15 Surprising Foods That Have Gluten in Them

Gluten isn't just in bread and pasta; it can be in many foods. If you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or eat a gluten-free diet, it's vital to know these hidden sources.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce flavors many Asian dishes. However, its wheat content can be trouble for those with gluten sensitivities. Tamari sauce is a great gluten-free substitute.

Salad Dressings

Some dressings contain gluten due to added flavorings or thickeners. Check labels for "gluten-free" or make your own with olive oil, vinegar, and herbs.


Most beers contain gluten from barley, making them unsafe for gluten-free diets. However, gluten-free beers use alternative grains like rice, millet, sorghum or corn. Check labels carefully.

Processed Meats

Sausages and hot dogs often contain gluten. It can be hidden in seasonings, marinades, or preservatives. Opt for certified gluten-free meats or natural, unprocessed cuts to avoid it.


Many commercial soups achieve thickness using gluten-rich flour, including canned or premade soups with wheat-based broths. Use alternatives like cornstarch, arrowroot, or pureed vegetables for gluten-free homemade soups.

French Fries

Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, but fast-food chains often use a flour-based coating for crispy fries, introducing gluten. Opt for fries from dedicated fryers or make your own at home.

Ice Cream

Ice cream can be glutenous due to additives or flavorings. Choose brands labelled "gluten-free" and avoid flavors like cookies and cream with gluten.

Seasoning Mixes

Pre-packaged seasoning mixes often contain flour. To avoid gluten, make your own spice blends or look for certified gluten-free options.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a popular non-dairy alternative, but some brands might contain gluten due to cross-contamination or the addition of barley malt as a sweetener.

Licorice Candy

Licorice candy usually has wheat flour, making it unsuitable for gluten-free diets. Even "black licorice" flavors in other foods may have gluten traces. Try homemade versions with alternative flours.

Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers, seen as a healthier meat alternative, may contain gluten due to wheat-based fillers. Choose options from beans, lentils, quinoa or other grains.

Jelly Beans

Not all jelly beans are gluten-free. Some can contain gluten from wheat-based starches or glucose syrup used in candy-making.

Potato Chips

Potato chips, although mainly gluten-free, can contain gluten due to flavorings and additives. Cross-contamination is also possible from equipment used for glutenous products.

Communion Wafers

Even a tiny gluten amount can trigger a reaction in those with celiac disease, like small communion wafers. Many churches now provide gluten-free alternatives. Always ask.

Miso Paste

Miso paste adds deep umami flavors to dishes. It's mostly fermented soybeans, but some include barley, a gluten source. Choose soybean or rice miso for a gluten-free diet.

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