Ground rule 3: Stop and look for words that indicate gluten.
- Wheat in all forms, including bulgur, durum, couscous, farina, einkorn, graham, semolina, spelt, freekeh, kamut, wheat germ/bran, hydrolyzed wheat protein, triticale, seitan and wheat berry.
- Barley in all forms, including barley grass, malt, malt flavoring, malt extract, malted milk and malt vinegar.
- Oats that are NOT labeled gluten-free or in products that are NOT labeled gluten-free.
- Brewer’s yeast.
- Beer, unless it’s specifically labeled gluten free.
- Soy sauce (unless specifically labeled gluten free).
- Any product with a “Contains Wheat” statement at the bottom of the ingredients list (exception is wheat starch, which you can read more about here).
Ground rule 4: Don’t let these ingredients slow you down
- Modified food starch is gluten free unless it is specifically noted to be from wheat in the ingredients list or in a Contains statement at the end of the ingredient list.
- Dextrin is gluten free unless it is specifically noted to be from wheat in the ingredients list or in a Contains statement at the end of the ingredients list.
- Caramel color/coloring is gluten free because it is almost always made from However, even if it was made from wheat, caramel coloring is so highly processed that no gluten remains.
- Maltodextrin is gluten free. Just like caramel coloring, even if it was made from wheat, maltodextrin is so highly processed that no gluten remains.
- More gluten-free ingredients (this is not an exhaustive list)
- Citric, lactic and malic acid
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Artificial flavorings/natural flavorings
- Pure spices (e.g., cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper)
- Corn gluten
- Mono and diglycerides
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sugar alcohols (e.g., xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol)—Proceed with caution, however. When eaten in large quantities, sugar alcohols can cause bloating and diarrhea.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)—Proceed with caution as MSG can cause symptoms such as flushing and nausea in susceptible people.
- Guar/xanthan gum
- Silicon dioxide
- Tapioca starch/flour
- Potato starch/flour
- Distilled vinegar/vinegar of all kinds (except malt vinegar or flavored vinegar made with malt vinegar)
- Sucrose, dextrose, lactose
Continue reading to learn about ingredients that should give you pause and about USDA-regulated foods.