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Hidden Gluten: Everyday Food You Didn't Know Contain Gluten

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Most of us know that gluten is present in wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, desserts, and bakery products. However, it's surprising to learn that gluten can also be found in unexpected food items.

The hidden gluten in your food.

Packaged ready meal that may contain gluten

For people with celiac and gluten sensitivity who are not fully aware of what gluten is, gathering as much information as possible will help you make your day-to-day living easier.

Please read the article The Gluten Free Advantage: Why It's More Than Just a Trend - It covers important information about how wheat and gluten affect our health.


Check out the list of food that hidden gluten are lurking.

The hidden gluten in your food.


Oats are naturally gluten-free but are often prepared in facilities where wheat, barley, and rye are also processed. Therefore, the possibility of cross-contamination is very likely.

The other reason oats may not be gluten-free is that some oats are grown in the same fields that previously grew gluten-containing grains. As a result, seeds left behind in the fields will grow within the new oat crop. These unwanted gluten-containing particles are difficult to remove at the harvesting and processing stages.

The hidden gluten in your food.

Chocolates & Candies

Some Chocolates and Candies may contain gluten as a filler or coating. Chocolate bars with biscuits or crunchy filling are the apparent culprit. Famous brands like KitKat and Twix chocolate bars are two good examples. Milky Way candy bar, on the other hand, does not contain wheat but has barley and malt extract, which contain gluten.

The hidden gluten in your food.


Traditional Beer is made from barley, which contains gluten. However, many gluten-free options are available, such as those made from sorghum, rice, or buckwheat.

The hidden gluten in your food.

Potato Chips

As the name implies, potato chips are made from naturally gluten-free potatoes. Well, not all of them. Pringles is the best example of this. Its deceiving wavy thinly-sliced potato shape makes you believe it is a potato slice. Another brand to avoid is Ruffles Potato Chips - it's made from real potatoes but the added wheat maltodextrin and malt vinegar flavorings make it a non-gluten-free product.

The hidden gluten in your food.


You may think Soy Sauce is made entirely from wheat-free soybeans, but you're wrong. Wheat flour is added to the cooked soybean paste, which acts as a fermentation agent when making soy sauce.

However, there is an alternative wheat-free soy sauce available for gluten-free dieters. It's called Tamari. The process of making tamari soy sauce is similar to the process of making traditional soy sauce, but rice or soybean koji is used as the fermentation agent instead of wheat flour. Koji is a strain of Aspergillus Oryzae, a fungus used to make sake or other Japanese condiments like mirin and miso.

In addition, some condiments, such as Mustard and Ketchup, may contain gluten from wheat flour as a thickener or stabilizer.

The hidden gluten in your food.

Instant Soups & Noodles

Noodle soups are not gluten-free unless stated on the label. Check the label or opt for gluten-free rice noodle soup alternatives. Some Bouillon Cubes and Packaged Soups may have added wheat as flavorings and thickeners from maltodextrin.

The hidden gluten in your food.

Cured Meats & Meat Alternatives

Many Processed Meats and Meat Alternatives, such as luncheon meats and sausages, may contain gluten as a filler or binding agent from bread crumbs and wheat flour. For the meat alternatives, watch out for Seitan - a plant-based protein flavored to mimic the taste of meat made from wheat gluten. Other meat alternatives such as vegan chicken nuggets, sausages, and minced vegan meat may also contain wheat starch or Seitan.

The hidden gluten in your food.

The Hidden Gluten in Food Supplements

Some Dietary Supplements use gluten-free ingredients; however, some may use gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat or barley as binding agents or extenders. You must read the labels properly to identify these "hidden gluten" on the ingredients list.

Look for brands like Naturalstacks that specializes in supplements made with natural and organic ingredients, free from gluten and other allergens. Since all their products are gluten-free, the chance for cross-contamination in the production is zero.

Gluten and other allergens can cause an allergic reaction in many individuals. When inhaled or consumed, the reactions can range from mild rashes to severe breathing problems and, in some cases, even life-threatening.

To sum it up, individuals with allergies must be aware of the common allergens in food. Make it a habit to read labels. By taking these measures, people with food allergies can reduce their risk of allergic reactions and live comfortably free from allergies.

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