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Eating Gluten Free

by Marilyn

Marilyn's Question...

I recently discovered I am gluten intolerant. Pre-mixed seasonings (i.e. chili mix, taco mix, meatloaf mix) and condiments are a huge problem. Who would have guessed that most vinegars are off limits too? Thank you!

Suzy's Answer...

Hi, Marilyn,

I am not surprised that those packaged seasoning mixes may have gluten, since they often contain flavorings that are made from wheat. Click on the link below for a list of ingredients that may indicate the presence of gluten in a food product.

Vinegar could have traces of gluten due to the process by which it is distilled. There is some controversy about whether the gluten could actually make it into the vinegar, but if you react to it, that's what matters. Drinking alcohol may have the same issue for gluten-sensitive people. (I have heard that gluten-sensitive people can even react to licking a postage stamp or other sticker, which may have a gluten-based glue.)

I'm sure you have figured out that if you stay away from processed food and eat more whole foods, you will have an easier time monitoring your gluten intake. There are also gluten-free product sections in many grocery stores and online these days, if you need to buy packaged foods.

Click on this link if you would like more information on eating gluten free.

Thanks for your comment and for visiting our healthy eating site!

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,

Suzy Staywell

Nutrition page

Gluten is a form of protein

Even though you probably have heard the word bandied about in the media, you may not know that gluten is the protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley, rye and oats, although there seems to be some controversy about the gluten in oats. When you see this list, you will agree that, at least in the Western diet, these are some of the most common grains found in our food supply.

Celiac Disease

Since you are reading this article, you probably either have or know someone that has, gluten sensitivity or full-blown Celiac Disease also known as celiac sprue. This is an autoimmune condition where you have an inflammatory response to eating anything containing gluten. The mechanism of this disease is that the gluten causes damage to the lining of your small intestine, making it difficult to absorb nutrients. In spite of eating an adequate diet, you are literally starving to death, since your body cannot take advantage of the nutrients in the foods you are eating.


The symptoms of celiac disease vary but they can include abdominal pain or cramping, weight loss, diarrhea, bone pain, anemia, weakness, bloating or bulky, floating stools. In other words, eating gluten if you have gluten sensitivity can make you pretty miserable. In addition, if you have untreated celiac disease, you are at a greater risk of developing gastrointestinal cancer or lymphoma. The good news is that once the disease is treated and the intestines heal, your risk of acquiring these kinds of cancers goes back to normal.

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