Eating gluten free is important if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Both conditions cause digestive problems. A food journal will help you and your doctor determine the right diagnosis. Either condition will make it necessary to eliminate foods that contain gluten and any that are made with gluten by-products. Some types of refried beans are safe while others are not, so reading the ingredients is important when making your selection.
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What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barley and sometimes in spelt or oats that have been processed in the same facility with them. A person who eats gluten and who has celiac disease causes damage to the intestines, which can be reversed by switching to a gluten-free diet. A gluten intolerance is less dangerous, but can still produce digestive problems.
Canned Refried Beans
Beans are naturally gluten free, but those that are processed and canned could have been prepared with an ingredient that contains gluten. If you have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, ask your doctor for a list of safe and unsafe ingredients. Carry this with you to the store and compare the ingredients in the refried beans so that you are able to purchase a safe option.
Homemade Refried Beans
Having a specific food restriction can make it difficult to find convenience foods. Many people opt to make their own versions so that they don't have to worry about eating something that will make them ill. Dried beans are gluten free and can be used to prepare refried beans at home. Boil the beans until soft, then blend with olive oil, salt, pepper, onions, tomato paste, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and chili powder. Experiment with your own combination of spices to create a gluten-free version. Remember to check the labels of any ingredients you use in your refried beans to ensure that they are safe as well.
Restaurant Refried Beans
Eating in restaurants is challenging if you must eat gluten free because it is hard to know what ingredients are being used to prepare your meal. Many restaurants post nutritional information on their websites and include allergen information. Look for this to determine which meals are gluten free. If the restaurant does not provide this information, call and speak to the cook or owner who can give you more information about what ingredients are used to prepare the refried beans. If you are in doubt, it may be best to choose a different restaurant.