Are Pickles, Mayo and Mustard Gluten-free?
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Dec 16 2009

Are Pickles, Mayo and Mustard Gluten-free?

Condiments in general seem to stump some people on the gluten-free diet due to some old information about vinegar floating around online. Several years ago, vinegar was finally proven to be gluten-free as long as it was 1) not made from malt vinegar and 2) it was distilled. Malt vinegar is made from barley. It is not distilled and it is not gluten-free. It is not true that only apple cider vinegar is gluten-free.

Most pickles, mayos and mustards are made with vinegar. The vinegar is often distilled from gluten grains and the distillation process renders it gluten-free. Since this news is less than ten years old, you can find online warnings about vinegar containing gluten all day long. That is why I highly recommend people on this diet for health reasons invest in Shelley Case’s book on the subject.

Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide is exactly that – a truly factual, comprehensive guide regarding all things related to the gluten-free diet. The book covers ingredients, hidden gluten, products and labeling laws in the U.S. and Canada. There is a section explaining what nutrients one eating a gluten-free diet might be deficient in and how to rectify that. There is a listing of gluten-free stores and 100% gluten-free restaurants – yes, a few do exist!

It’s very hard for people to learn this diet and lifestyle and it does not help when so much incorrect or outdated information will just not go away. Instead of trusting someone on a message board who tells you that you have to drink potato vodka (not true, by the way), why not go directly to the most trusted guide about this challenging to learn diet? Shelley’s book is the best investment anyone can make when trying to learn the many intricacies of this diet.   

Generally speaking, pickles are gluten-free but label reading is required with those and all products not marked gluten-free. There are some mustards that list wheat as in ingredient. They tend to be high end gourmet products and there are only a few of them, but they do exist. French’s, Heinz and Hellman’s make some gluten-free mustards but at last check, only Hellman’s was labeled gluten-free. Hellman’s mayo is also labeled gluten-free. Most mayos in the stores are gluten-free but you can find homemade mayos in restaurants that can contain gluten. Don’t ask how they get gluten into the mayo but they do it somehow. As always, READ the labels of every product you buy that is not labeled gluten-free.

References: Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic.

Have a question about the gluten-free diet that we haven’t covered yet?  You can now submit your questions here! (Note: All medical questions should be directed to your physician)

Article Written by:

Tiffany is considered a gluten-free advocate as well as the most discriminating gluten-free diner around. Her goal is to help others learn that there is life after a celiac diagnosis. Gluten-free dining and travel are two of her favorite things to do. Tiffany is a contributing writer and the Advertising Manager at "Delight gluten free" magazine. Check out her local blog, Gluten-Free Atlanta, for tips and tricks about living gluten-free in the ATL! Follow Tiffany on Twitter!

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