Warning: Avoid these foods containing gluten if you have celiac

Baked goods - Hidden sources of gluten

foods containing gluten

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 where I live. Most commercial 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 is good at hiding! 

The lists on this page will help answer such questions as...

  • What foods have high gluten content?
  • Are baked beans gluten free?
  • Is curry gluten free?
  • Does gravy have gluten in it?
  • Is pepper gluten free?
  • Are bananas gluten free?

You might like to bookmark this page on your mobile device so that you have it to hand when doing your grocery shopping or eating out. Please note the tables are best viewed in landscape mode. 

Grains and Foods containing gluten

The ingredients in the list below all contain gluten. 

  • All Bran
  • Batter
  • Barley
  • Breadcrumbed ham
  • Bulgar Wheat
  • Cornflakes
  • Couscous
  • Durham Wheat
  • Dumplings
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Lasagna
  • Museli
  • Macaroni
  • Noodles
  • Porridge
  • Pumpernickel
  • Rye flour
  • Semolina
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Special K
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Weetabix
  • Wheat flour

Ready prepared foods containing gluten

Commercial products in the list below should be avoided unless they are labelled as gluten free. 

It is, however, possible to substitute other ingredients when making them at home. If this is the case you will see the item linked, and this will take you to a page on the site which will give more information. 

  • Sauces
  • Scones
  • Shortbread
  • Sponge Puddings
  • Stuffings
  • Tarts
  • Yorkshire Puddings
  • Wafers

Foods containing hidden gluten

food that contains hidden glutenYes, the bun contains gluten, but did you know the burger could also?

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...

  • Gluten/flour is often used to bulk out a product at low cost.
  • Flour can help bind ingredients together, or keep them separate!
  • Many sauces start with a roux, made from flour and fat.

I have put an asterisk beside oatmeal. For more information check out my are oats gluten free page.

  • Baked beans
  • Beer (and lager)
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee (instant)
  • Communion wafers
  • Curry powder
  • Chutneys
  • Drinking chocolate
  • Flavoured popcorns
  • French fries
  • Gravy
  • Hamburgers
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
  • Imitation crab meat
  • Ketchup
  • Licorice
  • Luncheon meat
  • Malt vinegar
  • Matzo flour
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meat pastes
  • Mustards
  • Pate
  • Play dough
  • Potato crisps/chips
  • Salad dressings
  • Sausages
  • Seitan (pure gluten!)
  • Self basting turkeys
  • Shredded suet
  • Soy sauce
  • Soups (tinned and packet)
  • Supplements
  • Some lipsticks
  • Some medicines
  • Some spice blends
  • Toothpaste
  • OXO cubes
  • Oatmeal*
  • Vitamins
  • White pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce

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 even if you don't get the nasty symptoms after eating it!

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.

Don't forget that the list of gluten free foods is extensive and giving up gluten does not mean giving up on enjoying eating!


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