How to tell if something is Gluten Free

The easiest question to ask yourself to see if something is gluten free is:

Is it a man-made food or a man-altered food?

If the answer is no then it’s gluten free! 

If you can go out and pick it and eat it without doing anything to it, it’s gluten free.  (For example, fruits, nuts and vegetables)  If you eat meat, if man has done anything extra to the meat, then it may not be gluten free (added chicken broth, added flavoring, etc)!  See my post on Gluten in Chicken and Turkey!  If it’s not altered by man then it should be safe!  There should be only 1 ingredient, the meat itself!

Anything found in nature that’s directly editable is gluten free (fruits, vegetables, nuts and unaltered meats).  Some items found in nature that’s not gluten free are also not directly editable.  For example, barley is a grain found in nature but it’s not something you eat without processing and cooking it.  Same goes for wheat and the other wheat families.

Ingredients that always mean gluten:

Ingredients that sometimes mean gluten:

  • Natural Flavoring
  • Maltodextrin (unless specified that it’s corn)
  • MSG (mono sodium glutamate)
  • Oats (Unless certified Gluten Free!)
  • Natural Flavoring

You can always find a up-to-date complete list on some of the official Celiac websites such as

I’ve found through trial and error that when in doubt, just don’t eat it!  There has been countless times I’ve said to myself, well I don’t think it has gluten in it, and it’s come back to bite me about 9 times out of 10.

Always check with your doctor and/or dietician for the latest information.  Being gluten free though can be very simple if you just don’t eat processed foods.  The one great thing about having to be gluten free means you simply naturally eat better by eating directly from nature!