Is low carb also gluten free? In a word: No. Frankly if you are eating low carb and gluten free, you must be extremely careful. While a lot of low carb products and recipes are gluten free, many have hidden gluten that you must be careful to avoid!
Let’s go back to the basics of what gluten does. It helps our gluten-filled bread stick together, right? Well, starch helps to make that happen as well. So in many low carb products, when they remove starch filled products, they substitute in extra wheat gluten to help give structure. Obviously this is a huge problem for anyone who is sensitive to gluten and is also eating low carb.
Should we be mad?
Should we be upset at the companies using vital wheat gluten and recipe creators who use it in their recipes and products? Absolutely not! They are creating value for the many people who are not gluten free but do want to eat low carb. Just as much as we should not be upset with the people who create products or recipes using wheat flour.
What to look out for?
Certainly it’s true that, “You cannot judge a book by it’s cover”. Looking at outward appearance, in some cases, can help us, though. If you see a recipe or a product that looks too good to be gluten free, pay more attention. Take that next step and look at the ingredients. Don’t waste your time watching a 20 minute youtube video, just to check the recipe at the end and realize it has 2 cups of wheat gluten added to it. Here is a great example of something that looks a bit better looking than other gluten free recipes and low and behold, it’s not!
As always, checking ingredient labels is one of the most important things we can do as allergen sensitive people. I totally understand the excitement and the comfort we get from seeing a product mentioning it is free of “fill in the blank”. It is typically a good sign that it at least has a good chance of being safe for us to eat. We still need to carefully examine it and make sure it is safe!
So is low carb also gluten free? Maybe… It’s not a guaranteed thing, and many low carb options contain lots of extra gluten. Read the recipe or ingredients list carefully and pay attention. If it seems too good to be true, it quite possibly is. I don’t want to drag your enthusiasm down but I really don’t want people getting sick either, and we have been deceived by quite a few of these recipes recently.
Don’t forget yesterday’s post here about these new bread mixes which ARE both gluten free and low carb (and amazingly delicious, too)!
Make it a tasty day,