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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.

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Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when the body's own immune system attacks and injures the nerves outside of the spinal cord or brain – the peripheral nervous system. Niq Steele / Getty Images

By Sherry H-Y. Chou, Aarti Sarwal and Neha S. Dangayach

The patient in the case report (let's call him Tom) was 54 and in good health. For two days in May, he felt unwell and was too weak to get out of bed. When his family finally brought him to the hospital, doctors found that he had a fever and signs of a severe infection, or sepsis. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection. In addition to symptoms of COVID-19, he was also too weak to move his legs.

When a neurologist examined him, Tom was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes abnormal sensation and weakness due to delays in sending signals through the nerves. Usually reversible, in severe cases it can cause prolonged paralysis involving breathing muscles, require ventilator support and sometimes leave permanent neurological deficits. Early recognition by expert neurologists is key to proper treatment.

We are neurologists specializing in intensive care and leading studies related to neurological complications from COVID-19. Given the occurrence of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in prior pandemics with other corona viruses like SARS and MERS, we are investigating a possible link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and COVID-19 and tracking published reports to see if there is any link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and COVID-19.

Some patients may not seek timely medical care for neurological symptoms like prolonged headache, vision loss and new muscle weakness due to fear of getting exposed to virus in the emergency setting. People need to know that medical facilities have taken full precautions to protect patients. Seeking timely medical evaluation for neurological symptoms can help treat many of these diseases.

What Is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when the body's own immune system attacks and injures the nerves outside of the spinal cord or brain – the peripheral nervous system. Most commonly, the injury involves the protective sheath, or myelin, that wraps nerves and is essential to nerve function.

Without the myelin sheath, signals that go through a nerve are slowed or lost, which causes the nerve to malfunction.

To diagnose Guillain-Barre Syndrome, neurologists perform a detailed neurological exam. Due to the nerve injury, patients often may have loss of reflexes on examination. Doctors often need to perform a lumbar puncture, otherwise known as spinal tap, to sample spinal fluid and look for signs of inflammation and abnormal antibodies.

Studies have shown that giving patients an infusion of antibodies derived from donated blood or plasma exchange – a process that cleans patients' blood of harmful antibodies - can speed up recovery. A very small subset of patients may need these therapies long-term.

The majority of Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients improve within a few weeks and eventually can make a full recovery. However, some patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome have lingering symptoms including weakness and abnormal sensations in arms and/or legs; rarely patients may be bedridden or disabled long-term.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Pandemics

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, many neurologic specialists have been on the lookout for potentially serious nervous system complications such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Though Guillain-Barre Syndrome is rare, it is well known to emerge following bacterial infections, such as Campylobacter jejuni, a common cause of food poisoning, and a multitude of viral infections including the flu virus, Zika virus and other coronaviruses.

Studies showed an increase in Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases following the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, suggesting a possible connection. The presumed cause for this link is that the body's own immune response to fight the infection turns on itself and attacks the peripheral nerves. This is called an "autoimmune" condition. When a pandemic affects as many people as our current COVID-19 crisis, even a rare complication can become a significant public health problem. That is especially true for one that causes neurological dysfunction where the recovery takes a long time and may be incomplete.

The first reports of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in COVID-19 pandemic originated from Italy, Spain and China, where the pandemic surged before the U.S. crisis.

Though there is clear clinical suspicion that COVID-19 can lead to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, many important questions remain. What are the chances that someone gets Guillain-Barre Syndrome during or following a COVID-19 infection? Does Guillain-Barre Syndrome happen more often in those who have been infected with COVID-19 compared to other types of infections, such as the flu?

The only way to get answers is through a prospective study where doctors perform systematic surveillance and collect data on a large group of patients. There are ongoing large research consortia hard at work to figure out answers to these questions.

Understanding the Association Between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barre Syndrome

While large research studies are underway, overall it appears that Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare but serious phenomenon possibly linked to COVID-19. Given that more than 10.7 million cases have been reported for COVID-19, there have been 10 reported cases of COVID-19 patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome so far – only two reported cases in the U.S., five in Italy, two cases in Iran and one from Wuhan, China.

It is certainly possible that there are other cases that have not been reported. The Global Consortium Study of Neurological Dysfunctions in COVID-19 is actively underway to find out how often neurological problems like Guillain-Barre Syndrome is seen in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Also, just because Guillain-Barre Syndrome occurs in a patient diagnosed with COVID-19, that does not imply that it was caused by the virus; this still may be a coincident occurrence. More research is needed to understand how the two events are related.

Due to the pandemic and infection-containment considerations, diagnostic tests, such as a nerve conduction study that used to be routine for patients with suspected Guillain-Barre Syndrome, are more difficult to do. In both U.S. cases, the initial diagnosis and treatment were all based on clinical examination by a neurological experts rather than any tests. Both patients survived but with significant residual weakness at the time these case reports came out, but that is not uncommon for Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients. The road to recovery may sometimes be long, but many patients can make a full recovery with time.

Though the reported cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome so far all have severe symptoms, this is not uncommon in a pandemic situation where the less sick patients may stay home and not present for medical care for fear of being exposed to the virus. This, plus the limited COVID-19 testing capability across the U.S., may skew our current detection of Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases toward the sicker patients who have to go to a hospital. In general, the majority of Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients do recover, given enough time. We do not yet know whether this is true for COVID-19-related cases at this stage of the pandemic. We and colleagues around the world are working around the clock to find answers to these critical questions.

Sherry H-Y. Chou is an Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh.

Aarti Sarwal is an Associate Professor, Neurology, Wake Forest University.

Neha S. Dangayach is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Disclosure statement: Sherry H-Y. Chou receives funding from The University of Pittsburgh Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the National Institute of Health, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dean's Faculty Advancement Award. Sherry H-Y. Chou is a member of Board of Directors for the Neurocritical Care Society. Neha S. Dangayach receives funding from the Bee Foundation, the Friedman Brain Institute, the Neurocritical Care Society, InCHIP-UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Seed Grant. She is faculty for emcrit.org and for AiSinai. Aarti Sarwal does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Reposted with permission from The Conversation.