Processed foods are killing us. They are packed with salt, sugar, fat and loads of additives. One of the most common additives is wheat, hidden in many different ingredients. This can make following a gluten-free diet impossible if you aren’t in the habit of reading labels. We have complied a list of common places that wheat and gluten may be hiding in processed foods.

Hidden sources of Wheat

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Hidden Sources of Wheat

  • Beer
  • Breadings and coating mixes
  • Bouillon Cubes
  • Brown Rice Syrup (May contain malted barley)
  • Candies
  • Canned meats and fish in broth
  • Caramel Color (Usually corn derived, but check)
  • Cheese products- Sauces and some shredded cheeses
  • Condiments (Carefully read condiment labels. Gluten is often used as a stabilizer or thickening ingredient in ketchup, mustards and Oriental sauces)
  • Deli Meats, breaded fish and meats, pre-packaged ground beef products and hot dogs
  • Dextrin (Usually corn derived but always check)
  • Dry-roasted nuts
  • Flavorings, food starches, seasonings, and malt are general and vague words to watch for on labels of packaged foods. These terms are often clues that the product may contain gluten. For example, “malt” vinegar and “malted” milk powder contain gluten.
  • French fries
  • Gravy Products (Dry products, bouillion cubes, and processed, canned products)
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) and Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • Imitation fish, meats and cheeses
  • Instant flavored coffee/cocoa mixes
  • Licorice candy (black and red)
  • Matzo Meal
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Mono and di-glycerides
  • Pickled Products
  • Salad Dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce which is commonly made by fermenting wheat. (Check ALL processed sauce labels- From BBQ sauce to ice cream toppings, chili pepper products and tomato sauce products-all may contain gluten)
  • Sausage
  • Self-basting poultry products including turkey with added “solutions”
  • Snack foods including flavored potato chips and corn chips
  • Soups, stocks and broth
  • Spice and herb blends (spices and herbs in their natural form do not contain gluten)
  • Rice products with seasoning packets

As you can see, the list is pretty long. Obviously your best bet would be to avoid processed foods whenever you can but that’s not always possible. When you do have to rely on processed foods, do two things to protect yourself from gluten and other dietary bad actors: read the ingredients and take GlutenShield® before you eat.