Food Elimination: Gluten

To eliminate gluten from your diet, be sure to consider obvious sources (e.g. wheat flour) as well as other common more hidden sources (which requires careful reading of food labels). Note that “wheat-free” does not mean “gluten-free” as there are many other gluten-containing grains you will want to avoid.

The following is a list of gluten-containing grains:

  • Wheat
  • Bulgur
  • Kamut
  • Kashi (multi-grain blend)
  • Matzo meal
  • Spelt (a form of wheat)
  • Triticale

Though sometimes confused with gluten foods, the following are fine to eat during elimination. (If you have celiac disease, you may also wish to look for “gluten-free” confirmation on the label, indicating no/low risk of cross-contamination during food manufacture – an extra precaution.)

  • Rice, Amaranth, Millet, Buckwheat (aka kasha),
  • Quinoa, Teff
  • Corn and cornmeal (but make sure organic)
  • Soy (but make sure organic)
  • Potatoes (all types)
  • Wine and distilled liquors, ciders and spirits
  • Garbanzo and other bean/legume flours
  • Oats (make sure they are labeled “gluten-free” as many oat products are contaminated with wheat during manufacturing/processing)
  • Potato and Tapioca starch (though I do not recommend these for regular consumption as they are very high-glycemic and can aggressively spike blood sugar)

In general, avoid any processed food ingredient that includes the words wheat. Unfortunately, many processed foods use preservatives or additives for texture that include gluten, but they can be hidden from you. In particular, this means you will need to avoid almost all baked goods unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free. To help you to be diligent in your elimination, here are some particular foods and gluten sources to be wary of and read their ingredient labels carefully:

  • Breads, Rolls, and Tortillas
  • Breading for All fried foods
  • Cereals, Pasta and Noodles
  • Crackers and Chips (besides corn and potato; nearly all “multigrain” options include wheat)
  • Croutons
  • Cookies, Cakes Pastries, Pies
  • Soups and Gravies
  • Tabbouleh
  • Sauces (including soy sauce unless gluten-free)
  • Salad dressings
  • Coffee creamer
  • Beer
  • Flavored coffee and tea, especially mixes
  • Spice and Marinade mixes and any pre-seasoned
    meat items (especially a key risk at restaurants)
  • Stuffing
  • Baking soda and powder
  • Bouillon and Stocks
  • Artificial butter flavor
  • Candy
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Sausages and other preserved meats
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Medications & vitamins (gluten as binding agent)
  • Lipstick and lip balms
  • Toothpaste
  • Postage stamps and mailing envelopes
  • Play dough

Food additives you will want to avoid include the following:

  • Bran
  • Malt
  • Malt flavoring
  • Gelatinized starch
  • Germ
  • Artificial flavoring
  • Natural flavoring
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Modified food starch
  • Modified starch
  • Vegetable Starch
  • Rice Syrup (unless product is specifically labeled gluten-free)
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Caramel coloring

by:Tracy Harrison (

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