For most people, wheat, barley, and rye are just grains, but for someone with celiac disease, these gluten-containing ingredients can cause a lot of uncomfortable symptoms. Think you may have an issue with gluten? Read on to learn more about celiac disease, the most popular foods containing gluten, and symptoms to look out for. But before you cut it from your diet, it’s important to work with a doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor can also help support your transition to a celiac-friendly diet, which involves becoming an expert on all the hidden sources of gluten.
What Is Celiac Disease?
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an immune response that damages the small intestine when gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) is present. This may cause unwanted side effects (review the list below) or damage the intestinal tract if left unaddressed.
Celiac Disease Symptoms
The Celiac Disease Foundation reports that anyone who has a first-degree relative with celiac disease (such as a parent, sibling, or child) has a 1 in 10 chance of having it themselves. But because it’s possible to have celiac disease without a family history, be sure to check with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms below.
Some of the most common symptoms of celiac disease include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Celiac disease symptoms in adults may appear unrelated to the digestive system, but don’t overlook these possible warning signs.
- Bone or joint pain
- Canker or cold sores
- Headaches or lightheadedness
- Itchy skin rashes
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Missed periods
- Tingling or numbness in appendages
- Weak, brittle bones and/or osteoporosis
How to Test for Celiac Disease
A two-step approach may be used to test for celiac disease.
- Blood test: A simple blood test is the first step. The presence of different antibodies can either rule out celiac disease or indicate the likelihood of a positive diagnosis.
- Endoscopy: Your doctor may recommend an endoscopy. This procedure inserts a thin tube (with a camera attached) through the mouth that travels all the way to the small intestines to check for inflammation. If the villi (thin, follicle-like structures lining the small intestine) are damaged, it’s often an indication of celiac disease.
33 Common Foods That Contain Gluten
As we mentioned, gluten is a naturally occurring protein in wheat, barley rye, and it’s present in a host of popular ingredients, especially packaged foods. Here’s a list of foods that contain gluten.
- Pastas: all wheat-based noodles, ravioli, couscous
- Noodles: ramen, udon, soba (not made with 100% buckwheat flour), egg noodles
- Breads: croissants, pita, naan, bagels, flatbreads, cornbread, muffins, donuts, rolls, flour tortillas, French toast, waffles, panko breadcrumbs
- Crackers: pretzels, graham crackers
- Pastries: cake, cookies, pie crust, brownies
- Cereal and granola: granola not made with gluten-free oats, corn flakes, rice puffs with added flavors
- Sauces: gravies that use wheat flour as a thickening agent, soy sauce, cream sauces made with a roux
Here are a few more tips for avoiding foods containing gluten.
- Read food labels. Always read food labels, especially on canned, processed, or frozen foods
- Shop Certified Gluten-Free. ThriveMarket.com makes it easy to shop for Certified Gluten-Free foods such as alternative flours, seeds, spices, sustainable seafood, and more.
- Speak up when eating out. Call restaurants prior to booking a reservation to see if they can accommodate your diet, and ask if a gluten-free menu is available.
Foods That Don’t Contain Gluten
Here’s a list of foods that don’t contain gluten to get you started with a celiac-friendly diet.
Gluten-Free Grains and Starches
- Brown rice
- Gluten-free oats
- Almond flour
- Cassava flour
- Tapioca Flour
Gluten-Free Nuts and Seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Black beans
- Garbanzo beans/chickpeas
- Kidney beans
Gluten-Free Cooking Oils
- Avocado oil
- Canola oil
- Coconut oil
Gluten-Free Condiments & Sauces
- Tomato sauce (check labels)
- Ketchup (check labels)
- Coconut aminos sauce
- Maple syrup