Where is gluten hidden? Going gluten free doesn’t just mean giving up bread

So you think giving up gluten is as easy as avoiding bread and pasta? Sorry, think again! So we must ask the question Where is gluten hidden? In addition to giving up bread, you may also need to avoid food like potato chips, french fries and even chocolate.  Although the following foods and items don’t scream ‘I HAVE GLUTEN IN ME’, if you want to avoid the negative effects of gluten read the label on these items before you let them into your life:

Where else is gluten hidden?

where is gluten hidden?

Potato Chips

Just because potatoes are gluten free that doesn’t automatically mean potato chips are – especially if they are flavoured.  This is because manufacturers sometimes add wheat flour to distribute the flavor onto the chips, your probably safer sticking to ‘ready salted’, but don’t take my word for it – check the label.

First tip of living a gluten free lifestyle: Always read the label! 


Unless you’re making soup at home from scratch your soup options are restricted when your on a gluten-free diet since wheat flour is often used as a thickening agent. 

Where else is gluten hidden?


 It’s not just the labels on things we eat we need to read, gluten reactions can also be triggered by things we put on our bodies a factor. Researchers have found that many popular cosmetics, including lip balms, body lotions and foundations, contained gluten ingredients which could be detrimental to those living a gluten free lifestyle. To avoid adverse reactions, pick products that are specifically labelled as gluten free.

Shampoo and Conditioner

 I often found myself itchy after a shower and I didn’t put two and two together for a while. As with soup, gluten can be used as a thickening agent.


Some seasonings, for example, curry powder, contain gluten.


 It’s not like anyone could have guessed the ingredients behind bendy, chewy, bright red straws, so it can’t be too much of a shocker that they include something you can’t eat: wheat flour

. Good news, I have found a brand of gluten-free liquorice YUM

YumEarth Organic Pomegranate Licorice

French Fries

 It’s safer to stick to homemade fries, as the batter of french fries usually has wheat in it and there are cross-contamination issues as the oil they’re cooked in probably also used to fry other wheat-coated foods like chicken nuggets. 

Salad Dressings

 Prepackaged salad dressings are often made using a form of gluten as a thickener. Good news though, you can easily make delicious salad dressings at home. 

>>Read More:  Winter Detox Salad Recipe

Where else is gluten hidden?

Baked Beans 

Unless the words ‘gluten free’ are clearly written on the can you’re better off skipping the baked beans. Again it pays to check the label as baked beans are sometimes made with a gluten-containing thickening agent. 


 Flour!, more specifically white flour. It’s hiding everywhere. Flour, is usually, used to give gravy it’s thick consistency. Unless branded as gluten free, or made from scratch, skip it to avoid adverse reactions. 

Vitamins, dietary supplements and pharmaceutical drugs

Researchers have uncovered that vitamins, supplements, and pharmaceutical drugs may contain wheat-based “modified food starch” or other ingredients, fillers or casings that may also cause adverse gluten reactions. 


It’s not all bad news, some brands are safe, but read the label because most of the products on the shelf contain gluten. 


 If they’re hanging out in a jar with malt vinegar you should skip them.

Chinese Food

 At face value, dishes served at Chinese restaurants may appear to be gluten-free, containing just meat, rice and vegetables. The problem more likely hides in the sauce ingredients. Soy, bean and oyster sauces may contain wheat-based ingredients. 

Where is gluten hidden?


 I learned this the hard way – imitation crab meat contains wheat.  Also, watch out for rolls that are drizzled with a sauce (e.g. teriyaki or mayo), and be cautious around wasabi, which can contain wheat.

Soy Sauce

 Another reason sushi might be off the menu. Your typical soy sauce is 40% to 60% wheat. But good news, there are gluten free alternatives like Tamari which still takes yummy. 


 There are several types of miso, so make sure you read the label because the sort that’s made from barley is not your friend.

>>Read More: Try these yummy gluten free recipes

where is gluten hidden?

Hot dogs, patties, meatballs, sausage

Unfortunately, you can even find gluten in packaged meats.  Hotdogs, covered inbatter are usually a more obvious option, but meatballs are often made with ingredients that contain gluten (e.g bread crumbs or soy sauce). Sometimes it’s hidden under the names “modified food starch” or “natural flavours.” This can also include luncheon meats and sausages. 

>> Read More: Getting the most out of Gluten Free Flour

And it’s not just those items we eat or apply to our bodies that may cause us harm. Gluten is hidden everywhere, especially if you share your home with other people who do not follow a gluten-free lifestyle. 

Toasters and other appliances

Unless they are only used to heat gluten-free foods, chances are your toaster, waffle maker and oven are hotbeds of gluten residue. Bread crumbs spilled sauces, and other loose ingredients can easily contaminate other cooked foods, which is why it is important that people with celiac disease use dedicated cooking appliances wherever possible.

What’s the weirdest place you discovered gluten hidden? We’d love to hear from you!


where is gluten hidden