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11 Surprising Sources of Gluten

June 13, 2014 4 min read

Following a gluten-free diet can be very difficult at first because it takes a while to figure out which foods are safe. Even people who have been gluten-free for years can still accidentally ingest gluten though as it's often hidden in foods you wouldn't expect. To avoid the awful feeling you get when you've been glutened, always check the ingredients on these foods: 1. Soup Image credit: http://www.culinaryadventuresinthekitchen.com/ Soup certainly isn't one of the first things that come to mind when you think about items that contain gluten, but many manufacturers add wheat flour to soups in order to thicken the consistency. Annoying right? There are plenty of soups that are gluten-free though, so just check the ingredients before you put the can into your basket. 2. Sauces/gravy
Image credit: http://kripalu.org/
Image credit: http://kripalu.org/
If you're a fan of adding a sauce to your meals, you may want to think again. As with soup, many sauces also contain wheat flour to thicken them. This is frustrating for anyone who loves a dressing on their salad, or a thick sauce on their steak, but there are a few gluten-free sauces available so fear not. Soy sauce is also a commonly overlooked item that contains gluten, so look for the gluten-free options available. Gravy also often contains wheat flour, so always check the ingredients list...this includes bouillon cubes too. 3. Liquorice
Image credit: http://www.alamy.com/ featured at http://i.dailymail.co.uk/
Image credit: http://www.alamy.com/ featured at http://i.dailymail.co.uk/
This may sound crazy, but liquorice does actually contain gluten. The dreaded wheat flour is also added to liquorice to bind the confectionery. So if you're a fan of this and have been confused as to why you've been getting glutened, it's worth checking the ingredients list on the pack. 4. Sushi
Image credit: Amanda McLauchlan featured at http://www.taste.com.au/
Image credit: Amanda McLauchlan featured at http://www.taste.com.au/
I used to think that sushi was safe; it's just meat, rice and seaweed after all. Sadly, although all of those ingredients are naturally gluten-free, when made into sushi, gluten is added to them! The rice commonly used in sushi is typically exposed to either rice vinegar or soy sauce; both of which contain gluten, and the crab meat is often processed meat which uses wheat to mimic the texture of the crab. There are sushi restaurants that offer gluten-free meals, so you may be able to eat these, but always be very careful to check for cross contamination issues. 5. Processed meats
Image credit: http://www.bubblews.com/
Image credit: http://www.bubblews.com/
It's not only processed crab meat that contains gluten; many other processed meats are also something you need to avoid on a gluten-free diet. This includes, but is not limited to, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami and even pate, because wheat flour is often added to them to create the desired texture. Check the ingredients list to be safe. 6. Burgers and sausages
Image credit: http://paleoaholic.com/
Image credit: http://paleoaholic.com/
These both seem like they would be safe, don't they? Unfortunately they are made using breadcrumbs to bind the mixture together and give the meat a "better" texture. Don't worry; you are still able to enjoy both of these items on your barbecues this summer as there are plenty of gluten-free alternatives. 7. Medication and vitamins
Image credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/
Image credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/
The majority of medications and vitamins are gluten-free (and state that on the box), but there are some which will catch you out. Be sure to check with your doctor or the pharmacist before you start taking any new tablets/capsules. 8. Pickles/gherkins
Image credit: http://preparednessadvice.com/
Image credit: http://preparednessadvice.com/
Pickles are (sorry for the obvious) pickled in a jar containing a pickling liquid. This liquid is usually made with malt vinegar...which contains barley...which contains gluten. I had to find this out the hard way, so be sure to avoid pickles, unless the jar states that they are gluten-free. 9. Alcohol
Image credit: http://cdn.builtlean.com/
Image credit: http://cdn.builtlean.com/
Don't panic; not ALL alcohol contains gluten, but there are a number of beverages you should avoid to be safe from getting glutened. Whisky is a big no-no because it's made from fermented grain, which often includes barley, rye or wheat...all of which contain gluten. According to Jameson's website, their whiskey is gluten-free, but I can't comment on this as I've never tried it. Beer/lager is traditionally made from malted barley or malted wheat and, as both of these contain gluten, it's not safe to drink. There are plenty of gluten-free alternatives available though. There are a variety of other alcoholic drinks with controversy around them, but these are the two main alcohol-containing culprits. If you are considering drinking any "alcopops" then always check the ingredients list to be safe. 10. Hot chocolate
Image credit: Corbis featured at http://img2.timeinc.net/
Image credit: Corbis featured at http://img2.timeinc.net/
Some hot chocolate mixes are safe for a gluten-free diet, but this is an area where it's easy to get glutened because you just wouldn't think that gluten would be present! Unfortunately the dreaded wheat flour strikes again, as many manufacturers add this to their products to thicken the hot chocolate. There are plenty of gluten-free mixes available though, so always check the ingredients list. 11. Flavoured rice
Image credit: http://www.ctbites.com/
Image credit: http://www.ctbites.com/
Rice is naturally gluten-free so most rice is safe for a gluten-free diet. Flavoured rice often has gluten added to it though in the flavouring to thicken the coating, so always check the ingredients on any rice...just in case there's any flavouring added.   Unsure if you have gluten intolerance? Check out my recent article to find out the symptoms.   Picture credit for featured image: http://www.rudisbakery.com/   Sources: https://www.coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-diet-and-lifestyle/gf-diet/ http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/gluten_free_not_so_fast_watch_out_for_this_list_of_surprising_foods_that_contain_g http://www.wellsome.com/gluten-free/gluten-foods-wouldnt-suspect/ http://m.deliciousliving.com/gluten-free/10-surprising-gluten-containing-foods#slide-0-field_images-279991 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/surprising-foods-with-gluten_n_3769463.html http://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/0313/surprising-products-that-contain-gluten.aspx http://deliciousliving.com/blog/sushi-not-gluten-free-who-knew http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/gluten-free-society-blog/top-foods-to-avoid-on-a-gluten-free-diet/ http://www.jamesonwhiskey.com/uk/faq

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