Those who are gluten intolerant truly ‘live in fear’ of getting ‘glutened’. Glutened is an expression that’s been coined to mean that you inadvertently consumed gluten. And for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity a little gluten in a food can create negative health ramifications that last for hours, days, weeks or months – literally.
When it comes to cooking oils, they are generally found to be in the ‘no worries’ category when it comes to gluten. Recommended oils such as olive or coconut are made from fruits or nuts that contain no gluten naturally. Other less desirable oils such as canola, corn or safflower not only are made from substances that are naturally gluten-free but they are so refined that any protein that could have potentially caused a problem has been removed.
Typically labels on oils don’t specify that they are gluten-free because they don’t have to. Olive oil has a single ingredient – olives – and they are not a gluten-containing fruit. Some more refined oils may have an ingredient list on the bottle because in addition to the oil itself there are additives such as carotene, lecithin or citric acid that have been added to help the oil from going rancid. These oils are not the healthiest overall and not ones that I recommend for daily cooking, but the additives are gluten-free.
In the world of gluten intolerance we can never be anything less than vigilant and this post illustrates why.
Imagine my surprise when a patient pointed out that her cooking spray contained gluten. I never use cooking sprays which is probably why I hadn’t thought about the fact that such a product could contain gluten, but in over 20 years of educating patients about hidden sources of gluten, it honestly had never come up before.
Now that it has, let’s review the products on the market and what you should be alert for:
Sprays such as Pam Baking, Pillsbury Baking Spray, Spectrum Canola Baking Spray and Bak-Klene Nonstick Baking Spray all contain gluten. They all clearly stated on the ingredient list of the can that gluten was present. If you’ve done much baking you’ll be familiar with the process of greasing and flouring baking pans. These products are attempting to ‘make your life easier’ by having both ingredients in one spray bottle.
Wal Mart’s brand and Pam cooking spray (vs baking spray) state theirs does not contain gluten though both companies label theirs cans with a warning of potential cross-contamination.
So the lesson for this blog is – ALWAYS, ALWAYS READ THE LABEL!
Even if you ‘think’ you know what’s in something and even if you’ve bought it before and it was fine – READ THE LABEL. Too often patients get into trouble thinking that something ‘shouldn’t’ have gluten and therefore they don’t bother to read the label. Or, something that was ‘safe’ in the past has changed its ingredients and it now does contain gluten.
When dining out oil can become a problem from a cross-contamination issue. While your French fries may very well be gluten-free, if they’re deep fried in the same oil that just fried the tater tots, you’re in trouble. The gluten coating from those tater tots is in the oil and now, to some degree, on your French fries.
So when ordering anything deep fried, ensure the restaurant has a dedicated fryer that they use for their gluten-free products. If not, you are risking gluten contamination.
I hope you found this helpful. I am here to assist you to improve your health. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally.
If you’d like assistance I’m happy to offer you a free health analysis. Call 408-733-0400.
To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you!”