We’ve talked about the gluten-free craze that seems to have taken the world by storm before. It does seem trendy (some might say fad) but according to the Gluten Intolerance Group, gluten intolerance is the most undiagnosed disorder in the US. And Celiac Disease it the most common hereditary autoimmune disease in the US and Europe.
If you or someone you know is dealing with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, instead of thinking about all of the foods that are off limits, concentrate on what you CAN have. One of the more common challenges for people on gluten-free diets is eating at the office. Even if the break room is loaded with snacks for employees, you might feel doomed to avoid them at all costs. But as awareness of this disorder increases, product availability is improving and companies are responding with more celiac friendly options.
At Breaktime Refreshments we offer a number of products that are made without gluten, and the selection seems to be growing!
Chips – Among the chip selection are Boulder Jalapeno Cheddar, California Honey BBQ (my favorite). Lays has a number of chips made without gluten ingredients (though they are sure to disclose that they don’t have a dedicated gluten free facility so those with severe allergies should be careful). Lays Original and Baked Lays Original, Fritos Original are all made without gluten. The same goes for Popchips, who are actually certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (which are quickly becoming very popular)**
Chocolate and Candy- People who suffer from serious gluten intolerance or CD need to be very wary of cross contamination in just about everything they consume. But here are some sweets that are made without wheat or gluten ingredients (and I personally know a number of Celiac sufferers who have no problem with these foods): Snickers, Baby Ruth, Nutrolls, M&Ms (regular, peanut and peanut butter), Skittles, Pearson’s Mint Patties, Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s with Almonds, Andes mints, Sweet Stripe Mints, Starlight Mints, Hot Tamales, Black Forest Gummy Bears, Laffy Taffy, and Starburst are only SOME of the options available made without gluten ingredients.**
Nuts – Both the bulk and individually packaged nuts we carry are naturally gluten free. Peanuts, mixed nuts, natural and Smokehouse almonds, cashews, pistachios…nuts are an awesome part of any diet, whether you avoid wheat and gluten or not.
Fruit – Fresh fruits and veggies are naturally gluten free. We make weekly deliveries of a variety of fruits which we should ALL be eating plenty of daily.
Snack Bars – Many snack bars need to be avoided because they contain either wheat ingredients or oats (which are typically very contaminated by gluten unless processed in a dedicated facility). Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Bars are an awesome gluten free option (I LOVE them)
Obviously some things to avoid are pretzels, crackers, and cookies, but there are some lesser known culprits. For instance, did you know that many types of licorice contain wheat flour? Keep an eye out on our website for a full list of gluten free items!
**DISCLAIMER – I am not a doctor, nor have a played one on TV (yet). If your doctor or nutritionist has recommended a gluten free diet for you, be sure to read labels carefully and avoid items containing wheat, rye, barley, oats (unless certified gluten free) and modified food starch (which is often derived from wheat). Foods made without gluten ingredients are not necessarily guaranteed to be free of any trace of gluten.