Gluten-free? Not so fast. Watch out for this list of surprising foods that contain gluten

By: Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.  |  Monday, March 11, 2013

If you have celiac-disease, gluten-sensitivity or for some other reason you’re not eating gluten—the protein found in wheat, rye and barley—you probably know to steer clear of big, obvious offenders like bread, pasta and baked goods.

Related: 4 Easy Ways to Avoid Gluten

But there are also foods that are sometimes made with gluten-containing ingredients that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to contain gluten. Here’s a list of surprising foods that are not gluten-free—a must-read if you have celiac-disease, are eating gluten-free or cooking for someone who is.


• Bouillon cubes and broths
• Dairy substitutes, such as nondairy creamer
• Rice mixes
• Potato chips
• Hard candy
• Licorice
• Jelly beans
• Cold cuts
• Hot dogs
• Salami
• Sausage
• Communion wafers
• French fries
• Gravy
• Imitation fish
• Matzo
• Sauces
• Seasoned tortilla chips
• Self-basting turkey
• Soups
• Soy sauce
• Vegetables in sauce
• Salad dressings
• Dry-roasted nuts
• Miso
• Soba noodles


Don’t Miss: Gluten-Free Grains and Starches List

There are also ingredients that may contain—or be manufactured with—a gluten-containing grain or by-product. Here are some. You can find a more comprehensive list at

• Artificial color
• Caramel coloring
• Hydrolyzed protein, plant protein, vegetable protein
• Dextrin
• Modified food starch
• Natural flavors, flavoring and juices
• Spice blends
• Smoke flavoring
• Stabilizers
• Emulsifiers

Fortunately, thanks to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, it is easier now to identify wheat-containing ingredients: if a food or an ingredient contains wheat or protein derived from wheat, the word “wheat” must appear clearly on the food label.

So read your food labels closely!