Foods – and other surprising everyday items – containing gluten

So you have read our post about why we shouldn’t be eating gluten and you have eliminated all breads, pasta’s, baked goods, crackers etc. from your diet, but you’re still feeling…average. Well you might still be consuming gluten without knowing. Here is our list of everyday foods and products that surprisingly contain gluten.

  1. Medication

Medication, it’s meant to heal your health problem, but it might be making it less effective…or your condition worse. It might be difficult to avoid this is you are on specific medication – but some actually contain traces of gluten. Though it is mostly generic medication, gluten is used as a binding agent in them. If you suspect your medication contains gluten, it might be worth speaking to your doctor about what alternative medications are available.

  1. Make-up Suprising items containing gluten

Our skin is our largest organ, so even though you’re not actually eating your make-up, even a small amount of gluten in a lip balm or foundation could cause a problem. Just think about how often you bite or lick your lip, or touch your face and then touch your food. Gluten-containing make-up, lotions and moisturizers might trigger a response in the skin of a person with celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disease.

  1. Shampoo/Conditioner/Shower Gel

The same goes for your shower products. We realised that it was our gluten-containing shampoo and conditioner causing an irritation to our scalp.

  1. Chocolate (Nooooooooo!)

Ok it’s not all bad, some chocolate is safe…you just have to be careful. A lot of the stuff on supermarket contains gluten in the form of emulsifiers.

  1. Vitamin Supplements

Like medication, vitamin supplements can contain hidden gluten as a binding agent.

  1. Wheat-free Products

Gluten doesn’t only come from wheat – so products made with barley, spelt and rye still contain gluten. Just because a product is labelled wheat-free, doesn’t mean it is gluten free!

  1. Stocks/Soup

Don’t have time to make your own stock? Using a stock cube seems like a quick, convenient way to add punches of flavour, but be careful as many stock cubes are a land mine of gluten sources. While some of the spice mixes used in the stock cube may contain gluten, the serious one to look out for is maltodextrin.

  1. Restaurant Meals

It is so important that you let the restaurant know you are gluten intolerant. Many of the seamingly gluten free meal options (such as French fries) are actually covered in a gluten product before cooking to give them that extra crunch. Yeah but you don’t order French fries – well it is still important to let the restaurant know in case there is cross contamination. If your food is cooked in the same oil as those French fries (or any other gluten containing product) and you eat it, you might actually have a reaction.

  1. Pickles

Some commercial pickles use malt-vinegar in the pickling process, which contains vinegar. Instead, make your own.

  1. Pre-cooked Roast Chicken

This one depends on where you buy it from, so it is always a good idea to ask. Some roast chickens are covered in spices, which may contain gluten. And if you buy a bird with stuffing – those bread crumbs definitely contain gluten.

  1. Spice Mixes

Spice mixes, or ‘seasonings’ use wheat flour or wheat starch as a carrier. Therefore, it’s best to by the individual spices and mix up your own.

  1. Salad Dressings

Many commercial salad dressings use a thickener made from gluten – perfect way to invent/make your own we say!


For us, these were the main culprits, but for a more comprehensive list of gluten-containing foods check out