If you're new to the gluten-free diet, there are quite a few foods that may surprise you to learn have gluten in them. Here's a list of some of those foods, especially the ones that could be easy to miss. Plus, what you should buy instead!
Switching to a gluten-free diet is kind of a shell shock at first. There were several things that surprised me to find out they were not gluten-free. It takes time to get used to reading labels and some of these foods could be easily overlooked or missed if you're not gluten-free savvy quite yet! The main point to remember, always read labels!
While oats themselves are inherently gluten-free, in most cases the oats you buy are probably not gluten-free. This is because oats are highly contaminated in the fields and during processing.
Oats are often grown near wheat or in rotation with wheat in the fields. This means stray wheat grains are often mixed in with the oats during harvesting.
Because of this, always look for and buy oats that are labeled gluten-free. This includes products containing oats like breakfast cereal, granolas, granola bars, and oat milk.
In the gluten-free world this is a hot topic, rife with confusion. That's because oats or products containing oats simply labeled gluten-free may not actually be good enough. Your best bets are certified gluten-free oats or purity protocol oats. This post about oats from Celiac and the Beast is a great place to start if you want to learn more!
Did you know soy sauce is fermented from wheat? Yep! Definitely not gluten-free.
Frozen French Fries
Especially the seasoned french fries! Some seasoned french fries are coated in wheat flour. Bummer!
For gluten-free frozen fries, look for plain, unseasoned french fries for the best bet! Some brands, like Ore-Ida, are good about labeling their products gluten-free if they are in fact gluten-free.
This one was shocking to me. To most, Twizzlers do not seem like they would contain wheat but they sure do!
For a substitute, check out the brand YumEarth. They have gluten-free licorice.
Candy is often a surprising source of unexpected gluten. Keep an eye on all candies before you buy!
Oh, Kellogg's. They just love to coat everything in malt syrup, which is not gluten-free.
Look for generic brands, like Aldi and Malt-o-meal, because some are gluten-free. (Always double-check the labels because for a short time the Aldi brand box didn't state gluten-free but now my stores do carry the gluten-free version again.)
P.S. Corn flakes aren't gluten-free either.
Seasoning Packets & Gravy Mixes
I used to love my mom's chip dip. It was a packet of french onion soup mix mixed with sour cream. Sadly, that soup mix packet contains soy sauce (wheat). So does the vegetable packet used for the classic Spinach Dip she used to make. Other seasoning packets and gravy packets can have wheat in them as well!
What to buy instead?
- McCormick sells gluten-free gravy mixes.
- Hidden Valley Ranch packets are labeled gluten-free.
- The onion and vegetable soup mixes are a little harder to find. I haven't personally found or tried any that are gluten-free, so I don't want to recommend something I haven't tried. Check all brands at your stores, you may find one that I don't have access to! Also, you may find packets in online specialty shops like Thrive Market or you can make your own from scratch.
Oh, you thought Pringles were made from potatoes? Shockingly, they're also made with wheat! They contain wheat starch, which in this case is not gluten-free.
The Good Crisp Company has gluten-free Pringle style chips that are dangerously good! Don't say I didn't warn you!
I wrote a whole article on the topic of beer, notably Corona, but the same applies to all regular beer! Please note that gluten-removed beers are also not considered safe for those with Celiac Disease.
There are several certified gluten-free beers on the market. My favorite thus far is Lakefront Brewery's New Grist.
Bouillon Cubes and Broths
This one is another shocker! Some bullion cubes contain barley, which is not gluten-free. Some canned and boxed broths state "may contain wheat," which may or may not be safe to eat. Be extra careful when it comes to these items! Look for ones that state gluten-free on the label for the best bet. Three brands that come to mind are Swanson, Pacific Foods, and Imagine.
Most canned soups have wheat in them, even classic tomato soup from Campbell's! If you don't want to make your own soup, look for brands that offer gluten-free options, like Amy's Organic, Pacific Foods, and Progresso just to name a few. Remember to always read the labels because not all soups those brands offer are gluten-free.
They take the meat out of a burger. What do they replace it with?! Wheat gluten of course!
While there are several gluten-free options on the market it's just another reminder that gluten can be found in the most unexpected places!
I hope you found this article informative and enlightening! It's such a good reminder to always read labels! Sometimes it feels like gluten is in everything, but we are lucky to have more and more options for substitutions popping up all the time! Was there anything I missed? What food surprised you to learn that it wasn't gluten-free? Tell me down below in the comments!