Sixteen Surprising Things That Contain Gluten

I have cut gluten and wheat out of my life off and on for the last ten years and I thought I was in the know. I had NO idea. Gluten is EVERYWHERE.

I have to wash my hands a thousand times a day. Because I touch my face. A lot, apparently. The amount of times I stare at my computer working out a tough scene with a fist pressed to my lips flabbergasted me when I started to pay attention.

I promise this won’t become a gluten bashing blog, but I just wanted to post some of the surprising things I found. And to inform family and friends. And I especially want everyone to know that if I kiss your kids or hold their hands and then immediately scurry off to scrub my hands and wash my mouth it’s not because they’re gross. I love them, I really do. But I love my health just as much. And thank you to my wonderful SIL and BFF who didn’t balk a couple of nights ago when I washed my mouth with soap after kissing her kids – on the head. But I didn’t know where they’d been that day, what they’d eaten and what they’d wiped their hair with. She was lovely about it and said “Oh my God, you can’t even kiss the kids anymore without thinking about it.” Sadly, no. And yes, I may be going a little gluten-a-phobe, but when you’ve felt like I have for the last decade and more you’re going to try and do things right.

Here are a few shocking (to me) things that I discovered have gluten.

  1. Potato Chips – the flavoured variety
  2. Soy Sauce – many of them are wheat based
  3. Lipstick
  4. Toothpaste. Toothpaste!
  5. Tape and stickers and stamps and envelopes
  6. Pam – the Baking Spray, not regular
  7. Licorice. Licorice!
  8. Vitamin E face cream – it’s usually derived from wheat germ like the one I’d been using one for the last fifteen years. I had no clue.
  9. Salad Dressing
  10. Vodka – much of it is made with wheat and those that are flavoured are verboten, see #11.
  11. Natural and Artificial Flavours – don’t ask me why, I haven’t gotten that far yet.
  12. Deli Meats
  13. Hand sanitizers – Purell is okay. Thank God.
  14. Pickles – if made with malt vinegar
  15. Wine – if wheat derived caulking is used on barrels
  16. Your hands – from touching things!

Also, products from Canada can be different than the US such as Worchestershire which is fine in the US but not in Canada because it is made with malt barley. Manufacturers also change their recipes so something that is fine one day could be a nightmare the next.

It’s a good thing I like reading. And that Costco is a gluten-free mecca. And that my favourite alcoholic beverage is vodka. Little victories. Or, you know, big ones where the vodka is concerned.


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