Which Foods Contain Gluten? | Holland & Barrett (2022)

Navigating the food world with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance can be a minefield! Who’d have known so many of the favourite foods we enjoy on the daily contain gluten?

Not to worry though, there are lots of naturally gluten-free foods and equally-tasty alternatives available nowadays, sometimes it’s just about knowing what to look for.

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Keep reading for a list of foods to avoid as well as the foods you can replace them with, so you can live life feeling good, without missing out.

Let’s start off with the basics.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

What is celiac disease?

When a person is allergic to gluten (celiac disease), their immune system will flare up when they consume it, damaging their small intestine. Symptoms include bloating, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Sometimes even a trace of gluten will be damaging. It is strongly advised that those with celiac disease avoid gluten at all costs, even making sure to notify food establishments of their condition if they eat out / order takeaway.

What is gluten intolerance?

Gluten intolerance or non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) happens when your body can’t digest gluten. This condition shows itself through a variety of symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhoea, constipation and headaches. It is recommended that you at least cut down or completely eliminate gluten from your diet if you have this condition.

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Which foods contain gluten?

A lot of foods are naturally gluten free when you get them raw and unprocessed, e.g. meat, fish, vegetables, legumes, pulses, and rice and other grains.

However, a lot of our food gets processed in some way, even if that means just a little flavour being added or a few breadcrumbs being tossed into the mix. This is how these foods can go from gluten-free to gluten-full. If you’re careful though, you can still enjoy your favourite foods by making your own or using shop-bought alternatives.

Here’s a heads up on all the foods that commonly contain gluten as well as gluten-free foods you can replace them with.

Flour

Going down the bakery isle can be nightmare when you’re avoiding gluten. How are you supposed to make a cake for your gluten-free guest at your dinner party? Is freshly baked bread out of the question? No and no! Find out the ingredients you need to avoid, and which gluten-free alternative is best for your needs.

Avoid:

  • Wheat flour (all purpose, self-raising, etc. most flours you come across will be wheat-based)

  • Whole wheat flour

  • Spelt flour

  • Rye flour (low gluten but not gluten free)

  • Durum flour

Instead, try these alternative gluten-free flours:

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Great forTop tip
Almond flourBaking cookies, cakes and quick breads.Try using it to bake up a batch of dainty macarons.
Buckwheat flourPancakes, waffles and crepes. Dense quick breads, cakes and soba noodles.Use 1:1 with rice flour if the flavour is too overpowering.
Brown rice flourRice noodles, pancakes, biscuits and cakes.Use it to thicken up sauces and soups.
Coconut flourCakes, cookies, bread and muffins.Make sure you add extra liquid. It’s great for keto and paleo diets!
Gram flour (chickpea)Pakoras, onion bhajis, flatbreads, savoury pancakes and falafel.Mix with water 1:1 for a great vegan egg replacement. You can also use it to make gluten free Yorkshire puddings!
Potato flour / tapioca flourBread and flatbreads.Use it to thicken sauces and stews – especially if they’re potato based.
Maize / cornflourBreading for fish / veg / meat. Pancakes, bread, muffins and cakes.Try using it to make delicious cornbread.

Other gluten-free flours: oat flour, millet flour, quinoa flour, flaxseed meal, amaranth flour, chestnut flour and hemp flour. You can also get specially-made gluten-free flour for specific tasks, e.g. gluten free bread flour, gluten free self-raising flour, etc.

Always check packaging labels as some products may contain gluten and some may have cross-contamination warnings e.g. they were made in a factory that also handles products containing gluten.

Grains, seeds, cereals, legumes & starchy plants (your side dishes)

Does rice contain gluten? Is barley gluten free? Filling and full of fibre and nutrients, grains are a staple in any healthy diet, however, quite a few contain gluten. Here’s a low down on the most common grains containing gluten and how we can replace them.

Avoid:

  • Barley

  • Bulgar wheat

  • Couscous

  • Durum wheat

  • Einkorn

  • Emmer (faro)

  • Khorasan wheat (kamut)

  • Pearl barley

  • Rye

  • Semolina

  • Spelt

  • Triticale (wheat / rye hybrid)

  • Wheat

Here are some of the most popular gluten-free grains, pulses, seeds and starchy vegetables and how to use them:


Common usesTop tip
BuckwheatSalad topping – think of it as a healthy crouton! And baking (see flour above).Toast before eating.
Cassava (manioc)Roasted, fried, baked; this nutty starch like a potato.Raw cassava contains cyanide, so you need to prepare it correctly.
Flaxseed (linseed)Sprinkled on cereals and salads or mix it into soups to thicken.Add it to doughs, casseroles and batters, too.
QuinoaHigh-protein side – treat it like rice. Great for salads.Rinse under cold running water to remove bitterness.
RiceWe’re sure you know how to use rice!Choose brown rice for more fibre and protein.
PulsesChickpeas, lentils, beans and peas make tasty curries, casseroles, stews, chillies, etc.If you like curry, try a lentil dahl or chickpea curry.
PotatoYou’ll be glad to know potatoes are gluten free too!Maris Piper potatoes make the best roasties.
PolentaHot porridge that can be cooled and solidified into a loaf and baked, fried or grilled.Add water when cooking if its gritty.
MilletNot just for birds! Use it like couscous / quinoa.Toasting before adding liquid enhances its nutty flavour.

Other gluten free grains: agar, almond, amaranth, carrageenan, chestnut, corn, gram flour, hemp, hops, maize, millet, mustard, potato, sage, sesame, soya, tapioca, teff, urd flour

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Are oats gluten free?Oats don’t naturally contain gluten, but the way they are produced means sometimes they are not. Make sure to check the label – like with anything if you are avoiding gluten.

Other fresh fruit and veg is definitely still on the table – as long as it hasn’t been processed with ingredients containing gluten. Check the label of frozen fruits and smoothies just to be on the safe side.

Again, always check packaging label as some products may contain gluten and some may have cross-contamination warnings e.g. they were made in a factory that also handles products containing gluten.

Popular supermarket products

When it comes to pre-made breads, snacks, desserts, sauces and all the other bits you get from the supermarket, it’s likely a lot of them will contain gluten in some way. Wheat is a very popular ingredient it seems! Then comes the issue of cross-contamination… Here’s a guide to the cupboard staples that usually contain wheat and their alternatives.


Common usesTop tip
BreadPizza bases, rolls and loaves often contain wheat.Check the free-from section in your local supermarket for gluten free pizza bases or loaves. (or have a go at making your own – The Box Bakery can help you out there!
DessertsPretty much any dessert can be made gluten free, especially ones like mousses, cheesecakes, ice cream, etc. that don’t rely so heavily on wheat. Try making your own!Search for flourless dessert or dairy / plant milk-based dessert recipes or check out your supermarket’s free from section.
CripsPotatoes are gluten free, so crisps should be, right? Wrong, a lot of our favourite crisps use wheat flour to coat the crisps or barley malt extract as a flavouring – always check the label.Eat Real crisps are a great choice if you’re cutting out gluten. The whole range is made from ingredients like chickpeas, quinoa and lentils and they’re all gluten free, vegan and delicious!
Breakfast cerealWheat is a popular ingredient in breakfast cereals, as well as barley malt extract for flavouring. Even if you opt for rice and corn-based cereals.Gluten-free oats should be quite easy to find in your local supermarket. But if you want an alternative to your old favourites, head to the free from isle or check out our range of gluten-free breakfast cereals.
Condiments / Sauces / SpicesMany of these products contain gluten ingredients – even single spices can have a cross-contamination risk, so always check the label.French’s yellow mustard and Heinz ketchup are considered gluten free.Always check soy sauce labels as the fermentation process usually involves wheat. Try this Tamari Soy Sauce if you want a gluten free soy sauce.
PastaJust like bread, pasta is normally full of gluten as it is made of durum wheat.You can get pasta made of vegetables like edamame and spinach which are usually gluten free and nutritious!
Biscuits / CakeUnfortunately, a lot of baked goods like biscuits and cakes you can pick up at the supermarket will contain gluten. Wheat flour is cheap and easy to use, and let’s not even get on to the flavourings, etc, that get added!Gluten-free cakes and goodies are only becoming more and more popular. Check your local supermarket’s free from section, or take a browse of ours for teats like gluten-free Jammy Wheels or Mrs Crimbles gluten free bakes.You can also get creative and use the alternative flour info above to make your own delicious treats!

We hope that helps with your gluten-free cooking and dinner party hosting endeavours! As always, please check every label for wheat and gluten, and watch out for cross-contamination issues if you have to be that strict.

Buy Gluten Free Foods

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Last updated: 15 July 2020

FAQs

What foods contain gluten list? ›

It's important to read labels of processed foods to determine if they contain wheat, as well as barley and rye.
...
Processed foods that often contain gluten
  • Beer, ale, porter, stout (usually contain barley)
  • Breads.
  • Bulgur wheat.
  • Cakes and pies.
  • Candies.
  • Cereals.
  • Communion wafers.
  • Cookies and crackers.

What are 5 foods that contain gluten? ›

Foods With Gluten
  • Bread. This includes all types of bread (unless labeled “gluten-free”) such as rolls, buns, bagels, biscuits, and flour tortillas.
  • Baked Goods. Baked goods like cake, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, and pies contain gluten as well as pancakes and waffles.
  • Pasta. ...
  • Cereal. ...
  • Crackers. ...
  • Beer. ...
  • Gravy. ...
  • Soup.
Oct 28, 2020

Can you give me a list of gluten-free foods? ›

Gluten-free proteins
  • legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts)
  • nuts and seeds.
  • red meat (fresh beef, pork, lamb, bison)
  • poultry (fresh chicken, turkey)
  • seafood (fresh fish, scallops, shellfish)
  • unflavored soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.)

What bread can you eat if you are gluten intolerant? ›

Sourdough bread is a low gluten bread. Sourdough bread and rye bread are often considered ideal alternatives for those on a reduced-gluten diet, because they both fall into the category of low-gluten bread.

Do potatoes contain gluten? ›

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. Since potatoes are a vegetable, and not a grain, that inherently makes them gluten free. This makes potatoes a great, and versatile, solution for anyone that has Celiac disease or just doesn't tolerate gluten well.

Does banana contain gluten? ›

Bananas (in their natural form) are 100% gluten-free. If you experience issues with eating bananas it may be because of a couple of proteins present in bananas – Marlow over at glutenhatesme.com has an excellent and detailed post on this issue so please head on over to her blog to read more.

Do eggs have gluten? ›

Yes, eggs are naturally gluten-free.

However, eggs are often at a high risk for cross-contact due to the ways they are prepared.

Does cheese have gluten? ›

Whether you have a medical reason or you are just curious about gluten-free foods, you may wonder if cheese contains gluten. Most cheeses are indeed gluten-free. In fact, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, the dairy group is a naturally gluten-free food group.

Is Rice have gluten? ›

Does Rice Have Gluten? All natural forms of rice — white, brown, or wild — are gluten-free. Natural rice is a great option for people who are sensitive to or allergic to gluten, a protein usually found in wheat, barley, and rye, and for people who have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten.

Do any vegetables have gluten? ›

Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. However, it is important to read labels on any processed fruits and veggies, as well as dried fruit and pre-prepared smoothies.

What can I eat for breakfast gluten-free? ›

Below are some of the most common ingredients in gluten-free breakfasts.
  • Gluten-free flour.
  • Scrambled eggs (or eggs of any type)
  • Dried fruit.
  • Fresh berries.
  • Yogurt.
  • Hash browns.
  • Corn tortillas.
  • Steel-cut oats.
May 5, 2022

Does yogurt have gluten? ›

Yes, most yogurts are gluten-free, with some exceptions explained below. In fact, milk and most cheeses are also naturally gluten-free foods, as are dairy ingredients, such as whey protein. Gluten, a protein, is naturally found in certain grains, including wheat, rye, barley and combinations of these grains.

What symptoms does gluten intolerance cause? ›

What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance?
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Anemia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bloating or gas.
  • Brain fog, or trouble concentrating.
  • Depression.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Fatigue.
Jun 30, 2021

Is rice a gluten? ›

Does Rice Have Gluten? All natural forms of rice — white, brown, or wild — are gluten-free. Natural rice is a great option for people who are sensitive to or allergic to gluten, a protein usually found in wheat, barley, and rye, and for people who have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten.

Does cheese have gluten? ›

Whether you have a medical reason or you are just curious about gluten-free foods, you may wonder if cheese contains gluten. Most cheeses are indeed gluten-free. In fact, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, the dairy group is a naturally gluten-free food group.

Do eggs have gluten? ›

Yes, eggs are naturally gluten-free.

However, eggs are often at a high risk for cross-contact due to the ways they are prepared.

What can't you eat on a gluten-free diet? ›

Foods containing gluten (not safe to eat)
  • bread.
  • pasta.
  • cereals.
  • biscuits or crackers.
  • cakes and pastries.
  • pies.
  • gravies and sauces.

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