Brand new to Gluten Free?
You’ve just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, or a doctor or trusted medical professional has just suggested that you try a gluten free diet. You might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now. You want to know the other names for gluten, but you might not even be sure what “gluten free” means.
A great place to start is my Gluten Free Diet Quick Start Guide . (Don’t worry it opens in a new tab so you won’t lose this page). There, you will find all my How-To-Go-Gluten-Free posts in one place. You’ll find out what gluten actually is, get a helpful list of gluten free foods you can eat, and learn the how to stay safe from gluten if you share a kitchen. See the menu at the top of this site for great gluten free recipes, and watch the welcome video below. Breathe easy. Going gluten free is going to be great!
Other Names For Gluten
What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, and rye. Easy right? Sometimes those grains are right on the label. Sometimes it’s a little bit trickier. This article will help make things easy. This is what you need to watch out for.
Wheat Flour Has Gluten
Wheat has gluten! And wheat doesn’t just mean that long grain in farmers fields. Wheat also means flour. (Both wheat flour and white flour.) And all things made with flour. Pasta and most regular baked goods, like cookies and cakes, have gluten because they are made with flour.
Avoid these, or look for gluten free alternatives:
- All purpose flour
- Flour Tortillas
- Pita bread
- Couscous (just a really small pasta)
- Pie crust
- Other baked goods and pastries
Seiten: One of the Other Names for Gluten
For my vegan friends reading this, avoid Seitan! You’ll find it as a binder holding many vegan meats together. Seitan is another name for wheat gluten. So it’s not safe on a gluten free diet.
Barley and Malt Have Gluten
Sorry beer drinkers! Barley and malt both have gluten. And beer isn’t processed enough to remove it. Some popular coolers also contain malt. They’re tricky! Some of them are vodka or Tequila coolers, so make sure you check the labels for “malt” or “malted beverage.”
There are a few spirits that contain barley or rye, but distilling usually removes the risk. There is a small chance of cross contamination and some very sensitive people may react to them, so use your own judgement.
You can also find malt in a few other tasty treats. Like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. Yup. I know, they’re made of rice, why would they add gluten? (Malt O’ Meal brand crisp rice in the big blue bag is gluten free)
You can also find malt in some candies, some canned broth and soup, malt vinegar, and malted milkshakes. Look for these:
- Malt Vinegar
- Beer and Some Coolers
- Whoppers Malt Milk Balls
Grains and Flours That Contain Gluten
Just when you thought you were safe! This pasta doesn’t even have “wheat” on the label! Unfortunately semolina, farina, and durum are all types of wheat. And that spelt bread isn’t “low gluten”. Spelt is also a type of wheat. These are some of the flours you need to watch out for:
- Graham flour
Don’t worry! There’s still plenty left to eat! Here’s my quick list of gluten free foods you can eat.
Other Names That May Mean Gluten
These aren’t always made from wheat, but unless you can confirm with the manufacturer that it’s gluten free, avoid these.
- Glucose (a sugar that can be derived from wheat. If you’re in the USA it’s usually not wheat based (it will say “wheat” on the label in the USA if it’s there.) It’s very processed and tests show a very low gluten level, but some people have reported reactions.)
- Vitamin E (sometimes derived from wheat germ, even in beauty products)
- Modified food starch (this is usually corn or soy in the USA and is gluten free. If it contains wheat, it must say “wheat” on the lable)
- Tocopheryls (this means Vitamin E)
- Natural Flavors (sometimes made from barley, especially in caramel)
- Hydrolized Vegetable Protein (in many vegetarian meat replacements and shampoo)
- Maltodextrin (this is usually from corn in the USA and must say “wheat” on the label if it’s made from wheat)
These are the most common. Celiac. com has a complete and alphabetized list. You can find it by clicking here
A Note About Oats
Are Oats Gluten Free? Oats do contain a protein similar to gluten, but not exactly the same. Whether you can eat oats really depends on your body. Some people with gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease see their symptoms return when they eat oats. Sometimes this is caused by cross contamination from wheat during production, sometimes it’s a sensitivity to the protein in oats. If you’re going to eat oats, I recommend a gluten free variety like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats. I can’t eat oats, so you’ll never find a recipe here that uses them.