Is it Gluten-free?

9 Foods that Aren't Always Gluten-Free

There are lot of things that you might not think about being gluten-free when it comes to cooking. You’re aware of the basics like wheat flour, bread crumbs, etc. not being gluten-free but have you thought about other things? That’s why I created this list 9 foods that aren’t always gluten-free that you might not be aware of!

And before we dive into the 9 foods that aren’t gluten-free, let’s talk about how to know if something is gluten-free.

How to know if something is gluten-free

I developed an acronym to help you quickly remember how to know if something is gluten-free when reading a food label. That acronym is “CANS” which stands for Certifications & claims, Allergen statement, Not safe ingredients, and Suspicious ingredients. Putting this acronym into practice:

  1. Check for a gluten-free certification or claim, if you find one, you can stop at this step. If there is not gluten-free claim orcertification then move on to the next step (unless they are oats and in that case, you NEED at least gluten-free certification).
  2. Second, check the allergen statement for any signs of gluten or wheat. If the allergen statement claims there is gluten or wheat in the food item. It’s not safe.
  3. Third, check for not safe ingredients (remember the acronym BROWS)
  4. Lastly, check for suspicious ingredients, ingredients that could potentially not be safe.

If you need more help determining if something is gluten-free, or if you need more info on unsafe and suspicious ingredients, check out my post “how to check food labels for gluten“.

Now that we know how to know if if something is gluten-free, let’s get to the list of 9 foods that aren’t always gluten-free but are falsely assumed to be.

9 foods that aren't always gluten-free

Fish sauce is naturally gluten-free however there are some producers who do add wheat so it’s always important to double check.

Here’s a link to a gluten-free fish sauce on amazon.

Soy sauce is typically made with soy and wheat, this is why it’s important to use Tamari sauce which is almost the same as soy sauce but is made with just soy.

Here is a link to gluten-free tamari sauce on Amazon, which is like soy sauce but made without wheat.


Meat, especially processed meat like frozen, cured, and seasoned meat can have gluten in it.

For example, frozen chicken can be frozen with broth that might not be gluten-free.

Always check the label to make sure the meat you are buying is gluten-free.

Barbecue sauce can have gluten in it, hence, the importance of checking the food label.

Here’s a link to my favorite gluten-free barbecue sauce on Amazon.

Common barbecue sauces like Sweet Baby Ray’s are often gluten-free too, just be sure to always check the label.

Broth can be made with gluten grains and thus, be unsafe. Make sure you read the food label of the broth you’re buying to be sure it wasn’t made with an gluten containing ingredients or grains.

Here’s a link to gluten-free chicken broth on Amazon.

Ranch is one of those weird ones where some manufacturers add wheat flour in to the recipe to thicken the dressing. This is why it’s important to check.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite gluten-free ranch dressings on Amazon.

Flavored Syrups

Your main concern here is caramel color or natural flavors that are derived from gluten. Be sure to double check the label and even reach out to brands to see if the flavored syrups you’re considering are safe.

Here’s a link to my favorite gluten-free vanilla syrup on Amazon.

Oats are naturally gluten-free but because of the way the are grown and processed, they can be unsafe. This is because oats are often grown and processed in the same places as wheat.

This is why only certified gluten-free OR purity protocol oats are safe for people with celiac.

Here is a link to purity protocol oats on Amazon.

Again, one of those things that you might not think about but could have gluten.

Here’s a link to gluten-free Worcestershire sauce on Amazon.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

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