Can We Trust Products Labeled Gluten Free?

About 4 months ago, a major gluten-free product was recalled due to the misbranding as "gluten-free" and because of undeclared wheat in the product. This is the product that was recalled..

"1,572 pounds of Applegate Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets."

If you have gotten sick during a period of time when you ate these then that's probably why. If you haven't seen or eaten this product before then look at it as rather to prove a point of, "what is actually gluten-free?"

What's safe?
Seeing this product recalled immediately sparked the thought in my mind of what else could we all be eating right now that we think is gluten-free but is not. This is just one product that got recalled due to mislabeling. We can only go so far on our diet to ensure each gluten-free labeled product we eat won't contain gluten. But when it comes to things like this, there is just no way to avoid it. I remember in the past of times where I'd be eating gluten-free cookies and other non natural gluten-free products and wouldn't feel good at all. I would feel sick like I just ate gluten even though I would be eating on a 100% gluten-free diet. It's things like this that make me skeptical about "gluten-free" labeled products and what's really safe while eating this way.

The label "gluten-free" doesn't mean 100% free of gluten
Many people on a gluten-free diet that are celiac do not know that just because something is labeled gluten-free doesn't mean it is 100% free of gluten. Companies are actually aloud to label products gluten-free if it is under a certain PPM (parts per million) gluten count. Since everyone's sensitivity is different, a reaction can occur from eating just around 10 - 50 milligrams of gluten. The amount of PPM that a product has to be under to be labeled gluten-free is 20 PPM. That should give you an estimate of what something labeled gluten-free actually means. Often "gluten-free" breads and grain foods are the worst offenders and are likely to contain the most gluten. This just goes to show you that even though something says gluten-free it doesn't mean it is. You're still taking in a small amount of gluten each day with theses products and it can add up to give you a reaction. For more on PPM Click Here.

Eating natural is the best way to go
Of course we can all read labels and look at the ingredients to get the best idea of what we are putting in our body. But do we really have to? If you are eating a natural diet of fruits, meats, veggies, and nuts, there are no labels! You don't have to worry about ingredients and worry about problems like this ever happening. There are a lot of reasons I and many others have expressed before about why we should just eat natural on a gluten-free diet. But if this doesn't lead you to believe that a natural diet is the best option, then I don't know what will. I can't stress enough how important it is you get your diet right to ensure you will feel the best you can while being gluten-free.

Soo..did you already know most of this information or was it new and surprising to you? Does this make you believe natural foods are the best way to go? Comment below! I'm very interested to know. 
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  1. Thanks to the Celiac Sprue Association, I am super clear on ppm and that FDA approved is not good enough for MANY people. I talk about this in my book, "Gluten-Free Made Easy as 1,2,3", crediting CSA.

    This is a GREAT post that everyone eating GF should read. Thanks!

  2. I've actually heard of the book before and thought about buying it because I thought it looked very useful. I completely agree the FDA approved stuff isn't enough and not enough people are aware of that. That's why I did this post to give people a better Idea. Glad you liked it and thanks for commenting!

  3. Aw, thanks! The kindle version will be free for one day on Feb 3, so please mark your calendar and get it free! It's on amazon and just typing in "Gluten-Free Made Easy" has it come up at the top of the list.

    Be well, and I look forward to more posts! I wish I'd been half as smart as you when I was 15. :D

  4. Haha, thank you. That's very kind. I'll definitely mark the date right now and download it on my kindle then! Thanks again for your comment and I followed you on twitter as well.

  5. Holy Smoke! I have a package of those in the freezer that says gluten free on them just like your picture. So are they gluten free or should I return them? Have they corrected the issue and are actually gluten free now? Do you have info on the recall?

  6. They are gluten-free now. It was just during a certain time period where they shipped out the wrong product in the wrong package. I looked up the recall and they took it down, so I'm unable to get it. You're ok to eat those now, but it's just scary to think if it happens again we won't know until after the recall. This company has had more than 1 recall to for allergens so I'd be careful.