10 Sneaky Foods You Didn’t Know Contained Gluten

sneaky gluten culpritsGluten is a mean little bugger that can cause a whirlwind of problems.

Those with digestive disorders are greatly affected by this protein and in very negative ways.

Celiac disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are common disorders that call for a gluten free diet to help reduce symptoms.

A basic gluten free diet has you avoid all sources of gluten such as breads, pastas, cereals, baked goods, and processed foods.

If you have a digestive disorder or gluten sensitivity, even a trivial amount of gluten can send you into a severe flare-up.

If you’re going gluten free, watch out for these sneaky gluten culprits!

1. Soup

Soup seems like it would be a great, healthy gluten free food.

Think again!

Flour is often used as a thickening agent for soups.

Pick up a can of tomato soup and look in the ingredients.

One of the first ingredients is wheat flour.

Bouillon cubes are also a culprit of gluten, along with many packaged spice combinations.

The key is to look for the ingredient maltodextrin, which is a gluten product.

2. French Fries

French fries in their natural state of potatoes, salt, and oil are naturally gluten free.

However, when you’re eating out, there’s a great risk of cross-contamination.

The potatoes are fried in oil that has previously come into contact with breaded onion rings, hush puppies, or other breaded foods.

Ask the restaurant if they have oil specifically for fries only.

3. Pickles

Not all pickles contain gluten but some are made with malt vinegar.

Malt vinegar is from barley and unfortunately contains gluten.

4. Chocolate 

Some chocolate brands are safe but others use gluten as a thickener or emulsifier.

A few safe chocolates are:

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Hershey Kisses, Heath Bars, Mounds, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gluten free.

Nestle milk chocolate, Goobers, Butterfingers, Baby Ruth, and Snow Caps are also gluten free!

5. Soy Sauce 

Soy sauce is a big no-no.

Most varieties contain anywhere from 40% – 60% wheat.


Some restaurants are not serving gluten free soy sauce, be sure to ask.

6. Sausage, Hot Dogs, and Meatballs 

Meatballs often use a wheat or starch to keep the meat together, which contains gluten.

Hot dogs and sausage are usually made with additives, preservatives, and sauces that contain gluten.

They are sneaky though and hidden under the name “natural flavors” and “modified food starch”. 

If any of those items are listed in the ingredients, steer clear of that food. 

7. Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie chicken is loaded with added ingredients, seasoning, and preservatives that may contain gluten.

These include modified food starch, “natural flavors”, and maltodextrin, just to name a few.

8. Licorice

Just like many gummy candy, licorice needs added ingredients to give it that shape and texture.

Unfortunately, that added ingredient is wheat flour, which contains gluten.

9. Gravy 

Gravy is made with flour to thicken the consistency.

Many instant types of gravy have flour plus a bunch of added ingredients and natural flavors that may contain gluten too.

Skip the gravy if you’re eating out or use cornstarch as an alternative when cooking at home.

10. Foods Labeled “Wheat Free”

Wheat free seems like it would be a safe bet but gluten comes in other types of grains.

These foods could contain rye, barley, or spelt, which all contain gluten.

In Conclusion…

The next time you’re eating out or grocery shopping, keep these sneaky food culprits in mind.

It’s important to know all the sources of gluten when you’re following the specific diet.

If you’re having digestive discomfort, a probiotic supplement may also be a great way to help alleviate your symptoms.

Check out our 10 best probiotic supplements to find the perfect one for you.


Tags: , ,

About the Author

About the Author: Kate Watson is the Lead Researcher and Founder of ProbioticsGuide.com. Kate started this site after successfully using probiotics to treat some digestive issues she'd had since childhood. In her free time Kate loves nothing more than a good book (and a good glass of wine).