The Hidden Sources of Gluten: 11 Tips for Spotting Sneaky Culprits

The Hidden Sources of Gluten: 11 Tips for Spotting Sneaky Culprits

“Gluten-free living is not a sacrifice; it’s a gift to your health.”

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives. For those with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergies, it’s important to be vigilant about avoiding gluten-containing foods.

While some sources of gluten are obvious, there are hidden sources that can make it challenging to maintain a gluten-free diet. Here are some tips for spotting these sneaky culprits:

1. Read labels

Read labels as Hidden Sources of Gluten

Always check product labels for gluten-containing ingredients. Look for words like wheat, barley, rye, malt, and their derivatives.

We know checking labels is time-consuming. That’s why you need to clear your schedule so you can focus on your gluten-free shopping.

2. Cross-contamination

Be cautious of cross-contamination, especially in restaurants and shared kitchen environments. It’s important to know that gluten can be transferred from utensils, cutting boards, and cooking surfaces to otherwise gluten-free foods.

3. Hidden ingredients

Gluten can be used as a filler or thickening agent in various processed foods. So check for hidden sources like modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and maltodextrin. These ingredients can sometimes be derived from gluten-containing grains.

4. Soy sauce

Soy sauce as Hidden Sources of Gluten

Did you know that traditional soy sauce contains wheat? That’s why you have to look for gluten-free soy sauce options or use tamari or coconut aminos as the best alternatives.

And besides, overly consuming soy sauce is not good for the body. So thank you gluten-free lifestyle!

5. Sauces and gravies

Many sauces and gravies are thickened with wheat flour. Opt for gluten-free alternatives or better yet, make your own using gluten-free flour or cornstarch. 

6. Soups and broths

Soups and broths as Hidden Sources of Gluten

Canned or pre-packaged soups and broths are easy to cook. However, some may contain wheat-based thickeners. Check for gluten-free ones or prepare homemade versions for a healthier and more nutritious option.

7. Processed meats

Some processed meats like sausages and cold cuts can contain fillers or additives that include gluten.

And besides, anything processed is not good for the body. Consuming them often may bring negative effects to health. Therefore, choose gluten-free or organic options.

8. Snack foods

Snack foods as Hidden Sources of Gluten

Before you munch, be mindful that most snacks, like flavored chips, flavored nuts, and certain candies can contain gluten-based flavorings or additives. So always read labels carefully and choose certified gluten-free options.

9. Beer

Traditional beer is made from barley, and many types of beer contain gluten. But don’t worry, we’re not gonna tell you to stop drinking one. But you can consider gluten-free beer or ciders made from apples or pears.

10. Oats

While oats themselves are gluten-free, they are often processed in facilities that handle wheat, leading to potential cross-contamination.

To be safe, look for certified gluten-free oats if you’re sensitive to gluten.

11. Dining out

Dine out food as Hidden Sources of Gluten

When dining at restaurants, inform the staff about your dietary restrictions. Ask about gluten-free menu options and how they handle food preparation to avoid cross-contamination.

Don’t be shy when asking about this since many restaurants nowadays are open to gluten-free lifestyle. Some even highlight them on their menu. 

Bonus tip: Give a nutritional boost to your gluten-free lifestyle

Maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle can sometimes lead to nutritional deficiencies since many gluten-free alternatives lack the fortification found in wheat-based products.

So if you’re following a gluten-free diet, consider these supplements to help ensure you’re getting the essential nutrients your body needs:

Multivitamin and mineral supplement

A good-quality women's or men’s multivitamin can help fill in nutritional gaps. Look for one that contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, B vitamins (including B12), calcium, magnesium, and iron.


Digestive issues are common for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. A probiotic supplement can help maintain gut health and improve digestion.

Omega-3 fatty acid

 If your gluten-free diet lacks sources of omega-3 fatty acids like fish, consider incorporating our Omega-Fish Oil supplement into your daily routine for heart and brain health support.

Digestive enzymes

Some people with gluten sensitivity find relief from digestive discomfort with digestive enzyme supplements since these kinds of supplements help break down gluten and other proteins. 

So if you’re following a gluten-free diet, consider these supplements to help ensure you’re getting the essential nutrients your body needs:

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