Fries are Potatoes – What’s the Problem?
Here in America we love our fries. They don’t love us, meaning they are far, far from a health food, but more on that later. I remember when my children were young and we ‘broke it to them’ that they couldn’t have gluten any more, we quickly looked for all the ‘fun’ things they still COULD eat. Amongst them was French fries, or so we thought.
It’s not easy trying to be gluten-free yet watching your children have health reactions. And not knowing what caused it can be frustrating. I remember seeing a pattern with a certain restaurant and started to ask more questions about their food. Lo and behold I discovered that some French fries, usually the best tasting ones, had a coating of flour around them. This made them crispier and that flour batter also allowed them to add herbs to the fries.
Fries Can Come with a ‘Side’ of Gluten
Annoying I know. So we then went on a hunt for restaurants that didn’t have seasoned or ‘dipped’ fries. I still remember some wait people looking at me oddly when I asked if their French fries had flour on them.
Responses such as: “Why would they have flour on them?” or “Our French fries are made from potatoes,” were commonly rescinded when, upon encouraging them to go to the kitchen to find out for sure, they returned to our table only to report that “Yes, our French fries do have flour in them.”
Once I had this issue ironed out I thought we were home free. Keeping in mind that I still didn’t encourage much consumption of fries, I at least felt that I knew which were gluten-free.
What’s in that Fryer?
Well…. Turns out that there was a question I didn’t ask. Namely, did they fry their French fries in a designated fryer only for fries, or did they mix the fryer with deep fried foods such as fried zucchini or other flour-laden products?
Unfortunately, unless a restaurant has a gluten-free menu and is savvy about how to prevent cross-contamination, all too often the fryer is shared with products that have gluten in them. If you’re thinking that you’ve likely eaten such fries and ‘felt’ fine, I would like to caution you about something. Gluten can affect those who are intolerant in many ways. Some effects are felt such as having a digestive complaint or getting a headache. Other effects, sometimes the most serious of them, are silent. Meaning that you cannot feel nervous system inflammation or the beginning of hormonal imbalance until it has progressed to a certain threshold.
We know that when you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, ingesting gluten can shorten your lifespan. It’s worth it for your health to avoid gluten wherever it hides.
Lastly, we have a lab test for cross reactive foods and potatoes sometimes show up, typically temporarily, as a problem. If you feel that you are maintaining a gluten-free diet well but are still having reactions, this test might be of benefit to you.
The bottom line? French fries aren’t a health food anyway so they shouldn’t be a mainstay in your diet. If you do really like to indulge occasionally, ensure that the restaurant is free of gluten contamination. You can also make them yourself at home. Check out the freezer section in your healthy grocery store. I hope this is helpful.
There is no point making so much effort to maintain a gluten-free diet, only to be thwarted by unknown contamination. We strive to inform you such that you don’t fall victim to such ‘hidden’ sources. If you know anyone whose health is not where they want it to be, please offer them a free health analysis.
Interested In A Free Health Analysis?
If you are suffering from any of the problems listed above—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!
To your health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”