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Foods With Gluten

Managing Celiac Disease and a Gluten-Free Diet


Updated March 26, 2014

Do you have celiac disease or are you gluten-intolerant? If so, avoid any food with gluten including wheat, rye, or barley in the ingredients list, or that indicates it has been manufactured in the presence of wheat, gluten, or gluten-containing ingredients. Some celiac patients also need to avoid oats. (Note: If you are allergic to wheat but do not have celiac disease, please see Foods to Avoid on a Wheat-Free Diet for a list of unsafe foods that does not include rye- or barley-containing ingredients.)

Dining out poses a challenge for those with a gluten allergy because it’s not always clear whether or not dishes contain gluten. There is a new trend towards restaurants catering to their gluten-free population and even having a separate menu with items free of gluten. When in doubt, ask your server how a dish is prepared and ask for substitutions whenever possible.

Avoid any food containing the following:

  • Wheat, wheat berries, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheatgrass, or any form of the word wheat (other than buckwheat, which is an unrelated plant)
  • Barley, barley malt, barley flour, or any form of the word barley.
  • Rye, rye flour, pumpernickel flour, or any form of the word rye.
  • Oats, oatmeal, oat flour, oat groats, or any form of the word oats, if your doctor has advised you to avoid oats. If your doctor permits oats on your gluten-free diet, look for gluten-free oats.
  • Flour, including instant, bread, cake, enriched, graham, and all-purpose flours. Flours made from safe grains (such as corn flour, millet flour, and rice flour) are safe.
  • Triticale
  • Einkorn
  • Spelt
  • Semolina
  • Durum
  • Bulgar or Bulghar
  • Kamut
  • Cracker meal
  • Couscous
  • Tabbouleh
  • Tempura crumbs
  • Malt, unless specified as being made from a non-gluten source (such as corn).

Avoid foods containing the following unless the label indicates they are from a non-gluten source:

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Modified food starch
  • Vegetable starch or vegetable protein
  • Gelatinized starch or pregelatinized starch
  • Natural flavorings
  • Soy sauce (look for wheat-free tamari as an alternative)

Be especially alert for the presence of wheat and gluten in the following:

  • Breads, pastries, cakes, cookies, crackers, doughnuts, pies, pretzels, and all other baked goods. The majority are made from wheat flour; look for alternatives by allergy-safe manufacturers.
  • Breakfast cereals, both hot and cold.
  • Pasta, including gnocchi, spaetzle, chow mein, lo mein, and filled pastas. Rice noodles, pure buckwheat soba noodles, and pastas from allergy-friendly manufacturers are good alternatives for home cooking.
  • Snack foods, especially if seasoned or highly processed.
  • Soups, gravies, and thickened sauces.
  • Breaded meats or vegetables, such as fried chicken or okra.
  • Dumplings, meatballs, lunch meats, meat loaves, and similar foods (often held together with breadcrumbs or flour).
  • Beer (Gluten-free beers are available.)
  • Salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce, and other condiments.


National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Celiac Disease. The Gluten-Free Diet: Some Examples. September 2008. 23 Oct. 2008.

Celiac Sprue Association. Gluten-Free Diet: Grains and Flours. October 8, 2008. 23 Oct. 2008.

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