Hidden Wheat Tips


One of the hardest and most frustrating parts about having Celiac Disease and being GlutenFree is continuing to get glutened after the fact.

The first 6 months to a year were by far the hardest. I made mistake after mistake eating things I assumed were gluten-free but weren’t like: soy sauce, licorice, french fries or my Bloody Mary mix.

I wasn’t tediously reading every label, ALL the time or asking enough of the right questions. It seemed no matter how much I educated myself on the do’s & don’ts, the effects of cross contamination, read all the labels, I was still getting sick.

Restaurant glutening and CROSS CONTAMINATION is a huge problem, especially with items that say GF. The actual ingredients they use might not have gluten but where its prepared, the pans they cook it on or the utensils used, may. Here’s a few food examples of what to look out for:

– sauces/dressings (wheat is used as thickening
– iced tea may contain barley
– sausages/meatballs (wheat is used as binder)
– a ‘roll their eyes’ type of waiter who might not
take you seriously
– Gluten Free Restaurant Tips

Misc. Products that may contain wheat:

– multi vitamin
– aspirin coating/medications
– cough syrup/cough drops
– face cream/bathroom items
– pet food (washing hands after touching)
– products that say GF but made in wheat facility using shared equipment
– candy
– yeast

If sharing a kitchen with a gluten person then you need to take extra precaution with:

– utensils
– toaster
– pots n pans
– shared plates
– cutting board
– counter crumbs
– shared food like: peanut butter and jelly, butter, cream cheese, potato chips, etc…

I suggest getting gluten-free labels for your home so it is easier for everyone to distinguish what is what. Here is a great list of 30 places gluten hides by GlutenFreeLabels.com:


There is ‘hidden wheat’ everywhere and I mean everywhere, plus all the different names wheat can be called by:

– Triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye)
– Malt
– Duram (durum)
– Hydrolyzed wheat protein
– Semolina
– Einkorn
– Emmer
– Kamut
– Spelt
– Bulgur
– Graham
– Farina
– Matzo/Matzah
– Couscous
– Rusk(a fancy way of saying bread crumbs)
– Seitan

Here are catch phrases to look for and use caution with:

– Binder or binding
– Cereal
– Filler
– Gum base
– Modified food starch
– Modified starch
– Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
– Edible starch
– Starch
– Thickener or thickening
– Carmel Color
– Natural Flavors
*Please contact the producer/processor/manufacturer if you have any questions

Here’s a pretty extensive list of ingredients that my contain gluten.


Be cautious, be smart and leery with taking chances and rolling the dice with something you are unsure of.  There is a great phone app I use called, Fooducate, it’s brilliant.  I can scan the bar codes on items while shopping and it will tell exactly what ingredients are contained. It scans for gluten as well as many other allergens.

Just remember:

“Celiac Disease is NOT an unhealthy response to healthy food but a healthy response to unhealthy food”
Sayer Ji

My mantra is: Always Read Labels. If you can’t read labels, then ask questions. If you don’t get the answer that you are looking for, then DON’T EAT IT!

I won’t lie and say it is not frustrating because it is. Everywhere I turn I have to worry about eating the wrong thing or relying on people who have little or no true knowledge of what gluten-free means and the serious consequences being glutened can cause.

It’s hard dealing with family members or friends that don’t take you seriously. Skipping meals because there is nothing you can eat and you didn’t pack your own snacks. Still feeling sick and not being able to figure out the source(s) that glutened you. And then of course there’s the sheer overwhelming magnitude of it all that can make you feel alone, misunderstood or depressed.

It does get easier and there is so much support out there through Celiac Foundations, Twitter, Facebook… I have to say I am pretty proud of our community coming together and the support, knowledge and education provided. All you have to do is reach out and someone will be there to take your hand, helping to guide you through.


  1. Reply

    A.StevTwo things (directed not at Peggy, but the naayysers):1. Paleo/Primal/Whatever is just about eating things SIMILAR to what we evolved to eat, for which there is strong medical and scientific evidence. It’s not about anything not related to diet and exercise, so absurd reductionist arguments like Why do you use a computer? or Why do you eat beef and not gazelle and elephant? are missing the point entirely.Connected to that last one, Dana also brought up the good point that there were (and are still) paleolithic peoples all over the world that ate very different game and plants depending on the environment. You don’t need to eat only things that come from Africa to be Paleo or have tremendous health benefits, that’s just absurd.2. I never got the impression that Peggy was saying anybody who eats a grain-free, not-strictly-paleo treat occasionally is bad or not paleo or somehow inferior. Correct me if I’m wrong Peggy, but what I got out of it was: IF YOU’RE JUST MOSTLY EATING A STANDARD AMERICAN DIET AND REPLACING GRAINS AND FLOUR WITH PALEO SUBSTITUTES IT’S STILL NOT A PALEO DIET: IT’S JUST A GRAIN-FREE DIET. Some treats with coconut and nuts and stuff may be fine occasionally, but just eating normally and cooking with almond or coconut flour is missing the point of Paleo entirely. I realise some people use these to transition, and that’s fine, but transition needs to be the key word there.I personally don’t eat any of that stuff or ever cheat on Paleo, and I’m even slowly making my diet stricter (I use quotes because cutting out nuts and replacing most of my veggies with liver isn’t exactly ascetic or testing my willpower at all). I’m just the type of person thb43cat if I cheat once, it’ll quickly be twice, then four times, and on and on until I’m just eating shit again, so I don’t do it and honestly, I don’t miss it. I don’t personally begrudge people the odd smarter treat, but people have to be careful, because it’s a slippery slope and they could find themselves starting to gain weight and get unhealthy again by eating too much of these Paleo Substitute -type foods. I know I’m not alone when it comes to one tiny cheat leading to complete failure, so be careful people!

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I was diagnosed w/ Celiac disease in 2010, after 7 agonizing years of misdiagnosis. Once I started living gluten free I felt 100% better than I did, but something was still amiss. Giving up gluten was only the beginning of my long journey to gut health and healing.

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