Foods containing gluten are taboo if you have celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten. But how do you know what to avoid?
The quick answer is that wheat, rye and barley contain gluten and therefore should not be part of a gluten free diet. But it is not always easy to know if a food contains these grains, is it?.
Of these three grains, wheat is the one most often used in the Western world. Most baked goods such as bread, cakes, cookies, pastries and pasta available in the stores use wheat flour as the major ingredient.
There are gluten free alternatives around though, it is just a case of learning how to check food labels. But not all packaging is easy to understand and gluten can hide in things like soups, baked beans and beer!
The lists on this page will help you learn what foods have gluten in them.
The blue links in the list below, will take you to safe, gluten free recipes for these items.
Not all foods containing gluten will list it as such in the ingredients. You will also need to watch out for gluten in disguise! It is a sneaky enemy.
You might find some surprises in this next list, for example consider the following...
I have put an asterisk beside oatmeal. For more information check out my are oats gluten free page.
Beer (and lager)
Brown rice syrup
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Imitation crab meat
Seitan (pure gluten!)
Self basting turkeys
Soups (tinned and packet)
Some spice blends
So how can you avoid foods containing gluten?
If you have celiac disease you have no option but to totally avoid anything that contains gluten. Not doing so will make you very ill!
But you probably won't want to live the rest of your life without bread and other baked goods so we need to look at alternative ingredients that you can use to replace the wheat, rye or barley in your diet.
The gluten free grains section of the site is a good place to start. You may discover some tasty options that you have never heard of or at least never tried.
And did you know that flour can be made from more than just grains? Seeds, beans and even vegetables can be transformed into gluten free flour that you use for for baking or thickening your food. You may need to use different quantities than you would if using wheat, so do check out my flour substitutes guide also.
Don't forget that the list of gluten free foods is extensive and giving up gluten does not mean giving up on enjoying eating!