Gluten is not harmful to most people, but for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, it can cause a range of symptoms. While gluten can be found in many unexpected foods, there are still many delicious and nutritious gluten-free options ranging from almond flour to Worcestershire sauce.
GLUTEN is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It is what gives bread its chewy texture and is often used as a binding agent in processed foods. Gluten is not harmful to most people, but for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, it can cause a range of symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.
Here are some foods that contain gluten:
Oats: Oats are a naturally gluten-free grain, but they are often contaminated with gluten during processing. It is important to look for certified gluten-free oats if you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Processed Foods: Many processed foods contain gluten, including packaged snacks, frozen meals, and canned soups. It is important to read labels carefully and look for gluten-free alternatives.
Sauces and Condiments: Many sauces and condiments contain gluten, including soy sauce, mustard sauce and marmite. It is important to look for gluten-free alternatives or make your own sauces and dressings at home.
French Fries: French fries are made from potatoes, which are naturally gluten-free. However, many restaurants and fast-food chains use a coating or batter that contains wheat to make their fries crispy. If you are following a gluten-free diet, look for fries that are specifically labelled as gluten-free.
Gravy: Gravy is frequently made with flour as a thickening, which means it includes gluten. If you're gluten-free, check for gluten-free gravy or prepare your own with gluten-free flour.
Canned Soups: Wheat is frequently used as a thickening or filler in canned soups. If you are gluten-free, search for soups that are clearly labelled as gluten-free.
Liquorice: Liquorice is a candy that is often made with wheat flour. If you are following a gluten-free diet, look for liquorice that is specifically labelled as gluten-free.
Malt Vinegar: Malt vinegar is made from barley, which means it contains gluten. If you are following a gluten-free diet, look for vinegar that is made from alternative grains such as rice or corn.
Spices and Seasonings: Some spices and seasonings contain gluten, including curry powder and spice blends. It is important to read labels carefully and look for gluten-free alternatives.
Seitan: Seitan, also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, is a popular meat substitute made from wheat gluten. It is commonly used in vegetarian and vegan dishes and is often used as a substitute for meat in dishes such as stir-fries and stews.
Beer: Beer is manufactured from gluten-containing grains like barley and wheat. While certain gluten-free beers are available, most beers contain gluten and should be avoided by anyone with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Processed Meats: Processed meats such as sausages, hot dogs, and deli meats often contain gluten. This is because they are made with fillers and binders that contain wheat. If you are following a gluten-free diet, look for processed meats that are labelled as gluten-free.
Couscous: Couscous is a popular grain used in many Middle Eastern and North African dishes. It is made from wheat, which means it contains gluten. There are gluten-free couscous alternatives available, such as quinoa.
Salad Dressings: Gluten is used as a thickening or stabiliser in many salad dressings. If you are gluten-free, search for dressings that are specifically branded as gluten-free.
Ice Cream: Ice cream is not typically made with gluten-containing ingredients. However, some brands may use wheat-based stabilizers or add-ins such as cookies or brownies.
If you have a gluten intolerance or trying to avoid gluten altogether, there are many gluten-free alternatives available. These include:
1. Gluten-Free Grains
There are many gluten-free grains available, including rice, quinoa, and corn. These grains can be used in place of wheat, barley, and rye in many recipes.
2. Gluten-Free Flours
There are many gluten-free flours available, including almond flour, coconut flour, and chickpea flour. These flours can be used in place of wheat flour in many recipes.
3. Gluten-Free Breads and Baked Goods
There are many gluten-free breads and baked goods available, including bread, pasta, and cookies. These products are made with gluten-free flours and are safe for those with gluten intolerance.
4. Gluten-Free Sauces and Condiments
There are many gluten-free sauces and condiments available, including gluten-free soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salad dressings. These products are made with gluten-free ingredients and are safe for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
While gluten can be found in many unexpected foods, there are still many delicious and nutritious gluten-free options available in Indian cuisine. By being aware of the ingredients and preparation methods of each dish, communicating your dietary needs, and exploring alternative flours and grains, you can enjoy the rich flavours and diverse dishes of Indian cuisine while maintaining a gluten-free diet.