Eating a vegan and gluten-free diet can be a challenge, especially when it comes to finding foods that are both safe and delicious. Even if you’re careful to read labels, you may be surprised to learn that some products contain hidden animal and gluten/wheat ingredients. However, with a little knowledge and some careful label-reading, you can still enjoy a variety of snacks and meals.
Here’s a look at some of the most common hidden sources of vegan and gluten-free ingredients that you need to watch out for.
Soy sauce is one of the most widely used condiments in the world, but unfortunately, it’s not always gluten-free. Most soy sauces contain wheat, so it’s important to check the label to make sure your favorite brand is gluten-free.
A brand that I used most often is the San J Tamari Soy Sauce. It's widely available and affordable as well.
Malt is a type of grain that’s often used in food products to give them a distinct flavor. Unfortunately, malt is usually made from barley, which is not vegan or gluten-free. If you’re avoiding gluten and animal products, be sure to check the label of any product that contains malt.
Many spices contain wheat flour as an anti-caking agent. If you’re trying to avoid gluten, it’s a good idea to check the labels of any spices you buy to make sure they’re gluten-free.
Gelatin is a common food additive used to give products a thicker texture. Unfortunately, it’s usually made from animal bones, so it’s important to check the label to make sure it’s vegan-friendly.
Modified Food Starch
This is a common food additive that’s used to give foods a thicker texture. It’s often derived from wheat and other grains, so it’s important to check the label to make sure it’s vegan and gluten-free.
Carmine is a red food coloring that’s made from the dried and crushed bodies of cochineal insects. It’s commonly found in red, pink, and purple foods, so it’s important to check the label if you’re vegan and gluten-free.
Casein is a type of protein found in dairy products. It’s often used as an additive in many processed foods, so it’s important to check the label if you’re vegan.
By keeping an eye out for these hidden sources of vegan and gluten-free ingredients, you can still enjoy a variety of snacks and meals. Always read the labels carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re out shopping. With a little knowledge and some careful label-reading, you can make sure your vegan and gluten-free diet is truly safe.