Navigating the world of gluten-free eating can be daunting, especially when you are just starting out. The premise of gluten-free eating is very simple: if you stick to whole, unprocessed foods and avoid wheat, barley, rye and all their derivatives, then you’re golden.
However, easy as it may seem to get a simple, whole foods meal when you go out to eat, you will quickly learn that you have to be on your A-game in order to ensure that you don’t accidently get some gluten onto your plate.
Remember, if you are gluten intolerant, you need to stay away from gluten 100% of the time. Here are a few foods that you need to be extra vigilant about when you go out to eat:
1. Scrambled Eggs: Some restaurants add pancake batter to their scrambled eggs to make them fluffier.
2. Fish/Seafood: Sometimes fish and seafood is dusted with flour to keep it from sticking to a cooking surface.
3. Vegetables: They could be steamed in the same water that is used to prepare/reheat pasta.
4. Soups: The soup base, or roux, is often made from a flour base.
5. Potato chips and tortilla chips: These are often contaminated with gluten when they are prepared in a fryer that is used to fry other breaded and battered foods.
6. French fries: Can be coated with a flour mixture, and just like chips, they some often contaminated with gluten when they are fried in a fryer that is used to fry other breaded and battered foods.
7. Crab: Make sure to eat real crab!! Real crab is gluten-free, imitation crab often is not.
8. Sauces: Oftentimes, the base of sauces are made with a roué, which uses flour. Other sauces, like soy sauce and teriyaki sauce typically contained fermented wheat.
9. Burgers/Meatballs/Meatloaf: Breadcrumbs are often added to burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf.
10. Mashed potatoes: Flour is sometimes added to mashed potatoes as a thickening agent.
11. Vegan meat substitutes: Vegan meats products are often made from wheat.
Make sure that you talk with the restaurant manager to find gluten-free items on the menu before ordering. Remember to tell the manager or chef that both the meal AND its preparation must be gluten-free.