When walking the aisles of a grocery store or visiting a restaurant, nothing beats having a quick reference list of many different foods that commonly contain gluten. Some foods will even surprise you. “How can potato chips or French fries have wheat?” is a common question asked by baffled gluten-free beginners. One look at some varieties of Pringles Potato Chips with practiced eyes will reveal the hidden gluten (wheat starch).
The following list serves two purposes: first, to help you easily recognize where gluten can be and is often found; and secondly, to serve as a tool in finding gluten-free versions of those foods. The list may appear to eliminate nearly everything from your diet, but don’t get discouraged. Virtually every food listed has a gluten-free version.
The following list provides a guide, but is not an exhaustive compilation. There are many other foods containing gluten that are not listed, and that is why reading labels is always imperative.
Baby food Baked goods Baking mixes
Breads, breading, bread crumbs
Broths and stocks Bullion cubes and bases Candy and candy bars Canned soups
Cereals, cold and hot
Crackers and croutons
Dairy products Deli case foods Desserts
Flavored coffee mixes and hot chocolate
Imitation meats such as crab meat
Licorice Marinades Pasta
Pizza crust Potato chips
Processed meats Protein drinks Pudding
Sauces and thickeners
Seasonings Soups Syrups
And the list goes on and on.
Remember: Any processed food can potentially contain gluten. To keep you cautious and safe take this phrase with you everywhere: “Everything is gluten-guilty until proven gluten-free.” If a food is not inherently gluten-free, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, nuts, pure butter, fresh meats, and so forth, you can’t eat it until you investigate its gluten status and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it’s gluten-free.