What You Should Know About Processed Meats When Following a Gluten-Free Diet

Following a gluten-free diet can be disconcerting especially if you are just getting started. Identifying foods that are gluten-free can be frustrating because not only the ingredients but also the processing of food is essential to avoid cross-contamination 


Here is a list of things you should know about processed meats



Are processed meats healthy?

Processed meats are unhealthy. There is strong evidence that preservatives in processed foods cause cancer. 

Why do cold cuts contain gluten?

Most cold cuts including pepperoni, salami, pate, hot dogs and sausages contain high levels of gluten because they contain grains. Also, some additives such as malt, maltodextrin, and smoke which are used for flavour are derived from barley

What about bacon? 

Most bacon is gluten-free because it is made with pork belly, salt and pepper, smoke flavour and nitrates. But once again the same issue is that cross-contamination can happen during processing because of shared equipment in the plant. Also, some smoke flavour contains barley malt powder





What about certified gluten-free processed meats?

The only way to be sure is to buy certified gluten-free processed meats? Yes, these are safe to eat, but never get the deli to slice them. The chance of cross contamination is most likely to happen unless they use a specific slicer, utensils, boards and an area designated for gluten-free meats. Using gloves when handling gluten-free meats is vital. Simply just wiping down the slicer is not good enough. My recommendation is to buy only packaged certified gluten-free processed meats

What about homemade deli meat?

The second option is to make your deli meat. Marinate a turkey breast, chicken, beef or pork in your favourite marinade for 24 hours. Roast, cool and slice just before serving. You can also buy gluten-free liquid smoke and add to your marinade for that smokey flavour we love.  Homemade deli meat when refrigerated should last up to 4 days. It is that simple and certainly much healthier


This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to offer medical advice