Gluten Free Basics

When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, it was overwhelming to know what to eat (and what not to eat).  This list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all ingredients that are gluten free, but it is meant to be a basic guideline to help you get started on your gluten free journey.


• Wheat in all forms.  Wheat is found in many breads, cakes, cereals, cookies, crackers, etc.  Read all labels.  The nice thing now is packaging is getting better and most labels will have a section that says “Contains” and it will list “Wheat” after it.  Look for this!

• Barley is one of the three primary gluten based grains.  In almost all cases, food made with barley will contain the gluten protein.

• Malt is usually made from barley and is not gluten free.

• Spelt also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat.  It is a species of wheat cultivated.

• Rye, which is a member of the wheat tribe.  It is usually found in bread products.  It can also be found in some whiskeys and vodkas, so make sure you read labels of alcohol too!

•Foods that are fried in the same oil as breaded products, as there is cross contamination.  If you are not full out celiac, you might be able to handle this, but I cannot.

• Soy sauce.  This was a tricky one for me to get used to, but it contains wheat.  Good news is they make gluten free soy sauce or “tamari” now!


•Pickles might have gluten in them if they are processed with malt vinegar.  Make sure and read all labels!

•Gravy might have gluten it in.  Often times people make gravy with flour and some of the instant packets also have flour in them.

•Hot dogs.  They again might have gluten in them.

•”Wheat free” products.  Make sure you are reading ALL ingredients, since sometimes because an item is wheat free does not mean it is gluten free.  This can be a little hard to get used to, but remember to read for barley, spelt, and rye along with wheat.

•Sauces and salad dressing.  Read labels or if eating out, make sure and ask your server!


•Fruits and veggies.  These are naturally gluten free and always an easy go to!  I often keep an apple with me.

•Nuts.  Just make sure and read containers to see if they are processed in a facility that also processes wheat.  Most labels will now tell you this.

•Meats.  I personally eat tons of meats, fruits and veggies for my diet.  Make sure and read packaging if you buy any meat that is marinated to make sure it does not contain wheat.

•Certified gluten free products.  Look for this on the packaging and you will know you are safe!