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Gluten-Free Guide

Always read ingredients and check with the manufacturer if you are not sure if something contains gluten, and avoid the food until you are sure.

Foods that definitely contain gluten:

Wheat

  • Anything with the word “wheat” in it, except buckwheat (buckwheat is gluten-free)
  • Flour (unless it says gluten-free flour, or is made purely from a non-gluten source, like rice flour)
    • Baked goods including muffins, cookies, cakes, pies
    • Bread including wheat bread, white bread, “potato” bread
    • Pasta, pizza, bagels
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Bulgur
  • Matzoh
  • Cous-cous
  • Semolina
  • Emmer
  • Eikorn
  • Farro
  • Graham

Wheat relatives

  • Barley
    • Beer
    • Malt flavoring, syrup or extract (found in most commercial cereals)
    • Malt vinegar
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Triticale

Ingredients that may contain gluten:

  • Oats (due to cross-contamination with wheat) – see What’s the deal with oats?
  • Brown rice syrup (sometimes made with barley)
  • Dextrin (usually made with corn, but sometimes made with wheat; maltodextrin is OK)
  • Mono and dyglycerides
  • Caramel color (most likely gluten-free if made in USA)
  • Modified food starch or modified starch (if it does not specify what kind of starch)
  • Hydrolyzed or textured plant or vegetable protein (if it does not specify a plant/vegetable that is gluten-free)
  • Vegetable gum (source is unknown, but carob bean gum, locust bean gum, cellulose gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gum aracia and xanthan gum are gluten-free)
  • Natural and artificial flavorings
  • Seasonings and seasoning mixes

Things to watch out for:

  • Soy sauce (although there are some that are wheat-free, most contain wheat), teriyaki sauce (contains soy sauce), oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, many marinades
  • Commercial cereals — most are made from wheat and/or have malt flavoring which comes from barley
  • Flavored coffees or teas
  • Imitation seafood (if ordering sushi, make sure that they use real crab)
  • Imitation bacon
  • Packaged bacon (some brands contain soy sauce, eg. Farmer John’s)
  • Processed meats
  • Mexican food (some places buy marinated meats that contain soy sauce; corn chips are sometimes cooked in same oil as fried flour tortillas)
  • Soups, stews, bisques, anything made from a “roux”
  • Anything breaded, floured or marinated
  • Some blue or green-veined cheeses – see Is blue cheese gluten-free?
  • Medicines — go to www.glutenfreedrugs.com for GF list
  • Lipstick and any other non-food items that are likely to be ingested by accident (babies and kids put hands in mouth), like playdough, lotion, paste, etc.

Foods that do not contain gluten (foods you can eat):

  • Corn, including polenta (but check on other ingredients that may have been added)
  • Rice, including risotto (but check on other ingredients that may have been added)
  • Potatoes
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat (kasha – not to be confused with Kashi brand cereals, which are not gluten-free)
  • Montina
  • Millet
  • Tapioca
  • Quinoa
  • Teff
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Distilled vinegars* (including red, white and balsamic; malt vinegar is not ok)
  • Distilled alcohol* (unless gluten containing flavorings are added)
    *Some people prefer to avoid vinegars and alcohol made from gluten-containing grains