You know that wheat, rye, and barley are off-limits on a gluten free diet, but beyond these straight forward ingredients, you can be left with a good deal of gray area as you wonder, ‘what food has gluten in it?’ If you are wondering what foods to avoid on a gluten free diet, check out this helpful list of the top foods to avoid on a gluten free diet that you may not have thought about before!
Foods to Avoid on a Gluten Free Diet
Soup seems like a safe option to choose when you are searching for gluten free options, but while some soups may be gluten free, many contain gluten. Some soups are made with broths that contain hydrolyzed wheat and others contain flour thickeners.
2. Salad Dressings and Dips
Unless you make a salad dressing or dip yourself, you run the risk of consuming gluten in many salad dressings and dips. Always read the labels to make sure your selection doesn’t have any gluten ingredients.
Oatmeal is one of the trickiest foods for those looking to find out which gluten intolerance foods to avoid because many well-meaning but uninformed people will include it on a list of gluten free foods. While oats do not naturally contain gluten, growing practices usually cross contaminate them with gluten. Unless they are labeled as being ‘certified gluten free’ consider any foods with oats to be on the list of foods to avoid on a gluten free diet.
4. Roasted Nuts
Roasted nuts are a terrific food to eat on a healthy gluten free diet, but always check the ingredients list as some commercial nuts have a wheat based ingredient used to coat them.
5. Flavored Chips
Those ingredients used to create that bright orange cheese flavour (as well as other flavours) on your favourite snack chip sometimes contains wheat or barley to create the flavour, placing them squarely on the foods with gluten list! Opt for safe versions, or better yet try your hand at making healthier alternatives like kale chips.
Some seasonings, especially premixed seasoning blends, use anti-caking agents that contain gluten based ingredients. Try your hand at mixing your own custom spice blends at home to sprinkle on flavor without adding gluten!
7. Soy Sauce
You may not initially suspect soy sauce as belonging on the foods with gluten list, but that is exactly where it belongs. Because of this, take care eating any foods that are likely to contain gluten, such as Asian foods. Tamari sauce or coconut aminos are safe alternatives if you still want the same taste.
8. Fried Foods
You know to avoid fried foods that are breaded or coated in flour, but even gluten free foods fried in this oil can end up with gluten on them. Sharing the frying oil makes even safe foods into gluten free foods to avoid.
9. Shredded/ Crumbled Cheese
To keep shredded or crumbled cheese from sticking to itself some manufacturers put a wheat-based coating on the shred. Buy a block and shred yourself.
10. Anything Malted
Malt is derived from barley, making anything with malt or malt flavoring a no-no on a gluten free diet.
11. Creamy Sauces
The base of many creamy sauces is a roux of butter and flour. Skip the sauce or ask for a tomato based sauce to be on the safe side. As an added bonus, you’ll save calories and carbs!
Like cream-based sauces, the thickening agent in most gravies is flour. If you want to avoid this problem, you can make your own gravy at home using cornstarch or arrowroot as your thickening agent.
13. Meatballs, and Meatloaf
The use of breadcrumbs in meatballs and meatloaf is so common that these foods should always be consider to contain gluten unless the label or chef can specifically verify that no gluten has been added.
14. Processed meat
Foods like sausage, bacon, and even deli meats can have gluten based binders. Check with your butcher to verify the purity of your meat selections.
15. French Fries
In addition to the risk of cross contamination risk from the fryer, fries carry the risk of having gluten in their coating. Always check labels or check with your restaurant. (Hint: for an option that is not only gluten free, but also great for you, try baking homemade sweet potato fries in the oven.
Bonus: Packaged Gluten Free Foods
While packaged gluten free foods may not contain gluten, they are typically full of other ingredients that probably should belong on a list of ‘what can you not eat if you are gluten free (or not)?’ Ingredients like sugar, refined carbs, and artificial preservatives make most processed gluten free foods less than desirable!