How to Know If a Food Has Gluten in 3 Steps

To know if a food has gluten, you can read the label, look for the symbols that indicate exemption from, or know about food free of gluten.

Those who have gluten intolerance have probably already asked this question a lot: how to know if a food has gluten?

For this reason, in this article we will explore the ways in which we can know if a certain food has gluten, but before that, let us find out what it is.


Gluten is the main protein present in some types of cereals, notably in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is present in almost all cereals and is used in the composition, want of food, want drinks.

Although, for health reasons, only people with intolerance diagnosed to gluten (celiac disease) should exclude this element definitely the food, every time are more people to choose not to ingest this protein.

Who needs or wants to make a gluten-free diet, you need to know the foods that contain gluten naturally and also those that may contain gluten by cross contamination.

The oatmeal, for example, is not part of the main foods that contain gluten and is free of this protein, but it does not mean that it is safe for celiac patients. Oats is often planted on the same land and processed in the same machines that other cereals such as wheat or rye, and may occur cross-contamination.


Although it is not yet very extensive range of products free of gluten present in the supermarkets, it is possible to identify them in different ways.

Reading the labels is the main way how to know if a food has gluten, however, it is important to know the symbols associated with this protein or the absence of it and to know what are the foods with gluten naturally present, in addition to the 3 main cereals.

How to Know If a Food Has Gluten in 3 Steps 1


The key is in the reading of the labels, where there is the detailed information of the ingredients and also the nutritional information of food.

Gluten can be hidden in any product from the supermarket, so that your careful reading is essential, especially for those who have to make a gluten-free diet and to avoid inherent symptoms of the celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Sources the most obvious of gluten are those referred to in the previous topic: wheat, rye and barley. But the oats to the malt may be sources of this protein, if they are to be planted along with the grain earlier and occurring contamination. If you find any of these foods in the label of a food, mean that there is gluten.

Please note that, sometimes, there is the indication that the food does not contain gluten but then says that “may have traces of wheat” or “ may have traces of oats”. In these cases, food can, yes, contain gluten!

Therefore, to read the labels and know the ingredients present in the products that purchase is the only way to ensure that you do not consume gluten. The same procedure is valid for any other food intolerance.


You’re probably familiar with the logo of the Portuguese Association of Celiac (APC). The same is increasingly present in a wider range of food products and contains an ear cut off.

On a shopping trip, for any consumer, but especially in the consumer celiac, the symbol of the APC present in the label of a diverse range of food does not go unnoticed.

It is possible to find the logo of the APC in 3 types of food:

  • The specific products without gluten, which also feature the words “gluten-free”;
  • In food products processed, that by your production process or by the addition of certain ingredients can be considered dangerous;
  • In the foods naturally free of gluten, but that by the process of transformation can be contaminated with gluten.

But the patient the celiac can consume many more products than those that are identified with the symbol of the cob is cut out of the APC, as the foods naturally free of gluten.

How to Know If a Food Has Gluten in 3 Steps 2


There are foods that naturally have no gluten in its composition. For this reason, are not dangerous for celiac patients, since they do not come in contact nor be manipulated with other food that contains it.

In this list there are grains, flours and starches gluten-free:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Flours legumes (chickpeas, beans, peas)
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn (maize starch, bran and corn)
  • Flax seeds
  • Millet
  • Flours of oleaginous fruits (hazelnut, almond, walnut)
  • Potato starch, potato starch
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Soy flour
  • Tapioca
  • Teff

But also foods out of the group of grains, cereals and starches, in particular:

  • Sugar, honey, molasses, jams and homemade marmalades;
  • Meat, fish, eggs;
  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Legumes (chickpeas, beans, broad beans, lentils, soy, etc.), oleaginous fruits (walnut, pine-nut, almond, hazelnut, etc.) and seeds (sesame, sunflower, linseed, pumpkin, etc.);
  • Simple milk, yoghurt (natural flavours), fresh cheese, cottage cheese;
  • Olive oil and vegetable oils;
  • Salt, spices (nutmeg, peppercorn, cloves, etc.) and aromatic herbs (parsley, coriander, oregano, tarragon, etc.);
  • Water, tea, infusions, coffee, or decaffeinated coffee beans;
  • Wine, Port wine, sparkling wine, champagne;
  • Yeast fresh and dry;
  • Nectars and fruit juices with natural and aerated.

How to Know If a Food Has Gluten in 3 Steps 3


Whether for health reasons or not, many people are choosing to make a food gluten free. But how do you know if a food has gluten if there is knowledge of the forms of identification of the presence of gluten?

From now on, you already know that the best method to know if a food has gluten in the composition is careful reading of the label feed, for the identification of cereals such as wheat, barley or rye.

But it is also possible to search for the logo of the APC, a symbol with an ear cut off that indicates that the food does not contain gluten or know in advance what are the foods that naturally have no gluten in the composition.