Going Gluten-Free: What Foods to Avoid

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Going gluten-free means avoiding foods made from certain grains, including barley, rye, and wheat. Certain types of grains contain gluten, a compound that affects digestion and causes intestinal inflammation among those afflicted with celiac disease. If you are going gluten-free, make sure to avoid these foods at all cost:

Creamy Soups

Did you know that most creamy soups contain flour? Flour is a complete no-no when you have celiac disease! Unfortunately, most creamy soups come with roux or flour with milk, cream, and butter. Roux is used as a thickening agent and is very common in canned cream soups. Great alternatives to creamy soups are broth-based, pasta-free soups. Ideally, make your own broth-based soups instead of getting them from your local supermarket.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is made from fermented wheat. Unfortunately, not all brands are keen on warning their consumers about this. Apart from traditional soy sauce, tamari and Nama Shoyu are made from fermented wheat too. Thankfully, most soy sauce brands carry gluten-free soy sauce in your local grocery store. If you are dining out, make sure to keep a packet of gluten-free soy sauce on hand just in case.

Salad Dressing

Processed salad dressing contains gluten and that includes both cream and oil-based dressing. Again, wheat is not mentioned in the list of ingredients so always be cautious with bottled salad dressings. To ensure that your dressing does not contain gluten, you can research more about the brand, call the company, or make your own salad dressing. Of course, we recommend making your own dressing because it is healthier, safer, and more affordable than any store-bought dressing!

Potato Chips

Surprisingly, most store-bought potato chips are not gluten-free. Why? Some chips are seasoned with wheat-based flavorings. The good news is, most chips company list down wheat on the ingredient list so it is easy to check if a certain brand uses wheat-based seasoning. To be on the safe side, you can either buy gluten-free chips at health food stores near you or make your own potato chips.


Ketchup – and most types of sauces, for that matter – contains stabilizers and thickeners to achieve a smooth texture. Unfortunately, these stabilizers and thickeners include wheat-based ingredients! Again, most ketchup brands won’t label their products right so some sauces are not 100% gluten free. Heinz ketchup brand is the only company that took steps into creating 100% gluten-free ketchup so check the label all the time when shopping. Gluten-free ketchup and other condiments are also very common in most health food stores.

Processed Meats

Did you know wheat is used to bulk up processed meats? Bulking up meat products with wheat is a common practice among companies that are trying to cut costs. The fact is, real meat is more expensive than wheat so adding a little wheat extends the bulk of real meat. Because processed meats are teeming with flavorings, it is hard to tell the difference between 100% meat and meat filled with wheat.

When shopping for processed meats, always check the label if it is gluten free. Most health food stores offer gluten-free sliced hams and sausages.

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