Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Know of any GF lentils?

I had real trouble finding any red lentils that didn't have a gluten warning on them (for a recipe we wanted to make). Eventually I found a pack that didn't have a warning, but I had a reaction to them :( Does anyone know of a brand that are certified GF? Any general thoughts on dried foods and contamination?

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Racquelle I don't have any advice for you but I am really glad you asked this question. I used to eat loads of lentils until I was diagnosed last year. I have been doing FODMAPs and reacted to some lentils I got from Tesco. I didn't know that there was a risk of contamination so that probably explains my reaction. Incidentally I have eaten puy lentils and was fine. I will try some others and keep you posted.

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I'm glad you asked as well but can't contribute anything positive! I know Merchant Gourmet's ready to eat lentils are definitely packed in a place where contamination can occur as I had an email conversation with them last year and have basically since given up looking. I'd really like to eat lentils again, so I hope someone has some advice. Why are lentils so easily contaminated, anyway? Beans don't seem to have this kind of problem.

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Oh, that's disappointing about the MG lentils - I sometimes buy their ready to eat Quinoa; I wonder if that's safe either...

Tesco's lentils have this statement on the pack: 'Wheat and other cereal grains may occasionally be found in this product due to the way that lentils are grown and harvested', so I guess they can be contaminated before they reach the factory.

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I always use Tesco own brand. I am usually quite sensitive to rogue gluten but haven't been affected by these.

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I found that Tesco lentils had a gluten warning on them (see above). I had some in my cupboard, but decided it was best not to use them and bought others instead. If you (and others) never have a problem with them perhaps they are ok afterall.

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I have used both tesco and asda lentils for making dal and have never had a reaction. Could it have been any spices you might have added to the lentils that have upset you perhaps?? I am quite sensitive having been diagnosed for 24 years now, I can't touch oats. I wd poss try again with a diff brand it's worth another go as they are so tasty and good for you (hopefully).

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I'm pretty sure my spices are ok. I'm not giving up on lentils just yet - there are so many things we have to avoid anyway I'm really hoping to find some that agree with me.

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I react to lentils and other dried beans at certain times.

For example, I did a gluten challenge for 6 wks in April and early May. I haven't been able to eat dried beans since then without getting severe stomach pains and diarrhoea. This has nothing to do with contamination but is caused, I understand, by indigestible lectins from the beans being absorbed through my damage intestinal villi causing pain and irritation. After 3.5 months I am now getting to the point where I can tolerate the odd mouthful of lentils as part of a meal though no more frequently than once every two to three weeks until my gut lining is fully healed.

Whilst this might not apply to you, it may be worth having a think as to whether it is the actual bean (especially if it was slightly hard when you ate it) rather than a contamination issue.

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I don't seem to have a problem with beans, so hopefully this is not the case. I'll bear it in mind though. Glad you've been able to re-introduce pulses occasionally - it's a bore eating gluten free without having to exclude other foods too!

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Hi racquelle - when I initially went gf (I have Dermatitis Herpetiformis) almost 2 yrs ago I too reacted to lentils. I didn't eat them for a good while (about 6 months or maybe more), and now whenever I rarely use them I rinse them thoroughly (ie for a very long time) under running water before I use them. I seem to be ok with them now. Whether my system has improved, or whether the rinsing (which I never used to bother with) makes a difference I'm not sure. I still buy mine in Tescos, although I can't remember which brand. Then again, I don't have them often. Also - many people seem to be sensitive to pulses even without being gf. Could it be that you are simply sensitive to pulses? Just a thought.

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I will make a point of rinsing them in future, that's a helpful suggestion.

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As it is the production line that is not gluten free you do need to get gluten free ones. Email manufacturers to ask for certification. Arrowhead mills is the only brand I have found to declare themselves tested gluten free. Their cornmeal is the only cornmeal I've found gf. Let us know if you find otherwise.

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Thanks Jacks, I will see if I can get some Arrowhead lentils - can you buy them in a supermarket/health food shop or do you get them online? Otherwise, I'll try emailing some companies.

Natco brand have a polenta that is labelled GF- I think I bought it in Sainsburys (in the Asian food section)

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it might be cheaper to see whether Natco lentils and beans are gluten free too.

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I looked on Arrowhead's site just now (May 2017) & there's nothing* at* all* noting that their red Lentils are gluten free. & can't remember, but I think I called them in the last year, & they told me they are not certified,

& may be contaminated with other grains/wheat. But call them to ask them... I get lots of good info. by calling companies with 1 question. It helps me learn other things about the foods, while searching for the 1 thing I called about. This has been helpful for me to keep functioning with many physical problems.

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Hi everyone, Just a couple of comments as I'm still on the hunt for GF lentils myself.

Lentils, like most pulses, are indeed high in lectins, which are very corrosive to intestines. I'd really advise pre-soaking any pulses for 6hrs to overnight and then rinsing a few times in fresh water before cooking, as this is the only way to diminish the toxins.

It's the luck of the draw with regards to cross-contamination. I've had problems with Morrisons quinoa and lentils, despite soaking and washing, as well as a host of other things like Green & Black chocolate. Now I try to avoid anything that isn't specifically GF. Arrowhead Mills do a GF range, but lentils aren't part of it as far as I can see! I'm going to enquire with Natco & Suma shortly as this topic reminded me of how much I'm missing lentils!

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Oh no! Coeliac UK directory doesn't list 'lentils, beans, chickpea, pulses' and says they 'do not contain gluten' so I have carried on eating them occasionally without checking the labels. Similarly polenta. Could that explain a recent reaction to a meal that included borlotti beans?

RusticRita, do you mean that some people's reaction to lentils isn't because they contain gluten, but because they have toxins which are hard to digest? Is it likely that you might have a reaction to them when on a strict GF diet even if they caused no problems before?

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Hi GFG, Your Borlotti reaction could be down to lectins or cross-contamination! I'm surprised Coeliac UK don't cover this.

There's really two issues to deal with over both. 1. Cross-contamination, where legumes, cereals etc can be inadvertently contaminated by being grown nearby wheat or processed on a factory "line" which also processes wheat. I've had cross-contamination reactions on a few occasions (I always know quickly cos I break out in the dreaded rash).

The 2nd issue is high lectin contents, which beans and legumes both apparently have. I had a lot of problems with corn, beans and lentils, especially for the first 6 months after being GF while my stomach was still sensitive. I'll quote from Wikipedia to explain:

"Foods with high concentrations of lectins, such as beans, cereal grains, seeds, nuts, and potatoes, may be harmful if consumed in excess in uncooked or improperly cooked form. Adverse effects may include nutritional deficiencies, and immune (allergic) reactions.

"Possibly, most effects of lectins are due to gastrointestinal distress through interaction of the lectins with the gut epithelial cells. A recent in vitro study has suggested that the mechanism of lectin damage may occur by interfering with the repair of already-damaged epithelial cells.[15]"

I think this is particularly important for Coeliacs/Gluten Intolerants because of the effects lectins can have on the immune system, nutritional absorption and gut villi. Giving lentils/beans a really good pre-soaking followed by rinsing and boiling before simmering seems to work for me now and if eating tinned beans (other than the baked variety!) I always rinse them very thoroughly. I don't seem to suffer the same problems with seeds or nuts. :)

Best wishes, Rita

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That's really useful, thank you.

I tend to soak nuts overnight and then rinse. It does seem to make them easier to digest.

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That's so useful, Rita. I have always enjoyed beans and pulses and have eaten them with no adverse reaction but am only 7 months into a coeliac diagnosis so am still discovering/developing new sensitivities. I keep thinking I have the GF diet cracked but every few weeks I have a reaction and have to track down yet another culprit. The beans were tinned and I didn't rinse them - won't be doing that again! Ah well, one meal at a time.....! Thank you so much for replying. I appreciate it. Best wishes, GFG

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Hi Rita,

Thanks for the tips re soaking and rinsing. I have emailed Natco (a few days ago), so I'll post here when I get a response.

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Hi GFG & Penel, Glad info is helpful to you. I had so many rashes and reactions pre/post diagnosis and found this forum so useful, so its nice to be able to contribute something back. :)

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Lentils themselves do not contain any gluten. The only way for them to harm us is if they have been in physical contact with something else. Since they aren't porous either, they can be easily rinsed prior to using. I have always eaten lentils but have always washed them (throw back to the 70's when they came with dirt and grit) and no make has ever made me ill.

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