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Ingredients to Avoid if You’re Living Gluten-Free

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checking food label for ingredients gluten

You know wheat toast is off the breakfast menu now that you’re living life sans gluten. But what about rye and panko? Here dietitian Nicole Hopsecger, RD, LD, points out what words to look for on your food labels if you’re gluten-free.


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Keep in mind that there’s also a list of “questionable” ingredients that shouldn’t be consumed unless you can verify they don’t contain (or aren’t derived from) gluten-containing grains.

Double-check your brown rice syrup, flour or cereal products, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), textured vegetable protein (TVP), malt vinegar (distilled vinegar is ok), modified food starch, rice malt, seasonings or “natural flavors,” soy sauce, soy sauce solids or teriyaki sauce.

Avoiding gluten?

If you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or are avoiding gluten for any other reason, check your food labels for:

  • Barley.

  • Barley malt/extract.

  • Bulgur.

  • Couscous.

  • Durum.

  • Einkorn.

  • Emmer.

  • Farina.

  • Farro.

  • Graham flour.

  • Kamut.

  • Matzo flour/meal.

  • Orzo.

  • Panko.

  • Rye.

  • Seitan.

  • Semolina.

  • Spelt.

  • Triticale.

  • Udon.

  • Wheat.

  • Wheat bran.

  • Wheat germ.

  • Wheat scratch.

Did you know that certain medications and supplements, meat and fish, alcohol and other food and beverage items contain gluten? While these food items are inherently gluten-free, you may not have even thought to look at the labels of these foods. You should check the label to ensure that these items have not been mixed with or come in contact with gluten-containing products (apples are gluten free, but apple pie with regular crust is not). Not to worry! You can safely avoid these surprising sources of gluten.

On the flip side, here is a list of gluten-free grains that you should be looking out for:

  • Amaranth.

  • Arrowroot.

  • Buckwheat.

  • Corn.

  • Flax.

  • Flours made from nuts, beans, and seeds.

  • Millet.

  • Montina™.

  • Potatoes, potato starch, potato flour.

  • Quinoa.

  • Rice.

  • Rice bran.

  • Sago flour.

  • Sorghum.

  • Soy (soya).

  • Tapioca.

  • Teff.

  • Wild rice.

It’s always beneficial to keep a list handy when you go to the grocery store and to share with others before get-togethers and large parties!


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