Which Foods Have Gluten in Them?

By , Category : Food and Nutrition

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

foods with glutenIf you’re trying to avoid gluten and/or are following a gluten free diet (or one that just restricts gluten but doesn’t ban it outright), then knowing which foods have gluten in them will obviously be the key to success.

This can be tricky, however, because when perusing lists of foods that contain gluten, it seems as though gluten is in everything! For example, did you know that gluten is in shampoo, cosmetics, and Play-Doh? No, you won’t be eating those items anytime soon, but if you have a severe sensitivity, this is something to be aware of.

Gluten is even hidden in food items and ingredients you wouldn’t suspect or even consider, such as Avena sativa cyclodextrin, dextrin, fermented grain extract, hordeum distichon, hordeum vulgare, and hydrolysate. All those are code for gluten.

For those with a gluten intolerance and or sensitivity—to say nothing of celiac disease—knowing where gluten is hidden becomes a real exercise in investigation and in educating yourself. The last thing you want is to accidentally ingest it and then suffer the consequences.

Foods That Have Gluten in Them

Having a gluten intolerance can make eating challenging. Gone are the quick dinners of ordering pizza or indulging in a cheesy lasagna from that wonderful Italian place down the road, since pizza dough and lasagna noodles are loaded with gluten.

There are substitutions of course, and many restaurants are beginning to offer them; pizza chains now offer gluten free dough as an option, and while these “impostors” don’t have the taste or texture you’re used to from wheat, eventually your palate will get used to it. Knowing which foods contain gluten will make eating out, grocery shopping, and cooking at home much simpler.

Gluten free foods may not be for everybody because they often don’t taste that great, but there is enough choice on the market now that if you dig deep, you’ll find some items that satisfy your requirements.

Which Foods Have Gluten in Them? A List


  • White flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Durum wheat
  • Graham flour
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Triticale
  • Kamut
  • Farina
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat bran


  • Vegetables don’t contain gluten, but what you need to pay attention to is how they are cooked and how they are combined with other ingredients. Vegetables in the frozen section may be packaged in sauces that contain gluten, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with ingredient lists and labels.


  • Like vegetables, fruits are gluten free so you can eat as many as you like, with one word of caution: pay attention to how they are prepared. Pies, for example, typically use flour or cornstarch to thicken the fruit filling, and those two ingredients have gluten.

Meat and Poultry

  • Meat and poultry are gluten free, but like fruits and vegetables, watch for how they are prepared, especially if they’re soaking in gravies and sauces. Breaded meat and poultry are a concern, as are hot dogs, lunch meats, and sausages.

Dairy Products

  • Dairy is gluten free, but again, like the above, the key is watching what is added to dairy products. Some yogurts might use cornstarch as a thickener, and that contains gluten, so read the labels. Milk is milk, so you’re safe there, unless it’s a flavored milk, in which case, read the label. Be vigilant about knowing what’s in your food.


  • Beer definitely is off limits because of the hops and barley, both of which contain gluten. Most soda beverages in the U.S. are gluten free, but be wary when traveling overseas.

Foods that Contain Gluten

Vegetables Fruit Dairy Beverages Grains
Does not
Does not
contain gluten.
Does not
Does not
Contains minimal
to no gluten.
Contains gluten.
Watch for
dishes, and
avoid hot
and lunch
Watch for
how the
food is
if it’s in a
Sauces are
for having
Watch for
how the
fruit is
e.g., if it’s
in a pie.
Pies often
in them
to thicken
the filling.
Read labels
to see if
any hidden
have been
added as a
(like cornstarch),
particularly in
yogurt and
sour cream.
Read the labels,
and if you’re truly
concerned, then
don’t drink soda
at all. Better to
be on the safe side.
· White flour
· Whole wheat Flour
· Durum wheat
· Graham flour
· Rye
· Barley
· Bulgur
· Triticale
· Kamut
· Farina
· Semolina
· Spelt
· Wheat germ
· Wheat bran

Foods That May Have Gluten in Them

  • Energy bars/granola bars
  • French fries (battered)
  • Potato chips (the seasoning may contain gluten)
  • Deli lunch meats
  • Candy and candy bars
  • Soups (especially cream soups; also look for barley)
  • Multigrain tortilla chips
  • Salad dressings and marinades (may contain gluten in the form of malt vinegar, soy sauce, or flour)
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Soy sauce
  • Pre-seasoned meats

Gluten Free Substitutes

If you eat fresh, clean, and unprocessed products then you’re more likely to avoid gluten. It’s when foods are processed, creamed, battered, seasoned, and marinated that things get dicey, so learning which foods have gluten in them is crucial. Choose fresh foods from the list below and cook simply, and you’ll be eating gluten free in no time. And don’t be surprised if you drop some weight, too!

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy
  • Beans, legumes
  • Nuts

Sources for Today’s Article:
“What Foods Have Gluten?” Diabetes web site; http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/gluten-free-diets/what-foods-have-gluten.html, last accessed April 12, 2016.
“Sources of Gluten,” Celiac web site; https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/sources-of-gluten/, last accessed April 12, 2016.

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Dr. Jeffrey Shapiro, MD

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After receiving athletic and academic awards at Yale and Stanford, Jeff has coached those seeking peak wellness, appeared on ABC News 20/20 and served as a consultant for CBS News 60 Minutes and The Late Show with David Letterman. As the author of many research studies and practicing anesthesiology/critical care medicine for more than 20 years, Jeff can be your guide to common sense decision making regarding drugs, supplements and vitamins. With no corporate sponsors and no vitamins or supplements... Read Full Bio »