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Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, malt and rye. For people with celiac disease, even the smallest trace of gluten can result in symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and damage to the small intestine. Although people with celiac disease know to avoid gluten, some foods can contain unexpected traces of it.


Meat and Poultry

Watch out for soy sauce in seasoned, flavored or marinated meats. Gluten can be hidden in self-basting poultry, as well as processed lunch and deli meats found in grocery stores.


French Fries and Chips

Although potatoes and corn are gluten-free, the seasoning used may contain wheat starch and malt vinegar. Fries and tortilla chips may also be fried in the same oil used to fry breaded foods.



Sometimes, oats may be grown next to wheat, which means that they are at high risk of cross-contamination. Only buy oats that are “certified gluten-free.”


Beverages including Alcohol

Gluten may be hidden in some kinds of flavored coffee and tea. Alcoholic beverages such as beer, ale, malt beverages and lager may also contain gluten. Wine and distilled alcohol are gluten-free options.


Desserts and Snacks

You may find gluten in flavored ice creams (such as cookie dough) and gelatos. Gluten may also be hiding in candy, energy bars and granola bars. Check the ingredients list for wheat or oats that are not gluten-free.


If you are not entirely such about which foods are 100 percent gluten-free, play it safe and aim for fresh, naturally gluten-free whole foods without additives or flavorings. Make sure to talk to your gastroenterologist about any troubles you have in adhering to a gluten-free diet.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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