If you’ve heard about going gluten-free, or you’re considering it to help manage your PCOS symptoms, you might be wondering – what the heck is gluten anyway?!
Gluten is a structural protein. It’s found in things like wheat, rye, barley and triticale – but, for the purposes of Cysters trying to manage their PCOS, it’s an invisible enemy! Sure, it gives bread products their lovely shape… but it can wreak havoc when it comes to inflammation!
How do I know when something has Gluten in it?
In most cases for processed items, unless it’s specifically stating that it’s gluten free, it probably isn’t. For example, most breads, pastas, cakes, biscuits and pastries will contain gluten.
However, gluten has also snuck into some other processed foods. (Check out my pantry must-haves for eating delicious meals without inflammation inducing ingredients!)
Here are my top tips for avoiding even the sneakiest of glutens!
- Check your condiments!
Things like soy sauce often contain gluten, but gluten free options are usually available. For example, San J soy sauce!
- Skip the ingredients section first!
To save time and headaches, check the packaging to see if it says ‘wheat free’ or ‘gluten free’ under the ingredients list. You’ll usually find this near the nut allergy or vegan/vegetarian stamps. It should say “Contains: wheat” if there’s gluten in there!
- Ask about preparation
When eating at restaurants and cafes, items that are usually gluten free may not be, due to their preparation. Oats, meats, fish and even potatoes are often flour coated before cooking to improve the texture – make sure you specify that you’re gluten free to ensure no sneaky flour makes its way into your meal!
When you’re cooking at home, check your food labels
Wheat berries, semonila, spelt, farina, graham, durum, emmer, faro, Khorasan, udon and einkorn, starch, modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, textured vegetable protein, dextrin, maltodextrin, glucose syrup, caramel, malt flavoring and malt extract.
Some of these ingredients may contain gluten – so as well as looking out for gluten itself, make sure you’re familiar with which ingredients contain gluten too!
Protein bars and candy often contain barley products, whilst processed meats like turkey ham can contain traces of rye – both being derivatives of gluten.
Inside The Cysterhood, we drop 10 new recipes every month… all of them gluten and dairy free!
From blackberry pudding to chocolate cupcakes, fish tacos to chicken Alfredo, there are so many delicious recipes to enjoy – as well as grocery lists to swipe, so you can shop without reading all the labels!