There are any number of foods containing gluten and some of these may be surprising. I have posted an incomplete list of many of these gluten offenders. Remember that many foods contain “hidden” gluten so you need to be extra vigilant in checking labels before you consume anything if you are gluten intolerant and specifically if you have celiac disease.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. The gluten protein gives foods such as bread the stickiness and elasticity which is why many have a hard time digesting it. However, there are many ingredients other than just wheat, rye and barley that you need to pay attention to on labels to understand what you can and cannot eat. Some of these are listed below.
Foods Containing Gluten if not labeled “Gluten Free”. The gluten free label is easy to recognize on many food products these days. The FDA has recently come out with a list of guidelines for what can be labeled gluten free and what can not. These guidelines will help manufacturers and consumers in understanding which products are gluten free and which are not.
Foods Containing Gluten
Here are a few products you need to look for a gluten free label – if available.
- Yorkshire pudding
- Pie and pastry crust
- Apple topping
- Pizza dough
- Breakfast cereals
- Sponge pudding
- Barley malt
- Graham Flour
- Pasta (whole grain and processed)
Because so many people are gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease, gluten can be a health hazard to a significant portion of the population. It is estimated that between 1.5 to 4 million people in the United States alone have significant problems digesting gluten. Therefore, one would think that if you just avoided the foods above you would be okay. Unfortunately, there are many other foods containing gluten that are not so obvious. These foods often trip up gluten intolerant individuals who are not aware that they contain gluten in the first place.
Here is a list of so-called hidden gluten foods:
- Boxed soups
- Imitation meat, such as soy-based meat-substitute products.
- Soy sauce
- Chicken and beef stock cubes
- Gravy powders
- Sausage processed with filler
- Malt Vinegar
All of the above food items either always or usually contain gluten. Obviously, as you can see, gluten is an extremely common ingredient in the foods that we eat either as a part of grains or as a food additive. Therefore it is essential that you continue to stay on your toes if you are adhering to a gluten free diet.
Food packaging companies are increasingly aware of the problems posed by gluten to a significant minority of their customer base. As such they have gotten much better about being clear, easy to understand, and direct when and if one of their food products contains gluten. Still, it is no picnic having to check boxes to make certain that a particular food does not contain gluten. However, now that you have a partial list of foods containing gluten you will be much more capable of making an informed decision.
Natural Gluten Free Foods
Here is a list of naturally gluten free foods which will be safe to purchase as long as they are not prepared with gluten-containing ingredients. This is not a comprehensive list but certainly it’s a good start:
- Bean Flour
- Corn (Not all corn tortillas are gluten free – look for the “G”)
- Flax seed
- Fresh fruits
- Garbanzo beans
- 100% Fruit juices
- Free vegetables
- 100% Vegetable juices
- Nut flours
- Potato start and flour
- Soy (not soy sauce however)
- Wild Rice
Is Alcohol Gluten Free?
Not all alcohol contains gluten. Yes, it’s reason for rejoice after reading the list of everything you can’t eat anymore. Here is a partial list of gluten free alcohol.
- Gluten free beer – produced with non gluten ingredients such as buckwheat, sorghum, rice, corn, etc.
- My favorite is Red Bridge, Anheuser-Busch (US)
- Bard’s Tale Dragons Gold, Bard’s Tale Beer Company (US)
- New Grist, Lakefront Brewery (US)
- Greens Endeavour Dubble, Green’s (UK)
- Passover Honey Beer, Ramapo Valley (US)
- Sorghum Molasses Brown, Outer Banks (US)
- Distilled alcohol (THE KEY IS DISTILLED)
- Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Bourbon – Makers Mark
- Cider – (no barley additives though)
- Cognac made from grapes
- Kirschwasser (cherry liqueur)
- Margarita Mix: Jose Cuervo & Mr. & Mrs. T.
- Martini (Club Extra Dry Martini – corn and grape)
- Mead – distilled from honey
- Sake (limited – no rice or barley)
- Scotch whiskey
- Vermouth distilled from grapes
- Wine (including port, sherry, sparkling wine)
- Wine coolers (ONLY – those wine based, not malt beverages) (Bartel & James; Boones)
Keep in mind – unless the label says gluten free you should be careful in what you eat and drink.
DISCLAIMER: Food and beverage companies do change their ingredients from time to time so check labels and even call manufacturers to know for certain what is gluten free.
If you have certain brands or foods you like and want to let our readers know about, leave a comment or question.
Get Gluten Free Abs! with a gluten free diet.