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Checklist of Foods and Ingredients to Avoid in a Gluten-Free Diet

Part of the Living Gluten-Free For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you’re living gluten-free (especially if you’ve just started following a gluten-free diet), it can be hard to remember which foods and ingredients you should avoid, especially when you’re grocery shopping! Here is a list of the grains and the foods that usually contain gluten that you need to avoid on a gluten-free diet:

  • Wheat, and almost anything with the word wheat in its name. You also need to avoid hydrolyzed wheat protein, wheat starch, wheat germ, and so on; but you may not realize that you need to beware of wheat aliases like flour, bulgur, semolina, spelt, frumento, durum (also spelled duram), kamut, graham, einkorn, farina, couscous, seitan, matzoh, matzah, matzo, and cake flour. You should avoid buying the following items because they usually have wheat in them. Make your own unless you can find store versions that are specifically gluten-free:

    • Beer (some gluten-free versions are available)

    • Bread, bread crumbs, biscuits

    • Breakfast cereal

    • Cornbread (the flour usually contains some wheat)

    • Crackers

    • Croutons

    • Gravies, sauces, and roux

    • Imitation seafood (such as imitation crab)

    • Licorice

    • Marinadese (such as teriyaki)

    • Pasta

    • Pizza crust

    • Pretzels

    • Soy Sauce

    • Stuffing

    • Sweet baked goods like cookies, cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts, muffins, pastries, and pie crusts

  • Wheat starch is wheat that’s had the gluten washed out, but you still have to beware. In some countries, a special type of wheat starch called Codex Alimentarius wheat starch is allowed on the gluten-free diet -- but standards vary from country to country. Codex Alimentarius wheat starch isn’t allowed in North America because some people question whether the washing process completely removes all residual grain.

  • Barley and its derivatives. Most malt is derived from barley, so unless it states otherwise, you need to avoid malt and malt flavoring as well as barley in its pure form.

  • Triticale, which most people have never heard of. It’s a hybrid cross between wheat and rye, and was developed to combine the productivity of wheat with the ruggedness of rye.

  • Rye isn’t really hidden in any ingredients, so the pure form of rye (usually found in rye bread) is what you need to avoid.

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Living Gluten-Free For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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