With celiac disease and gluten intolerance steadily on the rise in recent years, many people are starting to learn what gluten is, which foods contain it, and how it affects health. In fact, we wrote an entire article on how gluten impacts the gut. Read it here!
In case you don’t know, gluten is a protein that is commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is in almost any baked good and gives bread its airy, fluffy, and starchy texture. If you think a slice of bread or fluffy muffin is the only place you’ll find gluten, though, think again! Another place it is commonly found is in pre-packaged foods. It’s used as an additive to give flavor, as well as a thickener. Here is a list of 19 unexpected foods that contain the sticky protein you should watch out for.
- Condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise
- Many salad dressings
- Soy sauce
- Some soups
- Hot dogs
- Imitation seafood
- Imitation bacon
- Some vegetarian burgers
- Cold cuts
- Bouillon cubes
- Chewing gum
- Many chips
- Artificial coffee creamer
- Prepackaged hot chocolate
- Rice mixes
- Anything malt
Don’t See Gluten On The Ingredient Label?
Just because “gluten” isn’t written on the ingredient label, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been added to your food. In the United States, manufacturers don’t have to let customers know when a food contains gluten. They can, however, voluntarily use a “gluten-free” label on their package. According to the FDA:
“FDA established, among other criteria, a gluten limit of less than 20 parts per million (ppm) for foods that carry the label “gluten-free,” “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” or “without gluten.” This level is the lowest that can be reliably detected in foods using scientifically validated analytical methods.”
If you have a problem digesting gluten and you’re not sure if a particular food contains it, always remember: When it doubt, go without!
Naturally Gluten-Free Food Groups
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it’s safe to eat the following foods:
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and seafood
- Beans, legumes, and nuts