening. GF times sure have changed!
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by Group Admin on Jun. 11, 2012 at 3:16 AM

Times have changed and it is so much easier to find GF foods and GF information

by on Jul. 6, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I just wanted to let you know that there is a company, that I work for, that offers gluten free spices and cream base products. You can find it at We have chicken bouillon, beef bouillon, onion seasoning, pizza and pasta seasonings and also BBQ seasoning that are all gluten free. Some do state modified food starch but it is from corn. With the cream based product, Whisk Bliss Gluten Free, you can have creamed soups, gravies, cowders and so much more.

by Group Admin on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

nice to know.  There have been so many changes and so many companies have seen the real need and demand for GF items.   I am grateful for all of the new items out now.  I do hope that those who are fad dieting as GF to lose weight dont have a negative affect on the contiued improvement in GF foods.

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