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GF Foods Ingredients to Avoid on a Gluten Free Diet

Updated on December 6, 2018
ChristinS profile image

Christin is a natural health and wellness advocate with 20 years' of experience studying and working in the health and supplement industry.

If you are gluten free these are the product ingredients you must avoid to stay healthy.
If you are gluten free these are the product ingredients you must avoid to stay healthy. | Source

Eating Gluten Free - Understanding Product Labels

It's been a couple of years now since Celiac disease made it's ugly appearance in my life. It was at this time that I had to re-learn how to eat and carefully consider everything that goes into my mouth. For those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, knowing what is safe can be a daunting task.

The experiences and research I've done the past couple of years have prompted me to write this hub specifically about foods to avoid on a gluten free diet.

Some things seem confusing, like buckwheat for example. It sounds like you shouldn't have it right? After all it has “wheat” in the word. However, buckwheat is fine to eat (as long as it isn't blended with wheat). Another baffling thing for me was things like soy sauce. You'd never think soy sauce or tomato soup would be full of gluten – but they are!

Since I don't like surprises, especially the kind that can put me on the floor in pain for a couple of days if I get accidentally “glutenized” I decided to research and compile a list of things to look for on labels. If you see these on a product you need to avoid it.

Print it up and take it to the store with you when purchasing for yourself or for a loved one who is gluten intolerant.

Author Suggested Resource

I highly recommend the gluten free bible. I learned so much using this book. More than just a cookbook; it gives highly detailed directions for understanding gluten and how it functions in food. You learn how to stock your kitchen with gluten-free items and there are photo guides for trickier things like how to make gluten-free flour mixes and shape the dough etc. Baking GF is a challenge initially even for experienced cooks. This book makes the transition SO much easier.

Ingredients to Avoid - Hidden Gluten Sources

Remember, even if gluten or any of the ingredients below are not on a label there is still a chance that foods can get cross contaminated. When in doubt, do not be shy – call the manufacturer. Also, important to note, foods labeled “Gluten Free” are made in dedicated areas of facilities where gluten cross-contamination is not a problem. Several companies specialize in making only gluten free products which ensures their entire facilities are gluten free. (For more information on this see the web links)

Wheat in all forms must be avoided this includes the following:
Bulgur, Kamut, Spelt, Semolina, Einkorn, Emmer, Farro

Gluten (with the exception of rice or corn gluten, which are not the same as wheat gluten and can be eaten. They do not cause the problems that wheat gluten does.)

Wheat germ and Wheat Bran

Oats – although oats themselves do not contain gluten the vast majority of the US oat supply is cross-contaminated which is why those with Celiac are advised to avoid oatmeal or oat products unless they are specifically labeled “gluten free”

Oat bran

Hydrolyzed wheat protein



Flour (unless it's a gluten free variety and stated as such) be VERY careful with pastas, cakes, cookies, etc. Buy only products that are labeled “Gluten Free” to be safe or for best results make your own – many of the prepackaged breads are quite expensive and leave a lot to be desired.

Graham flour

Durum flour

Malt or anything that says malt – like “maltodextrin” , “barley malt”, “malt vinegar” etc.

Brown rice syrup (often uses malt as thickener)

Seitan (wheat based meat substitute)


Brewer's yeast

CousCous (aka FuFu or FuFou)

Soy Sauce (made from wheat) and also Teriyaki sauce because it is made from soy sauce. There are however a couple of specialty soy sauces that are gluten free that can be used.

Cream of Wheat (also called Farina)

Triticale (wheat grain hybrid)

Gliadin (a wheat protein)

Gluten free can be challenging, but it isn't impossible, and life is so much better when you can get it completely out of your system. Since finally freeing myself fully from gluten, I have increased energy, mental clarity, and no more gastro-intestinal distress. The skin issues I had caused by gluten consumption also cleared up completely.

If you suspect you may have gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease it is important to be tested to be sure. This means you should not go on a gluten free diet prior to being tested. Once you are officially diagnosed, there are many helpful resources available to you.

Do you know someone with Celiac or who is gluten intolerant?

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    • Debra Taylor profile image

      Debra Taylor 

      4 years ago from Utah

      My fiance has been gluten-free for 2 years and it definitely was a lifestyle change for him as well as the whole household.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image


      6 years ago

      Gluten is hidden in so many foods. Soy sauce, mayonnaise, and tartar sauce are just some that contain gluten -- just to name a few.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi I’m a Artisan Baker of some 40 years + experience I tend to still make bread the old fashioned way without additives or improvers During the summer season I work on an Eweleaze organic farm in Dorset England, producing fresh bread and cakes for the campers. I am passionate about what I do and like to know everything all of the ingredients I use as regard to nutrients, origin, history and health benefits Ect.

      I have noticed an increase in the request I get for dietary needs bread and cakes, wheat free, gluten free and diary free. in particular, I have no problem making them to order and usually have good back regarding the taste. I understand that this stile of breads can taste a bit bland and try to boost the flavour with other safe ingredients, omega seeds to give a nutty taste, dates the give a slight toffee taste and other herbs and spices. What I am looking fore now is some input from people with dietary needs as to any flavors they would like or think would improve their enjoyment of bread in particular and cakes, I could then work on developing new recipes and share them on line

      All The Best Carl

      They could contact me via face book ( Carl Vine)

    • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

      Christin Sander 

      6 years ago from Midwest

      Lizami - thanks for the comment, I know the feeling. It does make you feel better in so many ways to get rid of it. I noticed I could think more clearly and was definitely more balanced emotionally even.

    • Lizam1 profile image


      6 years ago from Scotland

      Since I discovered I had a sensitivity my life is much improved. I am lighter brighter and happier all round:-)

    • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

      Christin Sander 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Anything made from corn should be ok, but I avoid anything with the word "malt" in it because it typically implies wheat/gluten. Thanks for taking time to comment :) I sympathize with you on how difficult it is. I know it's tough, especially at first trying to sort it all out.

    • Cherrietgee profile image


      7 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks so much for this article, Christin.

      About three years ago, my doctor discovered that I have a barley allergy. I also touched base with a former doctor of mine who told me that I also have gluten sensitivity. Unfortunately, I have been living in a sort of denial because it's been SOOO difficult completely changing my diet. Your website was recently added to my favorites, and I will be do a better job of taking care of myself.

      I do have a question about maltodextrin, though. Is maltodextrin made from corn okay? I've seen that ingredient in a couple of foods and figured it was harmful.

    • Wendy Finn profile image

      Wendy Finn 

      7 years ago from UK

      Yes a flour blend is definitely the way to go. Interested to read more from you on this.

    • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

      Christin Sander 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Hi Danette - it is an adjustment for sure, but it's not too difficult once you get the hang of it. I look at it as a bit of a challenge to find new things to eat etc.

      @Wendy I have had a lot of success making breads lately with my own blend of flours which I plan to share in a hub very soon. It's basically a blend of soy flour, brown rice flour, almond flour, and tapioca starch. Everything I've made with it so far has turned out beautifully - I just need to do a yeast bread to see how it comes out. People have not been able to tell the difference with muffins and spoon breads. :) Happy experimenting!

    • Wendy Finn profile image

      Wendy Finn 

      7 years ago from UK

      Superb! I checked out your site too. We are trying my daughter on a gluten free diet and have found such an improvement. I agree with you on the store bought bread though - it's not bread! Have been spending the past few weeks playing around in the kitchen trying to perfect the recipe. Useful hub and voted up.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Wow! I can't imagine having to be so careful in what I eat. It must have been quite an adjustment (and maybe still is).

      Voted up and useful. Hope school is going well for you.

    • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

      Christin Sander 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      You're very welcome. I know how hard it is at first and I totally feel for you. If you need someone to talk to you can always message me and I'll help where I can. I suggest developing a love of cooking and making a game out of things - that's helped me immensely to focus on what I CAN eat as opposed to what I can't.

    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 

      7 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Thank you for this hub ChristinS. I was diagnosed with Celiac a few weeks ago and am still finding my way around.


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