Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

54 Foods You Can Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet

Health + Wellness
Gluten-free cornbread. Emilija Manevska / Moment / Getty Images

By Brianna Elliott, RD

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 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 it check ingredient labels closely.

Here is a list of 54 gluten-free foods.

1–11. Whole Grains

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

t'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

  1. quinoa
  2. brown rice
  3. wild rice
  4. buckwheat
  5. sorghum
  6. tapioca
  7. millet
  8. amaranth
  9. teff
  10. arrowroot
  11. oats

Grains to Avoid

  • wheat, all varieties (whole wheat, wheat berries, graham, bulgur, farro, farina, durum, kamut, bromated flour, spelt, etc.)
  • rye
  • barley
  • triticale

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

12–26. 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.

  1. citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruit
  2. bananas
  3. apples
  4. berries
  5. peaches
  6. pears
  7. cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower and broccoli
  8. greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
  9. starchy vegetables, including potatoes, corn, and squash
  10. bell peppers
  11. mushrooms
  12. onions
  13. carrots
  14. radishes
  15. green beans

Fruits and Vegetables to Double-Check

  • Canned fruits and vegetables: These may be canned with sauces that contain gluten. Fruits and vegetables canned with water or natural juices are likely gluten-free.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables: Sometimes these contain added flavorings and sauces that contain gluten. Plain frozen varieties are typically gluten-free.
  • Dried fruits and vegetables: Some may include gluten-containing ingredients. Plain, unsweetened, dried fruits and vegetables tend to be gluten-free.
  • Pre-chopped fruits and vegetables: These may be cross-contaminated with gluten depending on where they were prepped.

27–32. Proteins

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

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

  1. legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts)
  2. nuts and seeds
  3. red meat (fresh beef, pork, lamb, bison)
  4. poultry (fresh chicken, turkey)
  5. seafood (fresh fish, scallops, shellfish)
  6. traditional soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.)

Proteins to Double-Check

  • processed meats, such as hot dogs, pepperoni, sausage, salami, and bacon
  • meat substitutes, such as vegetarian burgers
  • lunch meats or cold cuts
  • ground meats
  • proteins that have been combined with sauces or seasonings
  • ready-to-eat proteins, such as those in microwavable TV dinners

Proteins to Avoid

  • any meat, poultry, or fish that has been breaded
  • proteins that are combined with wheat-based soy sauce
  • seitan

33–39. Dairy Products

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

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

Gluten-Free Dairy Products

  1. milk
  2. butter and ghee
  3. cheese
  4. cream
  5. cottage cheese
  6. sour cream
  7. yogurt

Dairy Products to Double-Check

  • flavored milks and yogurts
  • processed cheese products, such as cheese sauces and spreads
  • ice cream, which is sometimes mixed with additives that contain gluten

Dairy Products to Avoid

  • malted milk drinks

40–44. 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

  1. butter and ghee
  2. olives and olive oil
  3. avocados and avocado oil
  4. coconut oil
  5. vegetable and seed oils, including sesame oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil

Fats and Oils to Double-Check

  • cooking sprays
  • oils with added flavors or spices

45–51. Beverages

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

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

  1. water
  2. 100% fruit juice
  3. coffee
  4. tea
  5. some alcoholic beverages, including wine, hard ciders, and beer made from gluten-free grains, such as buckwheat or sorghum
  6. sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks
  7. lemonade

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

  • any beverage with added flavorings or mix-ins, such as coffee coolers
  • distilled liquors, such as vodka, gin, and whiskey — even when labeled gluten-free, as they are known to trigger a reaction in some people
  • pre-made smoothies

Beverages to Avoid

  • beers, ales, and lagers made from gluten-containing grains
  • non-distilled liquors
  • other malt beverages, such as wine coolers

52–54. Spices, Sauces, and Condiments

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

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

  1. tamari
  2. coconut aminos
  3. white vinegar, distilled vinegar, and apple cider vinegar

Spices, Sauces, and Condiments to Double-Check

  • ketchup and mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • tomato sauce
  • relish and pickles
  • barbecue sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • salad dressing
  • pasta sauce
  • dry spices
  • salsa
  • stock and bouillon cubes
  • marinades
  • gravy and stuffing mixes
  • rice vinegar

Spices, Sauces, and Condiments to Avoid

  • wheat-based soy sauce and teriyaki sauce
  • malt vinegar

Ingredients to Look Out For

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

  • modified food starch and maltodextrin (if made from wheat, it will be specified on the label)
  • malt-based ingredients, including malt vinegar, malt extract, and malt syrup
  • gluten stabilizer
  • soy or teriyaki sauce
  • wheat-based ingredients, such as wheat protein and wheat flour
  • emulsifiers (will be specified on the label)

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.

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.

The Bottom Line

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.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Authors of a new study warned Thursday that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is nearing a level not seen in 15 million years. Dawn Ellner / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Jessica Corbett

As a United Nations agency released new climate projections showing that the world is on track in the next five years to hit or surpass a key limit of the Paris agreement, authors of a new study warned Thursday that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is nearing a level not seen in 15 million years.

Read More Show Less
Dr. Jane Goodall, the world-renowned conservationist, desperately wants the world to pay attention to what she sees as the greatest threat to humanity's existence. Craig Barritt / Getty Images for TIME

By Jeff Berardelli

While COVID-19 and protests for racial justice command the world's collective attention, ecological destruction, species extinction and climate change continue unabated. While the world's been focused on other crises, an alarming study was released warning that species extinction is now progressing so fast that the consequences of "biological annihilation" may soon be "unimaginable."

Read More Show Less
A Starbucks employee in a mask and face shield at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on May 12, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images

Anyone entering a U.S. Starbucks from July 15 will have to wear a face mask, the company announced Thursday.

Read More Show Less
Supporters cheer before Trump arrives for a rally at the BOK Center on June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, OK. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

On Monday and Tuesday of the week that President Donald Trump held his first rally since March in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the county reported 76 and 96 new coronavirus cases respectively, according to POLITICO. This week, the county broke its new case record Monday with 261 cases and reported a further 206 cases on Tuesday. Now, Tulsa's top public health official thinks the rally and counterprotest "likely contributed" to the surge.

Read More Show Less
In the tropics, farmers often slash and burn forests to clear fertile land for crops, but a new method avoids that technique. Inga Foundation video

Rainforests are an important defense against climate change because they absorb carbon. But many are being destroyed on a massive scale.

Read More Show Less
A truck spreads lime on a meadow to increase the soil's fertility in Yorkshire Dales, UK. Farm Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As we look for advanced technology to replace our dependence on fossil fuels and to rid the oceans of plastic, one solution to the climate crisis might simply be found in rocks. New research found that dispersing rock dust over farmland could suck billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air every year, according to the first detailed large scale analysis of the technique, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Global heating imposes a harsh cost at the most critical time of all: the moment of spawning. Pxfuel

By Tim Radford

German scientists now know why so many fish are so vulnerable to ever-warming oceans. Global heating imposes a harsh cost at the most critical time of all: the moment of spawning.

Read More Show Less