Celiac Disease: These are the gluten traps to watch out for

People who do not tolerate gluten, the adhesive protein, have to be careful: it is found in many foods where this is not necessarily expected

French fries are made from potatoes, but they often contain gluten as well

© F1online

Celiac disease patients, i.e. people who cannot tolerate the adhesive protein gluten, have to fundamentally change their diet - for a lifetime. "To date, there is no other therapy for those affected than avoiding foods containing gluten," explains Dr. Stephanie Baas, doctor from the German Celiac Society in Stuttgart.

Celiac disease can cause a variety of symptoms

Most people know that many types of bread, pasta and baked goods are taboo for celiac patients. But there is also gluten in products that do not seem so at first glance. In our picture gallery we have collected 15 examples of gluten traps that people with a gluten intolerance should rather not step into.

This is where gluten is hiding:

© Thinkstock / iStock


© Thinkstock / iStock


Beer is brewed from barley, so there is gluten in the cool blond. "Men in particular often find it difficult to do without this luxury food," says Baas. Incidentally, wheat beers are particularly rich in gluten. But there is now also gluten-free beer.

© Thinkstock / Hemera

French fries

French fries are made from potatoes and they are gluten-free - so there is actually no danger for celiac patients. "To make the fries even more crispy, they are often coated with a breading containing wheat flour," warns Baas. This is how gluten comes back into play. If you want to be on the safe side, you have to prepare the potato side dish from the vegetables yourself, or look out for wheat flour on the list of ingredients.

© Fotolia / M Studio

Ketchup and sauces

Gluten has many beneficial properties: "It also works as a stabilizer in sauces, for example. That is why ketchup and other products can contain gluten", says Baas. Of course there are also other stabilizers, a look at the list of ingredients will bring clarity.

© Shotshop / Markus Maika


"Chocolate can contain gluten," explains Baas. So you have to be careful: the chocolate with biscuits, for example, always contains the gluten. When producing different varieties with the same machine, gluten residues can be carried over. The evidence of contamination unsettles many buyers. "If you want to be on the safe side, you should buy varieties that are labeled as gluten-free - that is, with the ear of wheat struck through", advises Baas.

© Shotshop / Silvia Bogdanski

Spice mixes

"Gluten is often used as a binder or carrier for spice mixtures," says Baas. So caution is advised with these products. The pure spices or fresh herbs are gluten-free and therefore completely harmless for celiac patients.

© Fotolia / Manla

Packet soups

"Packet soups can, but do not have to contain gluten," explains the expert from the German Celiac Society. Some manufacturers use the stabilizing properties of the gluten, some use other additives. If it contains gluten, the ingredient must be identified.

© Mauritius / Marc Gilsdorf

Ready meals

"Attention celiac patients - ready meals very often contain gluten," warns Baas. If you don't want to cook fresh every day, you can prepare and freeze larger quantities of your gluten-free food. Consolation when doing without: Ready meals are often not the ultimate in nutritional terms anyway. Lots of flavor enhancers, hidden fats, little vitamin content: linkbyid and no fresh ingredients.

© Fotolia / HL Photo

Ice cream

Because of its stabilizing properties, gluten is found in the basis of many ice creams. But there are also gluten-free varieties. You are on the safe side with packaged ice cream from the freezer - the ingredients must be specified here. "This is more difficult to check in the ice cream parlor. Above all, the waffles can also contain traces of gluten as a result of the waffles, which are actually gluten-free," says Baas.

© Shotshop / Givaga


There is gluten in many types of chips. It is a good carrier for flavors. "The manufacturers have to specify the ingredients. If a product is declared gluten-free, celiac patients can consume it," reassured the doctor.

© Thinkstock / iStock

Cream cheese: light or with herbs

Pure, natural dairy products are usually gluten-free. "Celiac disease patients should be careful with light products, these are often stabilized with the gluten. With herbal cream cheese, the gluten can be in the spice mixture," warns Baas.

© Thinkstock / iStock

hot dog

"Many sausage products contain flour for binding," says Baas. That is why there can be gluten in Viennese sausages, for example. In addition, the adhesive protein can also get into the sausages due to the spice additives used.

© Thinkstock / iStock

potato pancakes

Potato pancakes also often contain wheat flour or starch for binding. "Therefore, celiac patients have to be careful when consuming the potato products," says Baas. Those who freshly prepare the pancakes themselves are on the safe side. Potatoes themselves are gluten-free.

© W & B / Reiner Schmitz

harzer cheese

Celiac disease patients also have to be careful with Harz cheese. Sometimes the cheese is coated with beer. And that in turn contains gluten-containing barley. However, if the cheese comes into contact with beer, this must be indicated in the list of ingredients.

© Shotshop / OZMedia

Dried fruit

Raisins or dried plums are inherently gluten-free. However, the conveyor belts are sometimes floured during filling so that the fruits do not stick together. If this is the case, this is indicated on the packaging.

© PhotoDisc / RYF


Rice, salmon, avocado: the main ingredients for sushi are gluten-free. But ready-made sushi can often contain ingredients that contain gluten, such as sushi vinegar, which traditionally spices the sticky rice. Wheat is also found in traditional soy sauce. Meanwhile, there are also gluten-free variants for at home.


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Pay attention to labeling

And how can celiac patients really be sure when shopping that they are buying gluten-free products? Manufacturers are obliged to clearly label 14 main allergens on their packaging. Including cereals containing gluten and products made from them. Exceptions confirm the rule: glucose and wheat-based maltodextrins, barley-based glucose syrup and grain that is used to produce spirits such as corn brandy or vodka do not have to be reported. They are considered gluten-free.

But it is not just a look at the list of ingredients that helps. Many foods are now directly labeled as "gluten-free". According to binding EU guidelines, they may contain a maximum of 20 milligrams of gluten per kilogram. This limit value should be tolerable for most celiac patients and only lead to symptoms in very sensitive people. If gluten-containing ingredients are contained below this limit value, they are still listed in the list of ingredients.

This DZG symbol indicates gluten-free products

In addition, the German Celiac Society awards a seal of quality to products that have been carefully checked beforehand: the crossed-out ear of wheat. Here, too, the maximum amount of gluten is 20 milligrams per kilogram.

And: "The DZG offers its members a list of foods from the conventional range that are gluten-free. This way you can shop safely," advises Baas.

One last tip: Specialized nutritionists will tell you how to best implement nutritional therapy for celiac disease. Most health insurance companies reimburse at least part of the consultation costs.

Gluten: a component of wheat, rye, barley and spelled

Gluten is a mixture of proteins that occurs naturally in the grains of various types of grain, such as wheat, rye, barley and spelled. However, if people with celiac disease eat gluten, their intestinal lining becomes inflamed. You can then no longer absorb nutrients properly. As a result, there is a risk of malnutrition. For example, children may experience stunted growth.