Surprising Foods You Didn't Know Have Gluten In Them

Gluten-free diets have been trending for some time now. And whether you have celiac disease and eat gluten-free out of necessity, or you just feel better eating a largely gluten-free diet, navigating the gluten-free world can be tricky. From eating out in restaurants to grabbing convenience foods to cooking in your own kitchen, there is a lot to learn about what foods are really gluten-free. Below is a list of surprising foods you didn't know have gluten in them.


Most packaged soups that are gluten-free sold in the grocery store will be labeled as such, but if you're eating out, be sure to ask specific questions about the soup's ingredients. Besides the obvious ingredient flour, commonly used as a thickening agent in soups, you may be consuming gluten without knowing it in the form of bouillon. Not all bouillon -- or stock for that matter -- is gluten-free, and the chef may or may not know that. When in doubt, skip the soup and make your own at home. Start with this super easy, classic minestrone recipe.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a sneaky ingredient that is filled with wheat and can pop up everywhere from salad dressings to hummus to spicy tuna rolls to marinades. To avoid sneaky soy sauce in your food, comb your ingredients carefully. You can also purchase gluten-free soy sauce or tamari. It tastes the same, I promise -- only without wheat.

Energy Bars

Energy bars can be filled with junk, glutenous or not. And their ingredients can be hard to pronouce let alone understand. My best advice here is to make your energy bars. Start by reading this post, and grab the super easy formula for how to make them at home.


Simliar to soup, gravy is often thickened and enriched with flour and bouillon. When dining out, be diligent in your research. Even if the item is marked gluten-free on a gluten-free menu, ask specific questions. I can't tell you how many times I was glutened early on in my gluten-free journey by trusting and not asking.

French Fries

French fries, when not coated in any glutenous ingredients, are gluten-free. But the moment those babies are tossed into a fryer cooking other foods containing gluten, all bets are off. French fries are not gluten-free unless you are dining at a restaurant with a dedicated gluten-free foods fryer. If the fries are marked on a gluten-free menu, be sure to ask if the restaurant takes all proper precautions to avoid cross-contamination. Or make your own at home -- they're healthier for you anyhow. Start with this recipe for my favorite Old Bay baked fries with creamy onion dipping sauce. They're gluten-free and vegan!


Malt flavors, malt syrups, malt beverages, and malt vinegar all contain gluten, and you can find malt flavoring in everything from cereal to ice cream to alcoholic beverages. Malt is a germinated cereal grain, usually barley, that's dried in a process known as malting. If you see the word malt, be sure to avoid that product altogether.


Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they can become cross-contaminated out in the fields at various stages of growth and harvest or in the factory during processing. Be sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats, and ask or read labels before you consume granola and other oat-base foods outside of your own kitchen. You can start eating more oats at home by buying certified gluten-free oats and making your own granola.


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