Top Gluten Free Mistakes and How to Prevent Them


When I first went gluten-free a decade ago, I thought I knew what I was doing – but it actually took me years to get every teeny tiny piece of gluten out of my diet because of some common mistakes (or misunderstandings) I had about gluten (I wasn’t a nutritionist at this time – in fact, I was still in my teens).

So I thought I’d share some common misunderstandings/misconceptions to help you go gluten-free without as much trial and error as I had 🙂

The Easiest Gluten-Free Mistakes, and How to Prevent Them

gluten free tips

  • Spelt is NOT gluten free. It’s wheat-free, but this is different. I remember one summer when I got mixed up with the term wheat-free and gluten-free. I ate spelt flax bread and a millet spelt cereal thinking I was da bomb in terms of health and then WHAM – let’s camp out in the bathroom and then make 2 hospital trips for some IV nourishment. Not my idea of fun in the summer.
  • Soy sauce isn’t bread but it contains gluten. I learned this the hard way – why can’t I digest Japanese food? It’s rice! Oh, that sneaky sauce you can’t see when it’s added to noodles, fried rice, dressings and sauces. That was a big whoops and now when I order Japanese I specifically say I’m gluten free which means no soy sauce at all. I find it helps when you’re more specific at restaurants and mention common gluten items used for that cuisine*
  • Your eyes can’t detect everything – Just because a meal is normally gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s gluten free when someone else makes it. The good ‘ol same spatula as the glutinous food, or a puff of glutinous flour landing in the gluten-free cookie mix, or even using butter for a pan which had breadcrumbs on it. Butter is normally a-okay, but not when it’s contaminated with bread crumbs from everyone’s toast*
  • Potatoes are gluten free, but not when they’re fries. Restaurant fries are a no-no because they share the same frier as glutinous food such as breaded chicken or breaded wings. Sometimes you find restaurants with separate friers, but it’s not common*
  • A lot of sauces are made with beer. It’s like the “in” thing to do I guess. This is really common at pubs. I remember going to a pub once and every single sauce was a different flavour or type of beer, so I had to opt for super plain everything, which is a waste of money at a restaurant*

We live in a world where we can’t always rely on our eyes, we must rely on our mouths to ask or say specific directions. Keep those bellies safe my gluten-free friends 🙂

About Sarah Maughan

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, ON and has been consulting since 2009. Her website aims to educate you, make you laugh, help you live and inspire you to eat whole food! To stay up to date sign up for free blog and recipe updates! In the meantime, empower your body with food!
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