What’s Gluten In?

Gluten, wheat in particular, has unfortunately become a staple additive (especially as a thickener or binder) in far too many foods, as well as health & beauty products.  When you first go gluten free (although even veterans of the diet can be tricked), you eliminate the obvious: bread, baked goods, flour, crackers, pancakes, and other similar items. Unfortunately, you will soon discover many, many more hiding places for the elusive gluten. This is why you need to develop expert label-reading skills.

Before you despair at the length of the following list, remember that this is a generic list. There are companies which have successfully produced gluten-free versions of many of the following items. The trick is finding them!

Here is a generic list of products which may contain gluten:


  • Ale, Beer, alcohol
  • Barley
  • Biscuits
  • Body Wash
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Breaded meats
  • Breads: wheat, rye, pumpernickel, oat, potato, corn
  • Breading & Coating mixes
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Bromated Flour
  • Broths
  • Bulgur
  • Cake
  • Cake flour
  • Candy
  • Cereals
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Cologne
  • Communion Wafers
  • Cooked meat entrees/dishes
  • Cookies
  • Couscous
  • Cracked Wheat
  • Crackers
  • Croutons
  • Doughnuts
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Farina
  • Farro (Faro) [not to be confused with ferro – which means containing iron]
  • Flavored Instant Coffee — varies by company, always check
  • Flour: white, wheat, rye
  • Graham Flour
  • Gravies
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
  • Ice Cream Cones
  • Imitation Bacon (ex: Morning Star)
  • Imitation Seafood (Crab, Surimi, etc)
  • Kamut
  • Lager
  • Laxatives
  • Lotion
  • Malt
  • Malt Extract
  • Malt Syrup
  • Malt Flavoring
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Malted Milk
  • Makeup/Cosmetics
  • Marinades
  • Matzo
  • Matzo Meal
  • Medicines (as a binder/filler)
  • Modified Wheat Starch
  • Mouthwash
  • Muffins
  • Over-the-Counter Medicines
  • Non-Dairy Creamers
  • Packaged mixes
  • Pancakes
  • Panko
  • Pasta
  • Perfume
  • Pie Crusts
  • Play-doh
  • Popovers
  • Prescription Medicines
  • Pretzels
  • Processed lunch meats
  • Rice and Soy beverages – varies by company
  • Rice Mixes
  • Rice Paper
  • Rolls
  • Root Beer
  • Rye
  • Salad Dressing
  • Sauces
  • Sausage
  • Seasoning Mixes
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Seitan
  • Semolina
  • Self-Rising Flour
  • Shampoo
  • Soufflés
  • Soup bases
  • Soy Sauce
  • Spelt
  • Spices – pure spices are usually okay, blends may not be
  • Stuffing
  • Sunscreen
  • Thickeners
  • Triticale
  • Vegetables in sauce
  • Vitamin and Mineral supplements
  • Waffles
  • Wheat
  • Wheat Bran*
  • Wheat Flour
  • Wheat Germ*
  • Wheat Grass *
  • Wheat Starch


The Basics about Wheat: Gliadin, the specific type of gluten in all three parts of the wheat kernel, causes problems for people with gluten sensitivity. If you have celiac disease, your body identifies gliadin as a foreign body and launches an attack to get rid of it.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/404265-does-wheat-bran-contain-gluten/#ixzz2DkL9iSHB

Wheat germ is part of the wheat grain and it contains gluten.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/248866-does-wheat-germ-contain-gluten/#ixzz2DkLn5lIa

Wheat Grass – Technically, the grass doesn’t contain the gluten protein, but only if it hasn’t grown seeds yet. You’d have to harvest the grass at PRECISELY the right time, every time, for it to be truly safe. And then there’s those of us who are allergic to wheatgrass, gluten or not. I had wheat grass juice once. Just a few sips and I thought I was going to die — it was a real struggle to breathe. Super scary. Do not recommend.

Read more: https://www.beyondceliac.org/gluten-free-diet/is-it-gluten-free/wheatgrass/

(Unexpected) Specifics:

These products either contain wheat or gluten specifically in the ingredient list. Any marked with an asterisk (*) do not list gluten as an ingredient, but the company has admitted that the product is definitely not gluten free.  I won’t list every product, that would be impossible. But these are some of the ones which either I was surprised to find gluten in or that I’ve seen listed over and over again on blogs and forums from others who didn’t expect them to contain gluten.

  • Bailey’s Irish Cream*
  • Beer: Unless your beer specifically says gluten free, it has gluten
  • Campbell’s Soups (ex: Tomato) (wheat flour)
  • Kellogg’s Original Rice Krispies (the malt flavoring is from barley)
  • Krackel (malt)
  • Nestle Crunch (malt)
  • Twizzlers (wheat flour)


What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found gluten in?

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