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Foods to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet

4 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of Eating Gluten-Free

The key to a gluten-free diet is knowing what to avoid — whether you're dining out or making meals at home. Luckily, the list of forbidden foods for a gluten-free diet is a lot shorter than the list of safe foods.

Foods with gluten

Companies offer special gluten-free varieties of some foods, and those gluten-free varieties obviously don’t have gluten in them. But unless you’re buying specialty products, you can assume the following foods contain gluten:

  • Baked goods — cookies, cakes, cupcakes, donuts, muffins, pastries, pie crusts, brownies, and everything else made with wheat flour

  • Beer

  • Bread, breadcrumbs, biscuits

  • Cereal

  • Communion wafers

  • Cornbread

  • Crackers

  • Croutons

  • Gravies, sauces, and roux

  • Imitation seafood (for example, imitation crab)

  • Licorice

  • Marinades (such as teriyaki)

  • Pasta

  • Pizza crust

  • Pretzels

  • Soy sauce

  • Stuffing

Forbidden grains for gluten-free eating

The grains you need to avoid on a gluten-free diet are

  • Barley

  • Oats (because of contamination issues)

  • Triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye)

  • Rye

  • Wheat

Avoid these grains and anything made with them — malt is often made from barley, for example, so you need to take malt vinegar out of your diet (not to mention malted milk balls!)

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