Once you’ve figured out that you can’t have gluten, the next step is trying to find products you can use! Luckily, there are more and more gluten-free products available now.
There are quite a few ways to find gluten-free products online. One way is to go directly to manufacturers websites. Many of the larger companies will have a section for allergen information. Take for instance Frito-Lay. Check out their list of products that are gluten-free: http://www.fritolay.com/your-health/us-products-not-containing-gluten-ingredients.html Are you as surprised as I was to find out you could have so many snacks? I mean really! I was beyond thrilled to find out that I could have regular Doritos!! Yessssss! All is not lost!!
You will notice too on this site that it has been divided into two lists. The first list is certified to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. The FDA says for a product to be “gluten-free” it must have less that 20 ppm (parts per million) or .002%.
The second list, the products do not contain wheat, rye, barley or oat ingredients but some of them may be manufactured on the same lines as products that contain gluten. They say “Although our lines are cleaned between production runs, Frito-Lay has not tested these products for gluten content and the ingredients in these products may have come into contact with gluten-containing products prior to manufacturing. Individuals who are sensitive to gluten should take these factors into consideration in consuming these products.”
This is where the possibilities of cross-contamination can come into play. Basically the item has no gluten, however it might get gluten on it from other things nearby.
How to handle this? I cannot speak for anyone who is a Celiac, because that is a disease and not an intolerance. But for ME (self-diagnosed gluten intolerant), I approach these items with care. Sometimes these products do not bother me at all. Some give me a grouchy stomach or make me a little bloated. If I choose to have something that “could” be cross-contaminated, I make sure that everything else I eat at that time is gluten-free so that IF I do have a reaction I can attribute it to that particular item. But for ME, I try to stay away from these items as there are usually other options available. This is something you will need to figure out which path YOU want to take.
Other locations for great information are the Celiac websites. Even though you may be gluten-intolerant and not a Celiac, always check these sites, publications etc… as they are a wealth of information and are specifically gluten-free!
Lastly, The Celiac Disease Foundation has started a wonderful on-line resource where you can find lists of gluten-free products!
You will see it has the products in simple categories. Then it will list products available that they are aware of. It also includes that company’s contact info – address, website etc……..so that you can check further. The websites will usually tell you if you can purchase it in your area or if you can get it online. Often times they will have coupons too!
Let me know what you think about this resource!