What Foods Contain Gluten?

What Foods Contain Gluten

Gluten is basically a kind of protein found mainly in grains. With many people allergic to gluten or prone to the risk of gluten-related diseases such as celiac, it’s important to know what foods contain gluten. This knowledge can help in preventing major complications and health problems triggered by gluten allergies. Knowing which foods are rich in gluten will ensure that you know the foods to eliminate from your diet, or to avoid if need be.


A large variety of grains, as well as products derived from them, are a rich source of gluten. Wheat is one major gluten-rich food that needs to be removed from diet if you’re suffering from any of the symptoms of gluten allergy. This naturally means all wheat products have also necessarily to be kept out. This also means you need to keep off wheat derivatives and varieties, which include einkorn wheat, farina, graham, durum, wheat berries, emmer, spelt, khorasan and semolina. Wheat starch, if not processed to remove gluten to less than 20 ppm, is also bad for those who’re allergic to gluten.

Other cereals that contain gluten are rye and barley, so keep these out of your diet too, if you’re striving to go gluten-free. Triticale – a hybrid of wheat and rye – is another gluten-packed cereal that you need to eliminate from your diet if you don’t want to consume gluten/

Malt is also to be avoided in all forms as it contains gluten. So no malted milk or milkshakes, malt vinegar, malt syrup, malt extract, mal flavoring or malted barley flour for you if you need to get rid of gluten from your food.

Common foods

Apart from grains, there are several other common foods that contain high doses of gluten. Most pastas, breads and pastries are gluten-rich. So learn to say no to croissants, cornbread, donuts, muffins, bagels, flatbreads, rolls, pita, nan, egg noodles, chowmein, soba and udon, noodles, dumplings, gnocchi and raviolis. Incidentally, noodles made with rice or moong bean are fine to have as they don’t contain gluten.

Crackers, baked goods and breakfast foods are also rich in gluten. So you simply can’t afford to have crepes, biscuits, waffles, pancakes or French toast for breakfast if you’ve got some kind of gluten-linked problem. Nor can you eat your favorite brownies, pie crusts, cakes and cookies.

You may not know this but cornflakes and rice puffs usually contain extract or flavoring of malt. Even granola is not free of gluten since oats often end up with gluten as a result of being harvested and processed along with wheat.

Actually, the list of gluten-rich foods is quite a long one. So there’re breadcrumbs, sauces and gravies, dressings and stuffing that you just can’t have if you want to go gluten-free. Flour tortillas is another food in this category.

Other sources

With potatoes not safe from gluten, French fries and potato chips are also not exempted from the list of gluten-packed foods. From candy to energy bars, you actually need to be careful before deciding to eat virtually anything without checking out the labels for the ingredients. If there’s oat, malt or wheat in the list of ingredients of food items, you can easily assume they’ve got gluten.

There are some foods, however, that don’t overtly contain gluten but may have some or the other ingredient that’s rich in gluten. So whether you’re going for egg or meat or poultry products, do remember to check out the labels before digging your teeth into your favorite foods made with these ingredients. Even the vegetarian burger or sausage you’re enjoying with such gusto may be packed with the gluten protein which you want so desperately to avoid. Most of these vegetarian foods are made of meat substitutes, and this simply means wheat gluten in the form of seitan.

And if you’re the salad kind who swears by the health benefits of salad, be careful that it’s not dressed up with soy sauce or vinegar because those definitely contain gluten. The so-called healthy soups also may not be safe from gluten. The cream-based soups are particularly harmful as they’re thickened with flour. Some soups also have barley as an ingredient, in fact.

Mind you, it’s not just food that can come packed with gluten. Certain beverages also have this protein. Beer is a major source of gluten. Others include malt beverages and malt vinegars. Lagers and ales also have a good measure of gluten.


With so many foods containing gluten, you’re probably wondering which foods are safe if you’re going gluten-free. Well, fruits and vegetables are definitely safe if you don’t want gluten in your food. Meat and poultry can also be consumed by those wanting to avoid gluten.  Other items on the list include fish, seafood and dairy products. For the vegetarians, there’s also nuts, beans and legumes, apart, of course, from fruits and vegetables.

Mind you, it’s not just food that may give you a dose of gluten proteins. Even creams, cosmetics and supplements can be harmful in this context. So the next time you’re putting anything on your lips, from gloss to balm to lipstick, do be careful against unwittingly ingesting some of the gluten they contain. Supplements, including herbal, mineral and vitamins, can also come packed with gluten.

You can check out Kelly Herring’s e-book ‘Guilt-Free Desserts‘ to find out more about the foods that are high on gluten.


  1. Thanks Max for this information. I know a couple of people with gluten allergies and this will really help when they come over to eat. There are more and more people with allergies nowadays. This post I’m sure will be very helpful.

    • Thank’s Stella!

      In my family of eight, we had four different food intolerance so I know how hard it can bee sometimes.
      I hope that I can help others to make it easier.

  2. Hi Max. Thank you for all this awesome info. I didn’t know very much about this allergy. It’s pretty horrible. It’s so important for people who suffer from it to know exactly what they can and can’t eat and use. I really didn’t even think the possibility of gluten in personal products such as creams and lip balm.

    I’m going to bookmark your site for future reference. It’s always good to have gluten-free recipes on hand for guests.

    Thanks again

    • Hi, Liz!

      Thank’s for dropping by 🙂

      Yes, it’s not easy to know wich products you can buy.
      I remember when my kids were younger we bought some chocolate bar without gluten, made in Sweden, next time we bought the same brand from another store and it was made in Germany and it contained gluten. And for example Cornflakes and taco spices, it contains gluten in some brands and without in others.
      It’s always important to read on the product before you buy it.


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