Foods to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet

Maintaining a gluten-free diet is difficult, especially when starting out. Gluten is found in many food products and it can be tricky to spot gluten. Fortunately, many companies are now offering gluten-free products; but it is always best to read food labels and go with your gut [pun intended]. 


Avoid Wheat, Barley & Rye


Wheat is commonly found in:

  • Breads
  • Pastries
  • Soups
  • Pasta
  • Cereals
  • Sauces
  • Salad dressings
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Processed meats
  • Beer
  • Asian dishes (can have wheat flour flavored and shaped to look like beef, pork and shrimp)


Barley is commonly found in: 

  • Malt (malted barley flour, malted milk and milkshakes, malt syrup)
  • Food coloring
  • Soups
  • Beer
  • Brewer’s Yeast 
  • Protein bars
  • Medications
  • Cereals 
  • Snack foods 


Rye is commonly found in: 

  • Rye bread
  • Rye beer
  • Cereals 
  • Crackers
  • Whiskey

Other gluten foods to avoid

  • Bouillon cubes
  • Candy
  • Cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, sausage 
  • French fries
  • Imitation fish 
  • Modified food starch 
  • Soy sauce
  • Oats (unless gluten-free) 
  • Cookies
  • Croutons
  • Gravy

Ingredients that contain gluten

Remember when we said to always check labels? Well, that’s because gluten is found in these following ingredients: 

  • Triticale
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Semolina 
  • Artificial flavoring 
  • Caramel color
  • Dextrin 
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein or vegetable protein 
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein or wheat starch 
  • Seasonings
  • Wheat grass
  • Wheat protein 
  • Wheat starch 
  • What germ oil

Reading food labels

We hope you found this list of gluten containing foods and ingredients helpful. It is crucial to still read food labels, even if the packaging contains a “gluten-free” label. Gluten can be sneaky! It is also best to find out how brands/companies manufacture their products, as their products can be gluten-free, but can be contaminated with gluten if manufactured with other products that contain gluten.

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