14 Things You Didn’t Know Had Gluten in Them

OMG 19

red licoriceI've been reading the new book, Gluten Is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes, and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free by April Peveteaux (a former Stir contributor!). Even for the totally gluten-friendly, the book is informative and an unexpected kness-slapper. You wouldn't think there's anything funny about celiac, but there is. Oh yes, there is. Anyway, I'm actually learning a few things I didn't know about gluten before. Like -- all of the things in the world that have gluten in them. And they're not even all food! Gluten is so not just about bread and pasta. Here are several places April says gluten hides.

  1. Beer. I think the word is getting out, but just in case you hadn't put two and two together yet (HINT: IT'S MADE FROM WHEAT). Beer has gluten.
  2. Mustard. Which means mustard made with ale (beer) also contain gluten.
  3. Communion wafers. Oh. My. God.
  4. Dextrin. Not that you should be taking it anyway.
  5. Finger paints. Surprise, surprise, most brands of finger paints are made with wheat! Who knew?
  6. Licorice. But it's candy!
  7. Lunch meat. Often these are made with fillers which means you know what: Gluten.
  8. Malt. Yo, it's made from barley -- usually.
  9. Oats. Some rolled oats are processed at plants that also process wheat.
  10. Play-Doh. Arts and crafts are kind of a headache for parents of gluten-free kids. The commercial and most homemade dough has gluten. Some modeling clays also have gluten.
  11. Soy sauce. Yes, most commercially made soy sauce has gluten. Good luck eating out at a Chinese restaurant now. However, some naturally fermented soy sauces can be extremely low in gluten. Otherwise, there's gluten-free tamari sauce.
  12. Soups, sauces, dressings. Yes, even innocent little salad dressings. All of these foods may be thickened with gluten.
  13. Stamps and envelopes. Crazy! Don't lick 'em.
  14. Vitamins and medication. It seems cruel and unfair, doesn't it? Always check with your pharmacists to make sure your meds won't make you sick. And watch those generics, which may contain starch.

April says, "Your takeaway is this: Anything that comes with a label or in a package must be treated as suspect." When in doubt (even after reading the label), call the manufacturer. But hey, at least now you know about the stamps!

gluten is my bitch

Did you know gluten could hide in these foods and substances?


Images via The Knowles Gallery/Flickr, Gluten Is My Bitch/Stewart Tabori & Chang









diets, eating healthy, allergies


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nonmember avatar McKenna

I just bought this book, can't wait to read. As someone with Celiac, I enjoy finding the humor in this sometimes challenging lifestyle.

LadyM... LadyMinni

I love the name of the book! My brother is gluten free, I'll recommend this to my mother. Also the artificial flavor "vanillin" contains gluten, as can "modified food starch." When it comes to the MFS, call the company to see what kind they use.

Alexis Richter

Now I know why my son had a horrible day yesterday ... they made Mother's Day cards at school Tuesday with finger paints. Ay yi yi. Thank you for posting this!

nonmember avatar Cortney

You can add shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup and other personal care items CAN have gluten in them. Sensitivity often manifests in skin conditions. They do make gluten free products, though.

Elnaz Sarraf

Ah! Nice froot http://www.eluxl.com

redhe... redhead-bedhead

Original Doritos have gluten in the but the Cool Ranch flavored ones don't.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

Big snickers bars are safe, but the mini's are not! This goes for many candy bars... something they use while processing the little ones isn't safe. :-(

Also, many types of mayonnaise... I actually read the label of one that contained the following note regarding its gluten-ingredient *an ingredient not normally found in mayonnaise*. WTH? Why is it even IN there? lol

nonmember avatar Desiree

VH brand soy sauce is gluten free.

Expat132 Expat132

Now that rice is has high levels of lead or arsenic, what are the alternatives?

OneAl... OneAllergicMama

Expat - quinoa and amaranth are good alternatives.  There are actually a wide variety of grains that can be gluten free (I say can be due to cross contamination issues when processing).  We limit rice at home to pasta subs and choose to do minimal rice flour for baking by using a mix of gf grains.

And yes, mustard can be tricky but not all mustard contains gluten.

My son has life threatening allergies to wheat, rye, barley and egg.

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