Gluten can be found in grains like wheat, semolina, kamut, barley, spelt, triticale, bulgur, and rye. It forms an elastic-type protein that helps bind molecules, allowing flours to rise when baked.

Gluten is also a major food allergy trigger as well as a major contributor to celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. It’s been linked to many different conditions as diverse as autism and acne.

The need to avoid gluten has led to a growing gluten-free food market. Going gluten-free has never been easier. To start you off on your healthful diet, avoid these five foods.


Avoid all foods containing the grains mentioned above. They will be found in bread, pasta, cereals, muffins, bagels, cookies, cakes, gravies, croutons, bread crumbs, biscuits, rolls, pita, batter-fried foods, noodles, wheat-based tortillas, ice cream cones, bran, wheat germ, dumplings, pancake mix, pies, pumpernickel and rye breads, cornbread, doughnuts, pretzels, spaghetti, waffles and pastries. Avoid these foods unless the label says “gluten-free.” As you explore gluten-free alternatives, you will find that most of these foods are available with gluten-free substitutes.

Condiments and Seasonings

Gluten hides in Worcestershire sauce, MSG, modified food starch, malt products, bouillon, barley malt, soy sauce, and most salad dressings and gravies.

Processed Meats

Almost all processed meats including cold cuts, liverwurst, hot dogs, sausages, bologna, pepperoni, salami, and pate are high in gluten.

Alcoholic Beverages

Beer, ale, light beer and hard liquors made with grains have gluten. Alcoholic drinks distilled from gluten grains include gin, whiskey, and some vodkas.


Avoid malt, ice cream, candies containing cereal extract, sherbet, commercial cake frosting, and root beer. Always check the labels on sweets. Remember that most baked goods have some type of gluten product included.

If you have a gluten intolerance, you may try an elimination diet removing all of these items from your diet and slowly introducing them to see where the triggers are. It may not be necessary to eliminate everything. If you do need to in order to preserve your health, learn to check labels and be diligent. Gluten hides in unexpected places.

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