Foods: Gluten vs. Gluten Free

We know gluten is found in wheat and other grains.  Life would be easy if we knew exactly what foods to avoid to maintain a gluten free diet.  Unfortunately, gluten is hidden in many foods.  Below is a list of foods/products that may contain gluten:


  • Wheat (Einkorn, Durum, Faro, Graham, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt)
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheatgrass (depending on manufacturing process)
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Triticale
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Farina
  • Kamut
  • Matzo
  • Seitan
  • Spelt
  • Oats, Oat bran, Oat fiber (possibility of gluten contamination)


  • Beers, Ales, Lager
  • Bran
  • Breading and Coating Mixes
  • Broth (Chicken, Beef and Vegetable)
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Communion Wafers
  • Crab Cakes
  • Croutons
  • Dressings
  • Drugs (OTC and prescription), Herbal and Vitamin Supplements
  • Energy Bars
  • Flavored Alchohol
  • Flour and Cereal
  • Imitation Bacon
  • Imitation Seafood
  • Lunch meat
  • Malt
  • Marinades
  • Meat Balls
  • Meatloaf
  • Pastas
  • Sauces, Gravies
  • Sausage
  • Soy Sauce
  • Soup Bases
  • Stuffing
  • Tamari
  • Thickeners (Roux)

Other Ingredients

  • Brown Rice Syrup (often made from barley)
  • Caramel Color (sometimes made from barley)
  • Dextrin (may be derived from wheat)
  • Dry Roasted Nuts (processing agents may contain wheat)
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, or Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) (read label, it will say ‘wheat’)
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Modified Food Starch (read label; it will say ‘wheat’)
  • Monosodium Glutamate

That’s quite a list!  One can see why going gluten free can be overwhelming.  It took months for me to figure out what I could and could not eat.  Here’s the good news:

Manufacturers have made gluten free substitutes for every food imaginable.

  Many restaurants now offer a gluten free menu, due to the dramatic increase in gluten intolerance over the past decade.

There’s an endless array of naturally gluten free food choices!

Whole foods provide the easiest way to maintain a gluten free lifestyle – no guesswork or reading labels.  And whole foods provide the most nutrition.  Which brings us to our list of gluten free foods:

Gluten Free Grains

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Potato
  • Tapioca
  • Garfava
  • Sorghum
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Arrowroot
  • Amaranth
  • Teff
  • Montina
  • Flax
  • Certified Gluten Free Oats
  • Arrowroot Flour

Dairy and Dairy Alternatives

  • Milk
  • Cheese (those with added flavorings or blue cheese may contain gluten)
  • Butter
  • Yogurt (check for added ingredients like oats, cookie bits, etc.)
  • Plant based milks like coconut, rice, soy and almond milk


  • All fruits and vegetables, including potatoes.  Check ingredients on canned and frozen veggies.


  • Eggs
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Nuts and Nut Butters
  • Meats with no added sauce, seasoning or gravy (processed and lunch meat may contain gluten)
  • Seafood with no added sauce, seasoning or gravy

Other (including processed gluten free foods)

  • Wine and distilled alcohols
  • Oils
  • Condiments such as mayo and mustard (check ingredient list)
  • Distilled vinegar (malt vinegar contains gluten)
  • Soda
  • Plain Potato Chips and Tortilla Chips (flavored varieties usually contain gluten)
  • Chocolate and Candy (ingredients vary greatly.  Check ingredients for each item)

 All of the recipes featured on Grow Eat Glow are gluten free.  Experiment with new recipes and ingredients to see how delicious gluten free can be!


Also in this series:

Should You Eat Gluten Free? Intro

Should You Eat Gluten Free? Part One

Should You Eat Gluten Free?  Part Two

Should You Eat Gluten Free?  Part Three

Should You Eat Gluten Free?  Conclusion



I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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