Shopping tips for gluten and corn free dieting: There are a lot of gluten free convenience foods on the market today. Many celiacs have been eating these prepackaged foods and now they’re having problems.
Corn is a problem for a lot of gluten intolerant people. Corn is used a lot because it helps to hold gluten free breads and crackers together nicely. That is because corn also contains its own type of gluten. Many people in the celiac community are surprised to learn this.
If you need gluten and corn free products for your gluten and corn free diet, there is a much shorter list of available items. Hopefully the tips here will help you find what you need to make your favorite recipes without the ingredients that are known to make you sick.
When I first began converting my kitchen for my son’s gluten and corn free diet I searched countless websites and found many focused on celiac’s disease, corn allergies, or combined celiac and milk intolerance, but I could not find a site that focused specifically on avoiding both gluten and corn allergies. It is difficult to stick to a gluten-free diet, but for those who also have to avoid corn as well, eating can become a real problem.
I have devoted a special section of this website for people allergic to both wheat and corn, hoping to spawn a community of readers that will interact together with tips and recipes to share. Please check it out. The links are found at the bottom of this post.
Recommended Reading: Check out our Healthy Gluten and Corn Free Recipes… and Gluten and Corn free Products List
Learn how to read product labels for the gluten and corn free diet:
Gluten free labeling is lacking strict standards but it is still much more reliable than corn free labeling at the moment. If you are new a gluten and corn free diet but you’ve been gluten free awhile, you will be disappointed to learn that corn is not considered a major allergen in the U.S. and is not regulated or labeled in food products as an allergen. There is just simply no law to protect people suffering from corn allergies. Since manufacturers are not accountable, labeling becomes a nefarious process of calling for verification and getting cross contaminated to whittle down safe products and reliable companies. Strange ingredient names on your product label may in fact be corn derived even though it is not listed on the box. You really have to become your own sleuth when you start a gluten and corn free diet.
- For a listing of ingredients that contain corn you must visit: www.cornallergens.com
- For a listing of ingredients that contain wheat visit: Ataxia Alternatives
Gluten and corn free condiment and extract tips:
- People with corn allergies have to be careful of extracts. First, you need to be sure you are using a pure extract and not a sweetened one. Second, nearly all commercial extracts are made from alcohol derived from corn. If they are not then they are derived from synthetic alcohol. Even organic extracts can be corn derived. Many allergists claim extracts won’t provoke an allergic reaction but many people who are corn free are not convinced. You have to try it out for yourself and then decide where you stand.
- People with gluten and corn allergies also need to be careful of products containing vinegar. This includes popular ketchup brands. White vinegar is not corn free and sometimes is not gluten free either. You need to call the manufacturer if the product is not labeled gluten and corn free. Manufacturers will tell you that distilled vinegar is okay because all remnants of the grain is removed during processing. It is up to you to decide whether distilled vinegar is okay for you. A good option is apple cider vinegar.
- People with gluten and corn allergies need to avoid citric acid in a majority of products, especially non-organic brands. Citric acid is largely produced by processing corn products in the U.S. even though it can be made from other raw ingredients.
Gluten and corn free shopping tips:
- Avoid buying things with ‘natural flavors’ as an ingredient
- Shop during the business day and bring your cell phone to call manufacturers right from the store aisle.
- Check out the generic brands, they often have the least ingredients and preservatives.
- Read the labels every time you shop because manufacturers are known to change their source ingredients.
- Soy sauce is not gluten free unless it is labeled gluten free. San-J makes a wheat-free soy sauce.
- A food co-op it will often be better than a grocery store, even on that specializes in organic foods. coopdirectory.org/directory.htm and nationalco-opdirectory.com
Corn permeates the food system as much if not more than wheat and gluten do. Over 80% of all processed foods and drinks in the U.S. have corn-derived ingredients in them. Read Michael Pollan’s book: The Omnivore’s Dilemma for a real eye-opener on the role that corn plays in our food chain and our children’s sugary diets! Keep in mind that corn is now the sugar you feed your kids, corn is in an indirect way increasing the Average braces costs.
Resource for gluten free companies and their certified products:
- (Gluten-Free Certification Organization (list of 20 companies and their products): gfco.org/products.php