8 Foods That Hide Gluten

Gluten is a master of disguises. It hides in many unsuspecting foods, foods that are a part of most of our regular eating habits. Unlike the obvious breads and pastas, unless you know what ingredients to specifically look for, you might be eating gluten without even realizing it. The solution is knowledge; you need to know what you are looking for so that you can avoid it.

A comprehensive list of every gluten containing item would be virtually impossible, but I have compiled some of the most surprising foods, in my opinion, that contain gluten. The good news is that most of these foods have gluten free versions available in grocery and/or specialty stores. But when eating away from home, these foods are a potential hazard and you should always ask about the ingredients and/or how the food is cooked to be safe. Some key ingredients to beware of are “Barley”, “Rye”, “Oats”, “Wheat”, and “Malt”.

1. FRENCH FRIES AND HASH BROWNS – Be very careful of these favorites! These are often made with wheat flour and/or seasoned with a wheat containing seasoning. Restaurants, particularly bar type locations, typically batter and double fry their french fries to make them extra crispy. Another issue here is the cross contamination from the frying oil. Make sure to ask if there is a separate fryer for their fries.

2. CANDY – Candy bars, gummies and licorice are all common places for gluten. Licorice is made with wheat flour which was quite a surprise! Malt balls are not safe at all as malt is made from barley, which contains gluten. For a more detailed list on specific candy, take a look at this article:
Gluten Free Candy List

3. PACKAGED SHREDDED CHEESE – What? How can cheese have gluten you ask? Wheat flour is used as an anti-caking agent in several brands, especially generic lower cost brands. Be diligent in looking at the ingredients! Most companies have switched to using cornstarch but you always want to check to be sure!

4. DELI MEAT – Lunch meat, hotdogs and rotisserie chicken are often injected with flavoring that contains wheat. If you are buying these from a grocery store, make sure to look for “gluten free” on the label. If you are eating out, you will want to specifically ask.

5. GRAVIES, SAUCES AND MARINADES – These often contain flour as a thickener and/or wheat in the seasoning so make sure ask or read the ingredients carefully.

6. SPICE MIXTURES – Many pre-blended spice mixes, such as taco seasoning, contain wheat, so you want to double check the list of ingredients. Here is a great list of gluten free spices:
Gluten Free Spices

7. SOY SAUCE – This one was very hard for our family. (Who doesn’t love Chinese take out?!) If you are cooking in your own kitchen, gluten free soy sauce is readily available and should be kept as a staple in your pantry. Slowly but surely, other Asian inspired sauces are offering gluten free alternatives for popular choices such as teriyaki sauce and hoisin sauce. Chinese take-out, on the other hand, is still difficult as most dishes contain soy sauce which contains wheat. you can always ask for no sauce at all, but be very specific in asking how things are prepared. Many standard dishes, such as sweet and sour chicken, have wheat based batters. It’s worth asking, however, because I have found a few places that offer Rice Flour batters!

8. ALCOHOL – Last but certainly not least is alcohol. The most obvious risk here is beer. Beer is made from wheat so it’s a no-go. But don’t panic! There are many gluten free beer alternatives now! To help you search these out, here is a great resource:
Gluten Free Beer Brands
This is a very fast growing industry so have fun and stay on top of this by going out and trying new brands! Hard Ciders are also a popular option as well with pears and apples as the base. Check out this list of top tasting ciders:
Best Hard Cider Brands
And finally, the hard liquor for those of us with kids…(just kidding;) Many common liquors are distilled from grains such as whiskey and gin so you want to be careful, depending on the severity of your intolerance or allergy. Here is a list of gluten free alcohols, including beer and cider!
Gluten Free Alcohols

I hope this article helps you with this constantly changing journey! If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out in the contact form. We’d love to hear from you!

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