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Foods that contain gluten

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

When considering whether a food or ingredient contains gluten, it's crucial to be informed, especially if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Here's a list of common ingredients and foods that often contain gluten: 1. Grains and Flours:

- Wheat: One of the most gluten-rich grains, wheat is prevalent in many foods, including bread, pasta, couscous, bulgur, and wheat-based cereals. - Barley: This grain contains gluten and is used in malted products, including malted beverages, malt vinegar, and some types of beer. - Rye: Rye is another gluten-containing grain used in bread, rye-based cereals, and rye whiskey. - Spelt: While sometimes considered a wheat alternative, spelt contains gluten and should be avoided by those sensitive to gluten.

2. Baked Goods:

- Bread: Traditional bread, including bagels, rolls, and croissants, is typically made with wheat flour. - Pastries: Many pastries, such as pies, cakes, and muffins, contain gluten due to the wheat-based flours used in their preparation. - Cookies and Crackers: These often contain wheat flour as a primary ingredient.

3. Pasta and Noodles:

- Most pasta and noodles: Traditional pasta and noodle products are made from wheat flour.

gluten free pasta

4. Processed Foods:

- Processed Meats: Some processed meats, like sausages and hot dogs, may contain gluten as fillers or binders. - Sauces and Gravies: Commercial sauces and gravies, especially those used in fast food or restaurants, can contain gluten thickeners.

5. Cereals:

- Many breakfast cereals: Most breakfast cereals contain wheat or barley ingredients, so it's essential to look for gluten-free options if you have one of the diseases mentioned in our previous article.

6. Beverages:

- Certain Alcoholic Beverages: Beer is a notable gluten-containing alcoholic beverage due to its use of barley and wheat. Some specialty gluten-free beers are available. - Malt-Based Drinks: Malted beverages and malted milkshakes typically contain gluten due to malted barley.

7. Condiments and Dressings:

- Soy Sauce: Traditional soy sauce contains wheat, but gluten-free versions are available. - Salad Dressings: Some salad dressings may contain wheat-based thickeners.

8. Snacks:

- Breading and Coatings: Foods like chicken nuggets and breaded fish often contain gluten in their coatings. - Croutons: These popular salad toppers are typically made from bread, which contains gluten.

9. Soups and Broths:

- Canned Soups and Bouillon Cubes: Many canned soups and bouillon cubes contain wheat-based thickeners.

10. Gluten-Free Alternatives:

For individuals who need to avoid gluten, there are numerous gluten-free alternatives available, including gluten-free flours (such as rice, corn, and almond flour), gluten-free pasta, and gluten-free bread made from alternative flours.

Always Read Labels: When shopping for packaged foods, it's essential to read ingredient labels carefully.

Manufacturers are increasingly labeling products as "gluten-free" to help those with dietary restrictions.

Remember that a gluten-free diet is essential for those with celiac disease and those who have been diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

For others, incorporating gluten-containing foods as part of a balanced diet is generally safe and nutritious.

(Read our article "Is Gluten bad for you? Myth vs Reality" about this subject)

Additionally, consulting with a registered dietitian can provide valuable guidance on maintaining a gluten-free diet while ensuring balanced nutrition.

We also invite you to consult this page from the Celiac Disease Foundation (


This article is part of mini-series on gluten, so you might also like:


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