NOT Gluten-Free

Here are some handy lists for a reference of foods that are gluten-free and foods that are not and should be avoided.

What to avoid in a gluten-free diet:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durham
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Matzo meal
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt (a form of wheat)
  • Triticale
  • Wheat

What everyday foods contain gluten? What should be avoided? Gluten is hidden in a lot of processed foods that you may not have even considered:

  • Bagels
  • Beer (almost all beers are made from barley hops, or use barley in the brewing process)
  • Breads
  • Breaded chicken tenders or fish
  • Calzones
  • Candies (like licorice)
  • Cakes
  • Cereals (made from wheat, rye, or oats)
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Croutons
  • Energy bars
  • Gravies (usually thickened with flour)
  • Hash Brown Potatoes (the frozen processed kind are made with bread crumbs)
  • Imitation meats or seafood
  • Marinades
  • MSG
  • Muffins
  • Oats
  • Pastas
  • Pastys
  • Pies
  • Pizza
  • Pot pies
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings (especially creamy ones)
  • Sauces
  • Sausage
  • Seasoning packets (those packets of powdered taco/burrito/fajita mixes)
  • Soups (especially creamy soups since they use flour as a thickener)
  • Soy sauce (made with wheat flour)

Whew! I know that’s a long list. However, there are a number of these products that are made gluten-free, just read the labels carefully. You can still find gluten-free breads, cookies, crackers, energy bars, gravies, sausage, pastas, sauces, soups, and beer (yes, even beer). There’s wheat-free tamari as an alternative to soy sauce.

If you cut down on the amount of processed food you eat, you’ll find it’s much easier to avoid any hidden glutens. Stick with fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, and naturally gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat, instead of just buying prepackaged products labeled “gluten free”. Your body will thank you for it.

Oats are a tricky one! It’s not clear yet whether oats are harmful for most people with celiac disease; studies continue to give mixed results and the question of whether people eating a gluten-free diet can eat oats safely is still debated. Oats seem to be suitable for some people with celiac disease, but not all people. Even “gluten-free” labeled oats can still be a problem for many who are gluten intolerant.

Buyer beware: there are so many products that claim to be “wheat free” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are also gluten free. Even products marked “gluten free” may have “gluten free oats” which may be a problem for some people, as mentioned above. So, again, read your labels carefully!


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