Places that gluten hides

The other day I wrote about how thanks to gluten’s many hiding places, I continued to consume it even after I thought I was gluten-free. There are many places online to find gluten’s hiding places, but it’s hard to come up with a list that makes sense for me. Some things from those lists are relevant and some aren’t, so I decided to make my own list.

Use this list however you want. I’m making it for my own reference, but I hope it helps others. If you don’t have a gluten intolerance but you sometimes cook for someone who does, please be sure to consider this list. And please please please comment with anything you think should be added! Thanks!

Some unexpected places that gluten hides (gluten-free versions can often be found if you look for them)

  • soy sauce
  • lemon juice from concentrate
  • lipstick
  • chapstick
  • sunscreen
  • chocolate
  • salad dressing
  • sauces
  • broths and bullions
  • hand lotion
  • medications, both prescription and non-prescription
  • cooking spray
  • dish detergent
  • liquor
  • oats and oatmeal unless they’re specifically marked gluten-free
  • toasters and toaster ovens where gluten breads were toasted
  • wooden cutting boards and utensils that used gluten
  • oil in restaurants that has been used to fry gluten items
  • rubber dish gloves

Some other terms for gluten (from a handout my nutritionist gave me and an informational email from a body lotion company)

  • atta (chapatti flour)
  • barley (flakes, flour, pearl) or any ingredients containing the genus species name Hordeum Distichon
  • beer, ale, lager
  • breading and bread stuffing
  • brewers yeast
  • bulger
  • communion wafers
  • couscous
  • croutons
  • dinkel
  • durum
  • einkorn
  • emmer
  • farina
  • farro or faro
  • fu
  • graham flour
  • hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • kamut
  • malt, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring
  • malt vinegar
  • malted milk
  • matzoh, matzoh meal
  • modified wheat starch
  • oatmeal, oat bran, oats (but it’s possible to get gluten-free oats) or any ingredients containing the genus species name Avena Sativa
  • pastas
  • rye bread and flour or any ingredients containing the genus species name Secale Cereale
  • seitan
  • semolina
  • spelt
  • triticale
  • wheat or any ingredients containing the genus species name Triticum Vulgare
  • wheat bran
  • wheat flour
  • wheat germ
  • wheat starch

What other places have you found gluten unexpectedly? What other names does it hide under?

Edit: Four months after this was originally published, I’m now adding a new hidden source of gluten that I had missed before: kissing! Watch out for kissing someone who just ate or drank gluten-containing foods or liquids, or who might be wearing gluten-containing chapstick or lipstick.

Edit 2 (12/19/14): After all this time, I’m still finding more hiding places for gluten. Check out this list of dental considerations, including floss and the powder on your dentist’s gloves.

Edit 3 (12/23/2014): Oh boy, here’s another list of places gluten hides. There are so damn many!

Edit 4 (10/26/17): This is a fantastic list of places gluten hides, and it even included a couple of things I didn’t know. I thought that by now I knew them all, so this both amazed and worried me. Still, better to know than to not know!

Edit 5 (7/14/18): Gluten hides in a lot of non-foods that are still super-important to check. Here are ingredients to watch out for in lipsticks (and links to gluten-free lipsticks, which I’m finding very helpful today!) Here‘s a list of ingredients to watch for in hair products like shampoos and conditioners.


13 Responses to Places that gluten hides

  1. Thank you! This is a great list. I wish you had a sharing button for Pinterest so I could put it in a folder.

    • chronicrants says:

      Ok, it’s there now. I’ve never been on Pinterest so I have no idea what you mean by putting it in a folder, but I’ll trust that you know what you’re doing 🙂

  2. Not complaining though…I did tweet it. 🙂

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and often find it comforting and helpful, as you know, and am happy to say that I’m currently [knock on wood] in remission from my ulcerative colitis. I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Details are in my post, “CookieCakes, Sunshine and Sisterhood, Oh My!” (

  4. Thank you for putting in the Pinterest button! I didn’t see your comment before — it just showed up in my notifications. Pinterest is good for storing articles and blog posts. I said “folder” but meant “board”– Pinterest is like a collection of bulletin boards that other people can see. It’s great for information and pictures (although a lot of people just use it for wedding stuff). Anyway, I think it worked although for some reason it showed up without an image:

  5. […] thing about avoiding gluten is that it isn’t always obvious where the gluten is hiding. I do web searches, but often there’s no clear indication about the product I’m […]

  6. […] learned about surprising places gluten hides, like lemon juice and cooking spray and got rid of […]

  7. […] I stopped eating obvious gluten. It took years to eliminate the final traces of it from my life. Gluten hides everywhere, it seems, and I had never thought it check lemon juice, chapstick, cutting boards, or hand lotion. […]

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