Gluten-free foods

54 foods you can eat on a gluten-free diet

There are plenty of healthy and delicious foods to choose from on a gluten-free diet. Here is a list of 54 gluten-free foods, as well as some foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet.

Evidence-based
This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
We look at both sides of the argument and strive to be objective, unbiased, and honest.

Gluten is a group of proteins found in certain grains, such as wheat, rye, and barley.

It helps food maintain its shape by providing elasticity and moisture. It also allows the bread to rise and provides a chewy texture.

Although gluten is safe for most people, those with conditions like celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid it to prevent adverse health effects.

Many foods are made with gluten-containing ingredients, so it’s important that those who are unable to consume them check ingredient labels closely.

Also check out the most common signs of gluten intolerance.

Here is a list of 54 gluten-free foods.

Whole grains

A select few whole grains contain gluten, while the rest are naturally gluten-free.

Suggested read: 16 foods to eat on a ketogenic diet

It’s important to check food labels when purchasing whole grains. Even gluten-free whole grains can be contaminated with gluten, especially if they are processed in the same facility as gluten-containing foods.

For example, oats are often processed in facilities that also process wheat, which can lead to cross-contamination. For this reason, you should confirm that the oats you purchase are certified gluten-free.

Gluten-free whole grains

Grains to avoid

These gluten-containing grains are often used to make products like bread, crackers, pasta, cereals, baked goods, and snack foods.

Suggested read: Is food that ‘may contain milk’ vegan?

Fruits and vegetables

All fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. However, some processed fruits and vegetables may contain gluten, which is sometimes added for flavoring or as a thickener.

Gluten-containing ingredients that may be added to processed fruits and vegetables include hydrolyzed wheat protein, modified food starch, malt, and maltodextrin.

Fruits and vegetables to eat

Although the list below is not comprehensive, it provides some examples of fresh fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy on a gluten-free diet.

Fruits and vegetables to double-check

Proteins

Many foods contain protein, including animal and plant-based sources. Most are naturally gluten-free.

Suggested read: Can you lose weight with diet alone?

However, gluten-containing ingredients, such as soy sauce, flour, and malt vinegar are often used as fillers or flavorings. They may be added to sauces, rubs, and marinades that are commonly paired with protein sources.

Gluten-free proteins

Proteins to double-check

Proteins to avoid

Dairy products

Most dairy products are naturally gluten-free. However, those that are flavored and contain additives should always be double-checked for gluten.

Suggested read: The 13 most anti-inflammatory foods you can eat

Some common gluten-containing ingredients that may be added to dairy products include thickeners, malt, and modified food starch.

Gluten-free dairy products

Dairy products to double-check

Dairy products to avoid

Fats and oils

Fats and oils are naturally gluten-free. In some cases, additives that contain gluten may be mixed with fats and oils for flavor and thickening.

Gluten-free fats and oils

Fats and oils to double-check

Beverages

There are several types of gluten-free beverages for you to enjoy.

Suggested read: 7 important supplements you need on a vegan diet

However, some beverages are mixed with additives that contain gluten. Additionally, some alcoholic beverages are made with malt, barley, and other gluten-containing grains and should be avoided on a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free beverages

Note that while these beverages are gluten-free, most of them are best consumed in moderation due to their added sugar and alcohol contents.

Beverages to double-check

Beverages to avoid

Spices, sauces, and condiments

Spices, sauces, and condiments often contain gluten but are commonly overlooked.

Suggested read: Building muscles on a plant-based diet

Although most spices, sauces, and condiments are naturally gluten-free, gluten-containing ingredients are sometimes added to them as emulsifiers, stabilizers, or flavor enhancers.

Some common gluten-containing ingredients added to spices, sauces, and condiments include modified food starch, maltodextrin, malt, and wheat flour.

Gluten-free spices, sauces, and condiments

Spices, sauces, and condiments to double-check

Spices, sauces, and condiments to avoid

Ingredients to look out for

Here is a list of ingredients and food additives that may indicate that an item contains gluten.

Suggested read: Is Nivea cruelty-free?

If you are unsure if a product contains gluten, it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer to double-check.

Conditions that can be helped by a gluten-free diet

A gluten-free diet is typically recommended for those with celiac disease, a condition that triggers an immune response when foods containing gluten are consumed.

Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity should also avoid gluten, as it can contribute to symptoms like bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

Although more research is needed, several studies also suggest that a gluten-free diet could be beneficial for those with irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic disorder characterized by digestive issues like stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

Risks of a gluten-free diet

Gluten is found naturally in many nutritious foods, including whole grains like wheat, barley, and rye.

Meanwhile, some processed, gluten-free food products are not enriched with vitamins and minerals. As such, following a gluten-free diet that lacks diversity could increase the risk of deficiencies in folate, riboflavin, niacin, and iron.

Suggested read: Diet soda: Good or bad?

Gluten-free diets also tend to be lower in fiber, which plays an important role in digestive health and regularity.

Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you’re getting these important nutrients from other sources as part of a healthy, gluten-free diet to help reduce the risk of side effects.

Summary

If you avoid gluten, there are plenty of foods you can choose from to ensure a well-balanced diet.

Many healthy foods are naturally gluten-free, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, certain whole grains, dairy products, and oils, as well as fresh meat, fish, and poultry.

Wheat, rye, and barley are the major foods that need to be avoided while following a gluten-free diet. Gluten is also commonly added to processed foods, such as canned and boxed items.

Furthermore, some grains, such as oats, may be cross-contaminated with gluten, depending on where they were processed.

Success with a gluten-free diet comes down to double-checking ingredient labels, as gluten is often added to foods that you wouldn’t expect. Foods that contain gluten will be labeled as such.

Nevertheless, if you focus on eating mostly fresh, whole, gluten-free foods and a minimal amount of processed foods, you will have no problem following a gluten-free diet.

Last updated on November 14, 2021, and last reviewed by an expert on October 21, 2021.
Share

More articles you might like

People who are reading “Gluten-free foods”, also love these articles:

Topics

Browse all articles