Gluten- and it’s many forms

If you are new to the gluten free diet, or wanting to start eating a gluten free diet, it can be tricky. Out of all the allergies I have dealt with, this one trips people up the most. Because gluten free diets are becoming more rampant in our society, most people have heard of gluten. (I have to put a plug-in here. If you do not have a health condition where you need to eat gluten free, I do not believe that you need to avoid it. Eating gluten free is not a fad diet and it will not automatically make you healthy. People on a gluten free diet still have to make healthy decisions and watch what they eat. Okay. Rant over). However, most people don’t really even know what it is.


My brother showed me this clip and I found it too hilarious not to share. This four minutes will brighten your day.

What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Simple enough? Well not really. Gluten can have many different names. When I first went on a gluten free diet, more than five years ago, it took me an entire month to really figure out what is gluten and what foods it is in. Hopefully this will make your life more simple and help your gut feel some relief.


Here is a list of ingredients that will help you avoid foods that could cause you problems.

Names gluten can go by:

  • Wheat
  • Wheat starch
  • Wheatberries
  • Emmer
  • Barley
  • Malt (including malted barley flour, malted milk, malt flavoring, and malt vinegar, and possibly maltodextrin)
  • Triticale
  • Kamut
  • Khorasan wheat
  • Einkorn wheat
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Bran
  • Graham
  • Semolina
  • Farina
  • Farro
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Durum

Avoid these foods:

  • Enriched/Self-Rising/Pastry/All- Purpose/Wheat/Whole Wheat Flour
  • Bread
  • Stuffing
  • Flour tortillas
  • Pita bread
  • Bread crumbs
  • Breading
  • Pastries
  • Cookies
  • Cupcakes
  • Cake
  • Pies
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Cereals
  • Granola
  • Candy
  • Pasta/Noodles
  • Bulger
  • Matzo
  • Couscous
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Ice cream
  • Seasoned snacks and chips
  • Seasoning packets
  • Tortilla chips
  • Croutons
  • Marinades
  • Salad dressings
  • Soups
  • Sauces/Gravies
  • Beer
  • Flavored co ees/creamers
  • Food additives and flavorings
  • Modified food starch
  • Wheat germ
  • Imitation seafood

Foods that May Contain Gluten:

  • Energy bars/granola bars – some bars may contain wheat as an ingredient, and most use oats that are not gluten-free
  • French fries – be careful of batter containing wheat flour or cross-contact from fryers
  • Potato chips – some potato chip seasonings may contain malt vinegar or wheat starch
  • Processed lunch meats
  • Candy and candy bars
  • Soup – pay special attention to cream-based soups, which have flour as a thickener. Many soups also contain barley
  • Multi-grain or “artisan” tortilla chips or tortillas that are not entirely corn-based may contain a wheat-based ingredient
  • Salad dressings and marinades – may contain malt vinegar, soy sauce, flour
  • Starch or dextrin if found on a meat or poultry product could be from any grain, including wheat
  • Brown rice syrup – may be made with barley enzymes
  • Meat substitutes made with seitan (wheat gluten) such as vegetarian burgers, vegetarian sausage, imitation bacon, imitation seafood (Note: tofu is gluten-free, but be cautious of soy sauce marinades and cross-contact when eating out, especially when the tofu is fried)
  • Soy sauce (though tamari made without wheat is gluten-free)
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Pre-seasoned meats
  • Cheesecake filling – some recipes include wheat flour
  • Eggs served at restaurants – some restaurants put pancake batter in their scrambled eggs and omelets, but on their own, eggs are naturally gluten-free

Places where cross-contact can occur:

  • Toasters used for both gluten-free and regular bread
  • Colanders
  • Cutting boards
  • Flour sifters
  • Deep fried foods cooked in oil shared with breaded products
  • Shared containers including improperly washed containers
  • Condiments such as butter, peanut butter, jam, mustard, and mayonnaise may become contaminated when utensils used on gluten-containing food are double-dipped
  • Wheat flour can stay airborne for many hours in a bakery (or at home) and contaminate exposed preparation surfaces and utensils or uncovered gluten-free products
  • Oats – cross-contact can occur in the field when oats are grown side-by-side with wheat, select only oats specifically labeled gluten-free
  • Pizza – pizzerias that offer gluten-free crusts sometimes do not control for cross-contact with their wheat-based doughs
  • French fries
  • Non-certified baked goods e.g., “gluten-free” goods from otherwise gluten-containing bakeries
  • Bulk bins at grocery stores or co-op


Read more here


  • Other items listed that may contain gluten: artificial coloring, natural flavors, caramel coloring, food starch, modified food starch, maltodextrin, spices.
  • Check every label of every canned or boxed package for gluten-containing ingredients, every time. When in doubt, DON’T buy or consume the product! After 5 years, I still look at every label.
  • “Wheat-free” doesn’t necessarily mean gluten-free. Check labels for possible gluten-containing ingredients.
  • If a product label says gluten-free but also includes a “made in a facility that also processes wheat” disclaimer, it is NOT gluten- free. Gluten is sticky and unless products are manufactured on dedicated lines, cross contamination is a risk.
  • Be careful with cross contamination, at restaurants and even in your own home. If you have family members that eat gluten and members that don’t, I would suggest labeling products in your home, “gluten-free.” I have a separate jars labeled gluten-free for peanut butter, jam, butter, hummus, salsa, mayo, honey, and any other product could be cross contaminated.
  • Check for products with the “Certified Gluten-Free Label” which indicates they have passed strict tests for safe or non- existent gluten levels.