Wow.  I have been overwhelmed by all the kind emails and feedback I have received this week about sharing my gluten free lifestyle.  I am glad so many of you are finding it helpful.  I will try to make a concerted effort to share some of my dinner recipes from time to time, too.

Yesterday, I shared what I typically eat.  Things that are naturally gluten free and a few special gluten foods.  Today, I want to share some places that gluten hides.  Unexpected things that have gluten in them.

Some things are obviously off limits for those eating gluten free: pasta, bread, pizza, anything with wheat/all purpose flour.  Other things however seem like they should be safe, but are gluten laden.  It’s always a bummer to get glutened on these things.  I mean, really, if I’m going to spend a few weeks recovering from ingesting gluten I want it to be because of something delicious like Papa John’s pizza or a Jersey Mike’s sub or a Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagel not one of the lame-os below.

Unexpected gluten is found in:

  1. Soy Sauce.  I know, right?  Sneaky.  Most soy sauces are made with wheat.  It’s one of the first few ingredients listed.  I believe La Choy is still make without wheat.  Always check the labels though.  There definitely are gluten free soy sauces, but you have to make sure to read the label.
  2. Fat free sour cream.  First of all, I would never eat fat free sour cream to start with.  Ick. If you opt for fat free or low fat produces in general, make sure to read the label even if you know the full fat ingredient is gluten free.  The reason is that when they take the fat out, they have to replace it with something to keep the consistency thick.
  3. Malt. Malt comes from barely which means anything that is “malted” is out.
  4. Canned soups and broths.   First of all, have you ever actually read the ingredients of condensed soups in a can?  You can’t pronounce half of them as they are processed until they are almost not food.  …but they also have wheat in them to help thicken them.   Some vegetable/beef/chicken broths have also snuck gluten into them so read the label.  I use Swanson Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth.  FYI the ingredient “yeast” does not contain gluten.
  5. Licorice and other similar candy.  This is a major boooooo for me.  I love black licorice but it is made with wheat.  So are many of the stripe candies like Twizzlers, Sour Straws, and Sour Strips.
  6. The mayonnaise, jelly, and peanut butter jars.  Mayo, jelly, and peanut butter themselves are gluten free but if others have made glutenous sandwiches with them and placed the knife back in the jar, they are no good.  Crumbs get in the jar and make the whole thing glutenous.
  7. Spice mixes, dressings, marinades.  Flour is often used and a filler or anti-caking agent or to thicken dressing and marinades.  Save yourself cost and concern and make your own 🙂

My biggest suggestion is to read to the label.  Gluten can be hiding where you don’t expect it and also companies change their recipes from time to time.
The less processed the food, the less chance gluten has slipped in.  Again, I advocate eating fresh, unprocessed foods even if you aren’t concerned about gluten.